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Summer SOUP: Detroit micro-funder keeps creative heat on


I am continually lucky to run Detroit SOUP, a micro-granting dinner funding creative projects for the city. A mere $5 gets you soup, salad, bread, and a vote. At our last monthly event in May, we got to hear four proposals from community members seeking a little extra cash to share their gifts to benefit our community.

What I love the most about SOUP is watching people connect their resources with other people in the community. If you were unable to attend we are excited to share our night with Model D. We hope that if you read something and desire to help out that you would. That’s the best part about SOUP: Detroiters helping Detroiters. 

Our winner for the night of $514 was Fender Bender Detroit, check it out here. Contact: Sarah Sidelko.

Fender Bender Detroit will use the SOUP grant funds towards funding the July and September Fender Bender Detroit bike mechanic training course. This six week series of bicycle mechanic training classes comprehensively covers bicycle maintenance and repair skills for each function, system, and component of the bicycle. We learn, understand, and demonstrate the anatomy of the bicycle, tools used in repair processes, and repair skills.

During a portion of each class we engage with conversation and activities that allow for self-reflection and community building in the classroom, as well as creating ways the bicycle can be a transformational tool of empowerment in our own lives, and the growth, health and well-being of our communities. Each three hour class builds on the previous lesson.   

The funding received via the SOUP grant will cover costs of this class such as copies of worksheets for each lesson, folders, notebooks, the custom Fender Bender mini bike repair/maintenance/safety manual, a patch kit and tire lever for each student, a bike repair multi-tool for each student (this way the students still have the basic tools available to them at home when class is over), additional funds will go toward being able to restore and provide a bicycle for any students who may not already have their own bike to ride.

Other winners in May were City Loyalty Program (contact: Jacob Rayford); AVC Kitchen Kick Off Project (contact: Vazilyn Poinsetta); and the 6th Belle Isle Public Art Exhibit (Forward Arts Detroit. Contact: Dominic Arellano).

The City Loyalty Program was created to give citizens incentives to support local places and events. The program will start out with punch cards and punch key tags in which participating places and events punch the card upon purchase or participation. The overall goal of the program is to increase community engagement while keeping dollars flowing in our community. Using a website that will be mobile enabled, users will choose their interests and they'll be alerted about events happening around them that they may be interested in. Not to mention offers from various local businesses, thus adding more value to the loyalty program. Big local brands will assist in providing the increased value awards for the small local businesses and organizations. Truly a win-win-win opportunity.

AVC Kitchens will use SOUP grant funds to secure vendor space at the Eastern Market (a $450 fee) to introduce a line of baked goods and cooking classes to the Detroit community. Not only will the potential winnings pay for vendor space it will also be used to enhance marketing and booth presentation. The Kick-off project matters to the Detroit community because it will introduce the community to a more healthy line of baked goods made with less preservatives and processed ingredients, and it will introduce culinary nutrition cooking classes for home cooks.

The 6th Belle Isle Public Art Exhibit is a growing partnership with the City of Detroit and Access Arts, the visual arts and education division of Forward Arts. The art exhibit explores public art and a beautiful host site by the aquarium. Gourmet Underground Detroit will have it’s annual Belle Isle picnic that day, there will be artist panels and a Belle Isle "Art Ride" bike tour of the exhibit. This year, we received the most submissions to date and are funding 11 projects at a level of $350 per project. SOUP funds would be paid to artists as part of their project stipends. This year we hope to fortify the event’s future by doing more fundraising. 
 
Find out more about Detroit SOUP here, on Twitter or on Facebook. The next Detroit SOUP is June 10, at 2051 Rosa Parks, in Corktown. 

Get to know Amy Kaherl a little better in this Model D profile we published in April.
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