Downtown SOUP entries sought

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP) has announced the return of its Farmville Downtown SOUP on Friday, April 7.

The inaugural SOUP event was held April 1, 2016 and featured five presentations with more than 150 community members in attendance, FDP officials said in a press release.

“(FDP) is excited to announce the return of the SOUP event,” said John Burton, FDP manager. “We are eager to build from the momentum of our inaugural event and look forward to helping bring to life some of the proposals from our community.”

John Burton

According to the release, applications are being accepted from “individuals or organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) for two $1,000 grants that will improve the downtown Farmville community. The first grant will be crowd funded by ticket sales to the event. The second is being offered thanks to a generous donation by Stars Under the Stars, a summer outdoor film series held annually at Crute Stage in downtown Farmville.”

According to the release, proposed projects could range from “art, urban agriculture, social entrepreneurship, education, technology or more.”

The deadline to submit applications is Monday. Projects should be submitted online at

“The top five proposals will be asked to present at the SOUP Event on April 7 … at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. That evening, each presenter will have four minutes to share their idea with the community. Audience members can then ask each presenter a few questions. After the presentations, the community will place their votes and enjoy soup, bread and good company while the results are tallied with the winner of the $1,000 grant announced at the end of the evening.”

FDP officials said a $5 donation at the door during the event will help fund the best proposal presented that night, based on attendees’ votes.

Originating in Detroit, SOUP events are held across the nation as a way to fund creative projects. The event generates discussion about community grant projects and helps develop partnerships between applicants and the region.

“We live in a community filled with people who are eager to make a difference,” Jen Cox, FDP board member and SOUP coordinator said in the release. “We encourage submissions with your idea on how to improve downtown Farmville.”

According to the release, entries will be judged based on the creativity of the idea, the degree to which the proposal will benefit downtown Farmville and the feasibility of its budget. “The winning idea will be implemented under the auspices of the FDP in conjunction with its proposer.”

Last year’s winning proposals included funding for bicycle parking and bistro tables throughout downtown. The third prize was awarded to “READ Farmville” to create a foldable reading cart that turns into a 360-degree sculptural bookshelf.

To learn more information about the SOUP event, visit or email