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STL Sloup Returns, With Microgrants On Offer

Anne McCullough is bringing back Sloup STL, with a new pandemic-ready Zoom version.
Provided by Anne McCullough
Anne McCullough is bringing back Sloup STL, with a new pandemic-ready Zoom version.

Sloup’s on in St. Louis — again.

This month, the pop-up soup dinner that provides funding for good causes, returns to St. Louis after a five-year hiatus. At its helm is Anne McCullough, who previously served as the director of the Cherokee Street Business Association.

The dinner is a unique way to fund microgrants for arts and community initiatives. Attendees pay $10 each for a bowl of soup. Artists, activists and others pitch them on an idea, and their vote determines who gets the kitty.

The first STL Sloup took place in February 2010. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, McCullough explained that she was inspired to bring back a pandemic-ready version after returning to St. Louis and taking jobs on a farm and as a “steward of canoes” at Big Muddy Adventures, guiding trips down the Mississippi.

“I just moved back to St. Louis in April, and right now I’m doing a lot of manual and physical labor,” she said. “And I have a lot of energy to get back into community work and to supporting artists and activists and creative people.”

Artist Dail Chambers won a microgrant at a previous STL Sloup. She said her total purse was under $1,000, but it was enough to catalyze her Freedom Quilts project, which she pursued with two great-aunts.

“We used quilts to communicate what in the world is going on for us, what is life for us, and what issues were we wanting to work out,” she said.

The money, she said, was “just enough to kick-start my own momentum.”

Related Event

What: STL Sloup

When: 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27

Where: Soup pickup at Confluence Kombucha (4507 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; evening event on Zoom

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Sarah Fenske served as host of St. Louis on the Air from July 2019 until June 2022. Before that, she spent twenty years in newspapers, working as a reporter, columnist and editor in Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. Louis.
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