Dundee Soup

Photographed by David P Scott. All rights reserved. www.davidpscott.com

Dundee SOUP is a social event giving micro-grants to creative projects in Dundee.

A simple soup supper, a safe space, a platform to connect and collaborate… a democratic experiment!

It’s a little bit of funding, it’s a lot more empowering and it’s even more about connectivity.
– Amy Kaherl, Detroit SOUP founder.

It’s a great way of getting people together and ideas encouraged. – Dundee SOUP attendee.

Thanks for an insightful, enjoyable evening, not to mention the delicious soup. I will certainly attend again. – Dundee SOUP attendee.


Since our first Dundee SOUP in April 2017:

  • we have run 8 events in 5 different venues across the city,
  • a total of £2,190 have been raised,
  • Over 350 people have attended our events,
  • and 31 community-led projects have been presented.

Next Soup:

Next Dundee SOUP event has been temporarily postponed due to the lockdown and spread of COVID-19. As soon as we have more information about the next event, we will update this page and announce it on our monthly News Mail Out.

If you are interested in sponsoring the soup supper, performing music or something else on the night, or hosting a Dundee SOUP in the future, then get in touch as we’d love to hear from you: news@creativedundee.com.

Keep up to date with Dundee Soup through our website and social media, you can also sign up on this mailing list here and join the conversation through #DundeeSoup.

Blog: Why should you take part in Dundee Soup?

How does it work?

Dundee SOUP is a social event supporting local community-based projects and creating new connections in the city. For a suggested donation of £5 or more, you can join us on the night, receive a simple soup supper and hear four short presentations from local people with creative ideas to benefit their community – these can range from art, design, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and much more. At the end of the night, everyone gives their donations directly to their preferred projects!

Who is it for?

Dundee SOUP dinners are open to anyone – whether you need help for an idea that could benefit the Dundee community or whether you want to support a project that aims to tackle local challenges!

Anyone who has an idea to benefit Dundee’s communities can pitch – whether you are an individual, small team or community group. We have an application form – open all year round – for any projects that would like to pitch, from there four of them will be selected to present on each night. Your idea can be about ANYTHING and you can submit it more than once!

Our success at Dundee SOUP was instrumental in supporting CANDU to have a regular presence within the Ardler community, where we are able to offer support to local people affected by cancer. This was made possible by money donated on the night, but more importantly is sustained by the amazing community connections which CANDU has developed by attending SOUP events. We work closely with local community groups and creative change makers and are passionate about the potential for positive action which is made real for small grassroots initiatives in Dundee by SOUP events. 
– Julie Wardrop, CanDu founder.

How to apply?

You just need to fill out this short application form at any time throughout the year to be considered for a future Dundee SOUP event – we’ll get in touch with you two to three weeks before the event to confirm with you that you are able to join us and pitch your project on the night. If you would like a paper copy of the application, you can pick a copy up from The Circle.

How did it start?

The first SOUP was developed in Detroit in 2010 with a group of artists’ friends gathered around a dinner to share ideas about art challenges, finding innovative solutions and imperfect ideas for projects that were hard to discover funding for. Over the years, Detroit SOUP has moved from funding artists to a wide variety of community members that need a little money to start their projects and the challenging ideas pushed people to think about the city in different ways.

Dundee SOUP started in April 2017 and was put together in a collaboration between Creative Dundee, ACK, The Circle and Shona Littlejohn, and is now run by Creative Dundee and The Circle.

Huge thanks to Allison Declercq for making this video – check Allison’s work here.

Dundee Soup logo was created by Pete Thomas – check Pete’s work here.!

Presented projects include:

Dundee SOUP #8
Thursday 10th December 2019 at The Circle
Total money raised: £249

  • The Queer Dot is an arts collective based in and around Dundee which aims to promote the voices of LGBTQIA+ people. Founded by DJCAD students in May 2019, the collective has expanded over the past few months to include poets, performance artists, fine artists, writers and other creatives outside of the education system. The collective has put on two art exhibitions – one in the Cooper Gallery and one at Generator Projects – and several events including a queer clothes swap, a film screening for World Aids Day, and a poetry night.
  • Youth Friendly Space – a space designed by young people for young people which can be exibly used for 1:1 or group support as well as developing innovative, creative and unique ideas to help young people to grow and make their ideas come to life.
  • BLEND coffee lounge and who exist not to just be another coffee shop, but to help do good in their Community. They have decided on Christmas day to open their doors, for a free Christmas meal to anybody who wants to join them! They hope that through this they can reach out to those who are in need of family at this time of year.

