Sunday, January 18, 2015

Orlando Soup helps fund creative ideas in Orlando.

Orlando SOUP was modeled after the successful Detroit SOUP, a micro-granting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Orlando. For a donation of $10, attendees receive soup (made by Edible Orlando using fresh, local ingredients), salad and bread. Before dinner is served, attendees will listen to four short community project proposals covering a range of topics such as art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurship, education, technology, and more. During dinner, attendees cast a vote for their favorite project and, at the end of the night, the project that receives the most votes is funded by $7 from each attendees’ donation. Winners appear at future SOUP dinners to report their project’s progress.

I went to the Soup crowd funding event on August 13th 2014at East End Market. (3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL). The walls were still covered with my framed sketches. It was great to see so many people in the community room sharing creative ideas. The room buzzed with excitement. I had been asked to work on a mural to cover the front facade of the Fringe offices in the Ivanhoe Village district. Scottie Campbell set up an online crowd source page to try and raise the money to pay me for the project. About $2000 had been raised for the proposed project, but that was less than half of what was needed. Scottie decided to pitch the idea at the Orlando Soup event to make more people aware of the project and raise more funds. His pitch was eloquent and exciting and it helped that my work was visible on every wall. Oddly, though I was in the room sketching, I was never called up to the mic since Scottie covered every base.

Another presentation this evening was by Cole Nesmith who was raising money for The Creative City Project which featured live performances throughout downtown Orlando by local and international arts groups. Cole wants to pay the artists involved but raising the funds needed is a full time job. I wanted to do life sized interactive portraits on the street as my contribution. Unfortunately I was in Australia when the Creative City Project became a reality, so I didn't get a chance to experience or sketch any aspect of it.  For this Orlando Soup presentation, Cole made a tactical error when he gave everyone in the room a tiny battery and light. The audience became so involved in trying to get the light to work, that they must have missed Cole's underlying message that it takes everyone's involvement to light up Orlando with creativity.

Pat Greene gave a presentation about his Transit Interpretation Project (TrIP) and exhibition. He had photographers ride the new Sun Rail trains to take photos of fellow commuters. He needed funds to help hang the exhibit which was at the Gallery at Avalon Island  (39 South Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL). This show happened while I was away as well. Patrick got the most votes to help fund the TrIP Project show.

Mark your calendar. The next Orlando Soup is January 20, 2015 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at East End Market. (3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL). The community room is upstairs. It is a great way to see what creative projects are brewing in Orlando.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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