JANUARY 27, 2011 10:03 PM
On 5x5 Night

SEAS Club awards additional support to Jes Kramer
Sunday Soup #9 award recipient, Jes Kramer receives $60 of additional support raised through t-shirt sales by S.E.A.S. Club, a student group at GVSU. Total Sunday Soup award: $188.

A lot of people have asked us recently about our thoughts on the newly announced 5x5 Night, and some of the similarities it shares with Sunday Soup.  We are not sure how much of 5x5 Night is directly inspired by Sunday Soup, but - really - it doesn't matter. Sunday Soup is a grass roots model for community-based micro-granting that was designed to be replicated. While some of the Sunday Soup movement's original inspiration can be found right here in Grand Rapids, we ourselves are borrowing from a model developed and perfected by our colleagues at InCUBATE in Chicago. Since Sunday Soup was first initiated in 2007, their idea has spread all over the world to include us here in Grand Rapids, two different (but coexisting) versions in Detroit, and in locales as widespread as Brooklyn, Portland, the United Kingdom, Italy and the Ukraine. Each iteration of Sunday Soup has been modified and adapted to the needs of its community.

While we actively participate in a growing worldwide community of micro-granting projects, we are always excited to see new opportunities for exchanging ideas in our own community.

Though many of 5x5 Night's methods are strikingly similar to our own, it is clear that our intentions are different. Sunday Soup seeks to present creative project funding as a tool for community empowerment and as an exercise in democracy. Each person who pays $5 becomes a stakeholder and gets a vote, the project with the most votes receives funding, and the size of the award varies depending on how many people participate in the voting process. Thus far, the amounts awarded have ranged between $75 and $260. Using a similar model, our friends at Brooklyn FEAST are able to disburse several thousand dollars every time they meet. In the same way it has been designed to be replicated, our project has also been designed to be scalable. The system allows for larger awards but is tied directly to community participation. We are a collective of volunteers that do not benefit financially from our meals; the entire proceeds go directly to the winner. It is our endeavor to make community project funding as direct, simple and egalitarian as possible.

We invite any local creative project to apply for grant funding at Sunday Soup GR. There are no barriers to participation. You do not, for example, need to be over the age of 18 or an American citizen. As always, we only ask that you show up in person to present your project and to participate in an open discussion about your work and that you report back in a couple months about your progress. You can apply for an upcoming round of grant funding on the Sunday Soup website.

Some of the discussion surrounding the recent announcement of 5x5 Night has included comparison with our project. We appreciate the support people have expressed for Sunday Soup GR and the creative projects it funds and want to encourage folks to extend that support by showing up at 6 p.m. this Sunday and every last Sunday of the month. The more of you who show up, the thicker our grass roots will grow.

- Sunday Soup GR, a program of The DAAC

PS: Like the rest of the DAAC, the Sunday Soup committee is an open collective that welcomes the involvement of newcomers. If you are interested in getting involved with Sunday Soup as an organizer, a soup-maker, or if you have other ideas for collaboration, please send us a message at soup@thedaac.org  

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