Dundee SOUP #7
Thursday 26th September 2019 at DJCAD
Total money raised: £224

  •  Kirkton Food Larder, a food enterprise set up to target food poverty in our local area and help with summer hunger, with so many in-work families and students as well as those on benefits struggling we need to help break the stigma and help those who need it in a sustainable way.
  • Icebreaker Comedy – Stand-up Comedy and Spoken Word promoter currently putting on recurring shows in and around Dundee, with a view to opening a full-time venue. Improving the nightlife of the city by offering an accessible alternative to standard pubs and nightclubs and organising workshops to introduce complete beginners to writing and performing stand-up comedy as a means of improving their mental health.
  • Turn Up The Heat project that gives young people with mental health and wellbeing challenges the opportunity to learn a valuable life skill and self-care tool – cooking! The therapeutic benefit of cooking is well known and Feeling Strong is keen to give the young people they work with, a vulnerable and often isolated demographic, the chance to come together as a community and get cookin’.
  • Dundee Makerspace. A community-based workshop and skills share group, that offers the use of a variety of equipment along with teaching and support services to their members and the wider community.

Dundee SOUP #6
Wednesday 8th May 2019 at V&A Dundee
Total money raised: £295

  • Community Food Larder and Freecycle is a project helping to provide local community with cheap food and the chance to reduce, reuse and recycle, while empowering the local community through volunteering opportunities.
  • Dundee Culture is a digital platform showcasing Dundee to the world and a hub to all things cultural in Dundee!
  • A Shared City is a project using the arts to bring women from different cultural backgrounds living in Dundee together, and exploring what does it mean to make A place Home as a community of multicultural women.
  • Deetour is a trail of artworks on various sites on or visible from the streets, starting from near the V&A, heading up towards Stobswell, to celebrate the fact that Dundee’s creativity isn’t confined to the waterfront.

Dundee SOUP #5
Saturday 1st December 2018 at The Circle during St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival
Total money raised: £380

  • The Art of Seeing Photography is a community-based Photography editing and printing suite in Studio 11, in Meadow Mill, which creates an exciting learning environment for photographers of all ages and stages.
  • Emerging Dundee – Acting Locally, Thinking Globally – pitched their project to deliver a weekend festival to connect doers in the city.
  • Togs for Tots is a clothing, equipment and experiences bank for children living in poverty.

Dundee SOUP #4
Tuesday 25th September 2018 at Roseangle Kitchen Cafe
Total money raised: £270

  • Food For Thought is a local initiative aimed at anyone who struggles on a monthly basis and requires the extra help with the basic need for food.
  • Just Bee Productions publish and distribute stories, poems and artwork written and collated within the recovery community of Dundee.
  • Better:TAYgether is an Intergenerational choir with a twist, which includes individuals and groups from every generation and is totally inclusive.
  • Under 12’s project (at Rainbow House) provides leisure and educational activities to help alleviate the effects of multiple deprivation for children and families.

Dundee SOUP #3
Thursday 3rd May 2018 at Lifegate
Total money raised: £200

  • CanDu (Cancer Dundee Support Network) are a group of local cancer patients and survivors working to ensure patient needs are at the heart of decision making from diagnosis, through treatment, to recovery and including end-of-life care.
  • Catesbi CIC offers parental guidance and teacher training to enable positive change for children with autism, ADHD, developmental delays, learning & behavioural difficulties based on the science of behaviour.
  • Make Dundee Home Fridays exists to draw on creativity, hospitality and spirituality to promote social and environmental justice and human well-being.
  • Tayside Nature Tots is an outdoor nature club project aimed at 0-5year olds along with their carers.

Dundee SOUP #2
Thursday 14th December 2017 at The Circle
Total money raised: £200

  • Recovery Dundee is the first independent recovery community in Dundee, was the winner that night. Read more in this news release here.
  • Dundee Bairns presented their ‘tea and homework club’ to help raise the attainment level of the children who may not be achieving their full potential, through the provision of regular sport and leisure activities along with a nutritious evening meal.
  • Coats n Quilts aims to encourage donations of coats that will be cleaned and sorted in preparation for donations.
  • Voice, Visual & Sounds is a project about creating multi-sensory stories to help those who cannot otherwise access them.

Dundee SOUP #1
Wednesday 26th April 2017 at The Circle
Total money raised: £188 + individual donation of £188 to math the winner cash pot.

  • Lifegate Tea Dance provides a place for older people to gather and socialise, was the first winner of Dundee Soup’s micro community grant. Read more in this news release here.
  • Uppertunity is a Community Interest Company, providing a personal development programme and inclusive social opportunities for adults with additional support needs. They’ve got an individual donation on the night to develop a community garden.
  • The Artifact pitched for Flow! Kids to deliver a workshop mixing dance and spoken word together, for young people dealing with domestic violence, in partnership with Dundee Women’s Aid.
  • Artist Deirdre Robertson pitched for a Dundee’s Dress Herrings competition and parade to celebrate the quirkiness of being Dundonian and ensure the knowledge of this unique tradition does not die out.

What people say about the event on Social Media: