Inaugural SOUP Event Receives Additional Funding

Attendees of April 1 Event Will Choose Grant Winners

Thanks to a generous donation from Longwood University, the inaugural Farmville Downtown SOUP Event on April 1 will award up to $5,000 for proposals to improve the downtown Farmville community.

“We were excited to receive such a generous donation from Longwood for this year’s SOUP Event. This additional money will enable us to broaden the scope of the grants under consideration,” says Joe Gills, a Farmville Downtown Partnership volunteer and SOUP Event coordinator.

Applications for proposed projects—which could include public art, urban agriculture, social entrepreneurship, education, technology, community beautification or more—were submitted this past month.

Proposals will initially be screened by a group of community leaders and assessed on the creativity of the idea proposed, the degree to which the proposal will benefit downtown Farmville, and the overall feasibility of the project and its budget. Based on the number of submissions, a minimum of four entrants will then be asked to present at the SOUP Event on April 1 at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts

During the SOUP Event, each of the chosen presenters will have four minutes to share their idea with the community. Audience members can then ask each presenter up to four questions. After the presentation, the community will place their votes and enjoy soup and bread donated by Aramark Catering and a cash bar. The winner of the grant will be announced at the end of the evening.

Songwriter and guitarist Joel Worford will provide music for the evening. Tickets to attend the SOUP Event are $5 and are available at various businesses in the downtown community or at the door the evening of the event.

Originating in Detroit, Mich., SOUP events are now held all over the country as a way to fund creative projects. The event generates discussion about community grant projects and helps develop partnerships between applicants and the region. The goal of the Farmville Downtown SOUP Event is just that.

For more information, visit or contact Farmville Downtown Program Manager John Burton at or at 434/392-3060.