Charlottesville SOUP: Round Two

Posted on April 11, 2013 by


Like eating? Like supporting local initiatives? Are you interested in receiving a grant for a Charlottesville-related project? If so, look no further! The 2nd Charlottesville SOUP dinner is right around the corner, and is currently accepting proposals!

The crowd at the first-ever Charlottesville SOUP in January 2013.

The crowd at the first-ever Charlottesville SOUP in January 2013.

Charlottesville SOUP is a public dinner series hosted by New City Arts that brings together members of the community in order to support local projects with small grants. The idea began in Detroit and has spread throughout the country, finding inspiration in our very own Cville.

How it works

For just $10, participants receive a four-part meal and contribute towards the grant money. Most importantly, however, this ten-dollar fee allows the attendee to participate in the voting process when it is time to select the grant-winner at the end of the evening. Throughout the dinner, project leaders present their ideas and indicate why they need funding and how the funds will benefit their projects. Once the meal is through, attendees cast their vote in a voting booth for their favorite entry!

At the last Charlottesville SOUP, Charlottesville Textile Cooperative received a $1,045 grant to go towards the purchase of a loom. According to a recent Charlottesville SOUP press release, “the first event sold out and we had to turn away more than 200 people at the door!”

We had the chance to ask one of the local ladies behind SOUP a few questions about the initiative and what’s next!

Q&A with Maureen Lovett, Arts Director at New City Arts

soup 2Describe SOUP is 10 words or less.

Seasonal public dinner event to support micro-grants for Charlottesville artists.

What about Cville makes something like SOUP possible?

Charlottesville is ripe with talent and generosity. Talented people apply for funding, which makes the application process competitive. Generous folks easily fill the seats and, at our first event, these attendees gave more than the suggested $10 donation to make the grant even more significant for the winner. And of course, all of that talent and generosity magically combines to create an enormous list of incredible sponsors, volunteers, chefs, and partners.

How can someone who can’t make it to the dinner event contribute or help out?

We need resources in all shapes and sizes. We have a volunteer form for anyone interested in helping us make food or decorations for the event. And anyone can send a donation to cover the cost of food, venues, kitchen equipment, etc. to

New City Arts Initiative
℅ Charlottesville Soup
PO Box 1748
Charlottesville, Va 22902
Even $10 goes a long way.

Where do you see SOUP in a year?

Somewhere SOUP-er… We don’t have predictions for what the future holds, but Soup has gotten such a positive response from artists and patrons alike that we hope it continues to be at least a seasonal event. We also hope that there’s a way to grow the amount of funding that we’re able to give winning artists while keeping the event intimate and community-oriented.

Any special thanks for those who help make SOUP possible?

There are so many people to thank (and not in any particular order).

Thanks to the artists who are willing to pursue creative projects. Thanks to the attendees who are so enthusiastic about the event. Thanks to the volunteer chefs who make the most delicious soup in town. Thanks to Rick Easton and Shell Stern who make our delicious bread. Thanks to those who let us come pick their fresh greens for our salad. Thanks to those who showed up with mason jars and flowers to help decorate the event and allowed us to serve drinks. Thanks to Beer Run and Olivia Branch for partnering with us to provide drinks. Thanks to the C-ville, NBC29, WTJU, and Cville Niche for their media coverage. Thanks to City Clay for hosting a bowl marathon so that each attendee has a unique and handmade bowl. Thanks to the volunteer makers who spend their crafternoons with us making bunting and tablecloths. Thanks to The Local Food Hub for helping us source our ingredients locally. Thanks to our friends for providing a PA system. Thanks to Festive Fare for partnering with us to provide tables, chair, place settings, and all of those other rentals that make this dinner a reality. Thanks to The Bridge for hosting our first Soup and to the Charlottesville Day School for hosting our next one on May 27th. Thanks to the volunteer application review committee, made up of Charlottesville arts leaders. Thanks to the local carpenters and volunteers who made our voting booth out of recycled pallet wood. Thanks to New City Arts for hosting us. Thanks to everyone who made pie for dessert in January. Thanks to our volunteer servers and event staff. Thanks to Tom Tom for selecting us as one of the finalist in the 10k pitch night (Charlottesville– come support us!).


See you at the next SOUP on Monday, May 27 at the Charlottesville Day School!

A limited number of tickets are available, so be sure to purchase yours online in advance.

Posted in: community, food, {art}