A crowd at Climb So iLL
Zoë Scharf | Sloup

Sloup has been hosting monthly crowd-funding soup dinners in St. Louis since 2010. But the one on Dec. 8 at Climb So iLL (1419 Carroll St.), differed from the usual -- and not just because a gym staffer was clambering across the rock wall above the crowd. No arts groups presented proposals for bike-generated sound systems or giant murals. No votes were cast. There wasn’t even soup.

Sloup: Karen Mandelbaum, Zoë Scharf, Tara Pham, and former co-organizer Becca Moore.
Provided | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The process is simple: Donate $10; enjoy a bowl of soup while you listen to local artists and organizers present their ideas; vote on the ideas you like best in a weighted fashion. The group that receives the highest total wins all that was donated at the door.

That’s how a Sloup works.

R.J. Hartbeck, left, and Chelsea Ritter-Soronen are the driving force behind STL Mural Project.
Jim Santel | St. Louis Beacon intern | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The wall near the intersection of 15th Street and Washington Avenue is like countless other walls in St. Louis: a bit grimy, overlooking a little-used space, and adorned with a faded advertisement from a dim past.

It’s the kind of wall, in other words, that most St. Louisans regularly pass without a second thought.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Last year’s Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts event around disparity on the two sides of Delmar Boulevard has produced plenty of discussion. On Sunday, the public gets a chance to help decide how to translate some of that talk into action, through competing proposals that range from farming to music-making to a wailing wall.