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SOUP started in Detroit.

An open-source project, we're adapting SOUP to Bentonville, AR, to help spark positive change in our community and empower and encourage citizens to pursue their own creative initiatives. 

SOUP is:

  • a collaboration

  • a public potluck dinner

  • a platform for connection

  • a safe space

  • an experiment in the democracy

  • a relational hub bringing together various creative communities

  • a forum for critical but accessible discussion

  • an opportunity to support creative people in Bentonville

 Bentonville SOUP is a micro-granting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in and around Bentonville. For a $10 donation, attendees receive a plate of food, a drink, and a vote. Food is supplied by area businesses and attendees alike in a collaborative, potluck style. 


The evening begins with four presenters sharing their project ideas on topics ranging from art and education to social justice and tactical urbanism. Each presenter has four minutes to share their idea, then SOUP attendees are given the opportunity to ask up to four questions. When the presentations are complete, presenters and attendees alike share a meal, during which they can discuss the presentations, while also sharing their own resources, ideas, and hopes for the Bentonville community. The evening culminates with everyone voting on their project-of-choice and the winner of the vote is granted all of the money raised by participants that evening. Winners return to future SOUP dinners to report on their project’s progress.

Our Mission:

Bentonville SOUP’s mission is to promote community-based development through crowdfunding, creativity, collaboration, democracy, trust and fun.

Our Vision for the Future of SOUP:

With key partnerships and community leaders, we hope SOUP will change the way people engage with the democratic process by establishing neighborhood relational hubs across NWA.

What We Want to Do:

  • Empower residents

  • Help create jobs

  • Allow people to establish new relationships and networks

  • Promote action and change

  • Foster critical dialogue

  • Instill neighborhood pride

  • Provide a deeper understanding of democracy

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