Vegas Roots Community SOUP. Sunday, September 23rd.
I wanted to know first hand what the Vegas Roots Community Garden and SOUP events were about and how they worked. I also wanted to support the TEDxYouthDay@18bArtsDistrict event, one of the causes represented at Vegas SOUP on this evening.
SOUP is an acronym for Support Organize Unite People. It is a recurring event, and the way it works is simple: After paying a $10 entry fee and sharing a meal of soup made from locally sourced produce, you get to vote on which cause or nonprofit organization will receive a cash award at the end of the night. Presenters get a few minutes to give a talk on their programs and then the attendee’s vote with chalk on small rectangular slates handed out to them as they enter.
“Compliments For Change” was also represented at this Vegas SOUP. It is an initiative to encourage the proliferation of compliments and all the good vibes they release into the cosmos. From what I could surmise from the speech by the brave preteen boy who is spearheading Compliments, he also wants to launch a holiday–based on his altruistic ideas–not unlike Random Acts of Kindness Day.
The third organization at SOUP was “Renew Life.” Its mission is to offer services to adults in need of assistance in maintaining a nutritious diet and a healthful lifestyle. I thought their presentation was perhaps a wee bit more polished than the TEDxYouthDay speech, but gave my vote to TEDx anyway because I find it more interesting. After the votes were cast and counted Renew Life took home a prize of over $400.00.
It seems like the cause/organization that brings the most soup eaters wins. Renew Life easily had the most friends in attendance. And it really does seem a worthy and prescient cause in a city known for its wide-ranging culinary indulgences.
The garden itself is much larger than the photos I had seen in newspapers led me to believe. The views of the unique Vegas sky-scape at dusk here are hypnotic. There’s lots of food growing presently, with plenty of land and potential for further organic development. I have read that an outdoor amphitheater is in the works at Vegas Roots. This would be a fantastic addition. The garden is a mile or two west of Downtown in a cool, kind of hidden part of the Valley you could drive by every day and not even know it’s there. A live music venue here could be magical with the right ingredients.
Vegas Roots offers classes and programs but what I find most appealing about the community garden is that any person or organization can lease a 50-square foot plot to grow on for only $500 per year. A genius way to grow community. They are having a big fundraising event on October 13 called Taste and Toast. I can’t think of anything more sublime than eating and drinking outdoors, in a garden, in the fall.
ArtsVegas: Covering Las Vegas Art and culture since 2009.