I wanna know: Free Swim, Sunday Soup - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

I wanna know: Free Swim, Sunday Soup

So what's your great idea? In our "I wanna know" report we meet a woman who wants to help those with worthwhile ideas make them happen.

"I want to know what creative ideas people have for making this community better," says Victoria Bradford.

Bradford is no stranger to the idea of taking a creative idea and bringing it to fruition.  She was the force behind what many in the Lake Area fondly remember as "Ponyfest" which had a nice run back in 2007 and 2008, as Victoria puts it.

 And now, she's returned from Chicago where she advanced her education as an artist-- and now has started Free Swim and Sunday Soup.  It's a way for people to pitch their creative ideas.

"I started a project called Free Swim and we're putting together these monthly events called Sunday Soup.  It's a micro granting event where people from the community can pitch a creative idea that's community driven.  So, a teacher who's got an educational project for their school, a artist who's working on something new, a writer, an entrepreneur who's got a business idea that's community driven or  that will affect the community in some way, anybody who's working on something.  Maybe it's just, you're going to fill in some pot holes in the neighborhood that you live in," said Bradford. 

The first local Sunday Soup was in May and of two ideas pitched, people attending voted for Tracy LeMieux's idea-- to help paint benches at Tower Oaks, where many senior citizens live.   The benches will be painted with inspirational text, abstract art and reproductions of master works.
"You can pitch an idea on our web site and then you come to this event.  You pay five dollars at the door, you get some soup and some bread for free and you hear a couple of these proposals that have been pitched and everybody kind of has a great dialogue around the proposal, you vote on which one you think is the best and whoever wins walks out the door with the cash that's been collected.  So it's an immediate, spontaneous, grant and a way that people can really dialogue around people who are making things happen," said Bradford.

She says it's an idea catching on in other parts of the country.

This month it will be at Stellar beans, which often hosts artistic groups such as the Bayou Writers, there today.  But Sunday Soup will likely move from place to place.

So,  she invites people to Sunday Soup where somebody may serve up what could be a great idea for Southwest Louisiana.
The next Sunday Soup is at 2:30 PM June 29th at Stellar Beans.

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