MIAMI SOUP to feed local appetite for social good

communities / Article

Knight Foundation supports MIAMI SOUP to share ideas and build connections among South Florida’s community of creatives, makers, doers and entrepreneurs. Below, Carl Hildebrand, director of MIAMI SOUP, writes about launching the project. Above: Detroit Soup. Photo credit Dave Lewinski.

MIAMI SOUP is coming to South Florida to feed ideas in social innovation one dinner at a time. 

The Soup concept, now in more than 90 cities, combines the best of the eating philosophies of Slow Food with the fundraising approach of Kickstarter. It was developed by Chicago-based InCUBATE, a research group dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding. 

With the support of Knight Foundation, we’ll host dinners here in South Florida—consisting of soup, salad and bread—while people gather around the table to hear proposals from individuals and civic and creative groups about improving our neighborhoods. We’ll hold a dinner about every two months, with the first one scheduled for May 1.

Buying a ticket for the evening not only provides a meal, but a vote to cast in favor a presented project. The income from the meal becomes part of a grant—with the initial grant of $2,500—awarded that night based on whichever project receives the most votes. There are no restrictions on how the grant can be spent; however, winners are asked to return to a future event and provide an update.

The goal of MIAMI SOUP is both to raise money for worthwhile projects and build a network of support that reaches beyond financial assistance. It is “friend-raising” at its best—an open platform to discuss new and ongoing projects with audiences, meet new collaborators and share ways of working together to transform ideas into reality.  

The Soup model has taken off around the world, including in Detroit, where Knight Foundation has supported this effort to bring people together to share ideas. Here in Miami I believe it’s a unique opportunity to build on the momentum in our emerging startup community. You’re welcome at our table. Have a seat.

The first MIAMI SOUP dinner is scheduled for May 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Soya & Pomodoro in downtown Miami. Tickets cost $40.  For more information about MIAMI SOUP or to apply to present at an upcoming dinner, visit

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