Philanthropy can be an intimidating word, but a new group in Phoenixville is making it very simple. Resident Emma Peabody came across a website for Sunday Soup, a model for “meal-based micro-granting initiatives” which has spread around the world.
The concept is very simple: a group of people from the community meet on Sunday, share a meal of soup, each donate a bit of money and then award it to someone planning a project to benefit the community. In this way, even by giving just a little money, people have an impact on the community they live in.
After just two months of planning, the first Phoenixville Sunday Soup was held March 27 at Diving Cat Studio. Ben Buhl proposed a project entitled Close-Up Phoenixville: Photographic Collage, while Victoria O’Neill’s proposal was to bring an interactive storytelling event to the Phoenixville Public Library.
The two grant proposals were discussed and the group of 12 decided to split the grant between both, but since O’Neill was unable to make the dinner due to an emergency, she graciously handed over her half to Buhl, and plans to propose her project at a later date.
Proposals eligible for the grant include just about any creative project (art, music, writing, gardening, dance, etc) that in some way impacts Phoenixville. Many of the dinner attendees have a connection to the creative community as well. Peabody noted, “The grant is a great part of it, but just as valuable is the artists getting together and talking about how they’re going to complete their project.”
And of course, sharing a meal always brings people together as well. At the March meeting, mixed vegetable and potato leek soups were graciously provided by Annmarie Butera Cantrell of Cucina Verde.
Currently, the group is accepting both proposals and dinner reservations for the April meeting, which will be held on the 24th. Go here to reserve your dinner spot and here to submit your grant proposal.
The Sunday Soup project has no end date, and in a town as creative as Phoenixville, “we’re never going to run out of grant proposals,” Peabody said.
View scenes from the first-ever Sunday Soup of Phoenixville by clicking here.