Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

SUBJECT MATTER: Though he specializes in nighttime photography, Adam Rackham says his portfolio is ever changing.
SUBJECT MATTER: Though he specializes in nighttime photography, Adam Rackham says his portfolio is ever changing. Image from Rackham's website

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.

Adam Rackham photography

Self-taught landscape photographer Adam Rackham was recently presented with an opportunity to hang 20 of his prints in a local business, beginning in late January. “With this first chance to have my photography displayed, I hope to really jump into my career as a photographer,” he says. “Unfortunately, I do not have the capital needed to fulfill such a large request on such short notice.” Rackham aims to raise $1,000 by Thursday, Jan. 12, to print and frame his collection.

Image from Rackham's website
Image from Rackham’s website

The Nutty Buddy Collective

Squirrels, move over. Leicester-based The Nutty Buddy Collective has plans to collect, crack and sell many of the wild black walnuts and hickory nuts currently being overlooked in Western North Carolina. “We foresee a future when homeowners and foragers can bring in their nuts and can either have us crack them for their use — for a small fee of either nuts or money — or just sell [us] the nuts, thus turning a ‘trash’ product that messes up their yard into a win-win situation for all parties involved,” business partner Justin Holt writes online. For the long-term, the group is also working to find land owners interested in growing native, nut- and fruit-bearing trees on their properties, despite delayed returns on investment. The vision, Holt explains, is to “move these niche crops … toward the central place they deserve on our farms and in our regional cuisine.” The Nutty Buddy Collective aims to raise $10,000 to purchase a commercial nut cracker and equipment for dehulling, drying, curing, sorting and storing products.

Photo from The Nutty Buddy Collective's campaign page
Photo from The Nutty Buddy Collective’s campaign page

La Biblioteca Villa Zamora

The mission of Biblioworks is “to provide communities in need with tools and resources to develop sustainable literacy and educational programs through schools, libraries, and cultural institutions,” according to the nonprofit’s website. Based in Asheville, the organization has built 13 public libraries in rural Bolivia and trains citizens to use the learning centers for vocational skill building and mitigating poverty. Representatives also host annual events to nurture a positive culture surrounding reading. A rising priority for 2017, however, is revisiting Bibioworks’ first library, La Biblioteca Villa Zamora, which has served thousands since opening in 2005. The nonprofit aims to raise $3,500 by Sunday, Jan 15, to buy more books, educational games, posters, chairs and tables in addition to carrying out building repairs.

Photo from Biblioworks’ campaign page

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.

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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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