Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

UPBEAT ENTERTAINMENT: Window Cat brings its feel-good tunes to local hangouts like Salvage Station, The Bywater and Ben's Tune Up with frequency. Photo from the band's crowdfunding page

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.

Window Cat’s album

Theremins are often credited as the only musical instrument you play without touching, and following an unorthodox recording session by Window Cat, they can be called interspecies instruments, too. The local band recently shared a Facebook video of a cat playing (with minimal help) the theremin and synth, noting that the clip was part of a song on Window Cat’s forthcoming album. If their existing recordings are any indication, the new music will blend prominent vocals with instrumentals inspired by funk, soul and jazz plus whatever experimental riffs the kitty comes up with. On a more serious note, the musicians aim to raise $5,000 to fund their first full-length album release, including recording, mixing, mastering, duplicating, marketing and merchandise.

Blessings and BBQ

On the first Saturday of each month, a Christian group with members from different churches comes together to cook a meal for homeless veterans at Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry. “All in all we often serve almost 300 dinners and have been blessed to do so monthly for over 15 years,” reads the Blessings and BBQ crowdfunding page. “The cost each month for the meal averages $300 to $350 and the Veterans Restoration Quarters typically provides many items for the side dishes.” The group aims to raise $4,500 to cover the cost of all 12 meals planned for 2017.

Photo from the Blessings and BBQ crowdfunding page
Photo from the Blessings and BBQ crowdfunding page

CuddleCots for bereaved families

The days that follow the loss of a newborn baby may be the most difficult in a person’s life. But for many parents facing such circumstances, the ability to spend a little more time with their deceased child can aid in the early stages of grieving. That’s the idea behind the CuddleCot, a bassinet that keeps a baby’s temperature down to preserve the body for several days following death. For Ashevilleans Catherine and Jim Ashe, the product helped facilitate a lengthy visitation and home burial of their five-month-old son James, who was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 in utero and passed away shortly after the new year. The positive experience with CuddleCot inspired the two, and they now aim to raise $9,000 to purchase several CuddleCots (in addition to the one that was donated to Mountain Area Pregnancy Services in James’ name) to give to local medical centers, beginning with Mission Children’s Hospital. A portion of funds may also go to the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at Mission Children’s Hospital.

Image from the Ashe's crowdfunding page
Image from the Ashe’s crowdfunding 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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