The exception to prove an established rule — THIS SUNDAY is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.
We’ll be talking to Abigail Satinsky and other members of InCUBATE, particularly about their initiative called Sunday Soup — hence meeting on Sunday — a platform for the international network of food-based micro-granting initiatives, highlighting the growing community of granting projects with over 35 now in operation including FEAST, STEW, Philly STAKE, Detroit Soup, Portland STOCK, amongst others.
What is Sunday Soup? The Soup Grant is a grassroots model for funding small to medium sized creative projects through community meals. The basic formula is that a group of people come together to share a meal and that meal is sold for an affordable price. All the income from that meal is given as a grant to support a creative project. Grant applications are accepted up until the meal, everyone who purchases the meal gets one vote to determine who receives the grant. The grants are completely unrestricted and will be awarded at the discretion of the customers. Granting projects affiliated with Sunday Soup in different cities operate based on their own needs and context. The meals are more or less elaborate in different places and some people have presentations by potential grantees or past grantees as part of the event.
Why do they do it? The Soup grant not only generates independent funding but sparks dialogue about resource allocation within the mainstream artworld. In an environment where governmental support for experimental art practice is scant, and private support is dictated by the values and priorities of granting foundations, innovative and potentially controversial work is compromised in order to fit within categories deemed “fundable.” It needs a different “world”… in this case, the world of soup. With Soup, community participation in the grant funding and selection process is key. Applying for a grant is intentionally straightforward in order to encourage broad participation. As the Soupers say, “this enables us to stimulate and promote experimental, critical and imaginative practices that may not be eligible for formal funding. The Soup grant, while raising money, also serves as a way to build a network (or what some of us insist on calling a world) of support and community that reaches beyond purely monetary assistance. We like to think of it as an open platform to discuss ongoing projects with new audiences, meet new collaborators, and share ways of working.”