November 12, 2013
Charlottesville SOUP held its third event Tuesday night at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville.
About 150 people came together for dinner to support artists in our area.
"You can think of it as a real-life Kickstarter where neighbors, friends and strangers come together, share a meal and hear about art projects that need funding," said Charlottesville SOUP facilitator Victoria Long.
Four finalists presented their ideas for an original project that will, in some way, pump creativity back into the community. Every $10 ticket to the event gave diners one vote for their favorite pitch.
The crowd selected the Afton String Quartet to receive this season's micro-grant. The $1,460 raised at Tuesday's SOUP will help the musical group develop concert programs for kids in local schools.
The four finalists were selected from a group of 25 applicants. The panel focused on feasibility, the scope of the projects, whether they included an element of art making and whether there was a public component like a performance or exhibit.
Organizers say the public dinner series is about more than food and donations.
"It's an opportunity for civic engagement. It's an opportunity to meet your neighbor and to say, 'Hey, what do you think the arts in Charlottesville needs?' said Long. "It's a place to have a conversation, and I think that's what draws people in."
All three of this year's SOUP dinners have sold out. Tickets for Tuesday's event were snapped up in 12 hours.
In January, Charlottesville Textile Cooperative received a grant for $1,045 to purchase a loom. In May, photographer Megan Bent was the recipient of a $1,720 grant.
SOUP is hosted by New City Arts Initiative.