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MerelyGifted
22:14

Detroit - once a manufacturing giant - went bust in 2013. An innovative crowd-funding project called Detroit Soup is helping the city get back on its feet.

It's a typical winter's night in Michigan. Snow is falling, and so is the temperature - it's -15C at last count. Unsociable conditions such as these would put paid to plans for many people, but not in Detroit.

"Winter 'Soups' always do well," says Detroit Soup founder Amy Kaherl, preparing for the latest of her fundraising events. "People are grateful for a chance to come out of hibernation."

With a small team of dedicated volunteers, an empty hall is quickly filled with tables laden with huge loaves of bread, and the waft of soup. Kaherl and friends started Detroit Soup to help local artists fulfil their creative ambition. Five years on, "Soup", as it's more commonly known, is a city-wide movement which has reached well beyond the artistic community.

"Tonight is our 95th soup, and in total we've raised over $85,000 (£57,000)," she says proudly.

The 33-year-old Kaherl is a master multi-tasker - with her rapid-fire speech she is the kind of person who can answer three questions in one sentence. "Check one, check two - pah-tub, pah-tub- pah-tub-PAH. I wish I could beat-box," she rues during the sound-check.

As predicted, despite the cold, people come out in force, bringing with them trays of cupcakes, pastries and pots of hot food to add to the standard fare of soup and salad which gave Detroit Soup its name.

It's a simple concept: people turn up, pay $5 (£3.30) at the door, and listen to three or four people pitch an idea to improve the local community. Pitchers may not talk for more than four minutes, and definitely must not use PowerPoint. The audience can then ask a maximum of four questions.

With the presentations over, soup is served. People mull over the ideas and then they vote on their favourite. The winner gets to take home all the money taken at the door and use it to fund their plan, with the promise they will come back three months later to report on their progress.

The ideas bidding for funding tonight include an urban farming project, an adult literacy programme, a community library for Black History Month, and a support group helping people facing repossession.  ...


BBC News - Can soup change the world?
Reposted bywonkomr-absentiamushutohuundwabohup125

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