Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initatives

CREATIVE COMMUNITY: Matt Townsend's new EP The Drifter and the Dream features local guest musicians like River Guerguerian (Free Planet Radio), Kat Williams, Charles Gately (Doc Aquatic) and Franklin Keel (Sirius.B, Blue Ridge Orchestra, Ben Phan and the Soul Symphony, et al.). Album art by Ari D Art

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

Matt Townsend’s double EP project

The combination of weathered vocals, subdued guitar and just-poetic-enough lyrics make Matt Townsend’s music an instant source of comfort — as well as existential unrest. “I went up to the mountain to cleanse the poison of the world / Oh, there was no one around me / The earth was my girl,” he sings in recent release “Came Down From the Mountain.” In the same song, he muses: “On that path that winds unending, who can say just where to go / when all your thoughts are inquisitions sent to torture your hold.” But the artist has a sense of humor, too, as evidenced by the amateur acting and background karate moves in his crowdfunding video. Townsend aims to raise $12,000 by Wednesday, Dec. 14, to cover expenses already incurred while making the first of a two-part EP titled The Drifter and the Dream. The new songs, he says, “represent some of my strongest work. They explore the political, the personal and where the two meet; societal forces that shape our world; and tension between spiritual awareness and walking in the material world. I would love for you to have them.”

Jahman Brahman’s album

Jahman Brahman has experienced several lineup changes since moving to Asheville in 2010, but the quintet claims to be “rocking once again with a solid cast of characters.” Recent practices have resulted in new songs, and the musicians opted to capture their refreshed energy by recording in Colombus, Ohio, where they originally formed. The resulting 11-track work, titled Choose Your Channel, “encapsulates all the different flavors and directions brought forth by the eclectic tastes and skills of this new fluid roster.” The band aims to raise $5,000 by Sunday, Dec. 4, to pay for mastering, pressing and promoting its sophomore full-length album.

Town and Mountain Realty’s holiday benefit

For the fifth year, Town and Mountain Realty is holding its Home for the Holidays fundraiser for multiple local nonprofits: Homeward Bound, Caring for Children, Helpmate, Eliada and Western Carolina Rescue Mission. The event takes place at The Orange Peel on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 5-9:30 p.m., and includes kids activities, snacks, dinner (7-8 p.m.), music, a photo booth and silent auction — all by donation at the door. Between online crowdfunding and event proceeds, the company aims to raise $20,000 in total. Town and Mountain will match the first $10,000.

Photo from Town and Mountain Realty's website
Photo from Town and Mountain Realty’s website

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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2 thoughts on “Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initatives

  1. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    I did a double take when I saw the first picture. Then I realized he has his hands in his pockets.

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