Philly Stake: Benefit Dinner Honors Innovative Ideas

This Sunday, January 30th, from 5 to 8pm, First Unitarian Church, 22nd and Chestnut Streets. 

Philly Stake, a local member of The Soup Network, honors outside-the-box ideas by hosting Sunday benefit dinners. Attendants give $10 to $20 towards a Philly Stake "Grant," eat a locally sourced meal, and watch presentations from 10 community projects. At the end of the evening, the audience decides which project gets the grant. Winners report their progress at the next dinner. All projects are community-invested and many are ecologically minded. Food provided by City Harvest, Green Meadow FarmGreener Partners, and Preston's Paradise with refreshments by Triumph Brewery.

Philly Rooted (Walnut Hill Community Farm), co-organized by Grid contributor Nic Esposito, received a $900 grant from the last Philly Stake Dinner. Continue after the jump for a rundown of the projects presenting this Sunday:


Sustainably-minded garment producer. Sources cotton textiles from Pennsylvania manufacturer and employs local crafts people in design. Grant Proposal: First year production of indigo, marigold and madder root dyes at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education community garden.

Food Forests                                                                                                                       

 Multi-lot community gardens project at the 500 block of Mercy Street in South Philly. Aspirations include an orchard, a pollinator garden, mushroom beds, rainwater harvesting, composting, free produce distribution, and neighborhood educational programming. Grant Proposal:  Construct a compost bin mostly from recycled materials, set up a rainwater harvesting system, build and plant two 100 square foot bio-intensive gardening beds, build and inoculate a three-season mushroom bed, and salvage or purchase used outdoor furniture for gatherings.

Good Night War                                                                                                                             

Dance-based exploration of the presence of war in our lives. Grant Proposal: Establish discussion-and-movement workshop for non-dancers, which will lead to a collaborative Philly performance.

The Soapbox                                                                                                                                  

Independent publishing center with zine library in West Philly. Grant ProposalPurchase materials and supplies for community workspace to provide free zine-making workshops.

UC Green's Bee Safe                                                                                                                      

Pollinator project teaching low-income high school students how to keep bees in West Philly. Grant Proposal: Grant will establish year-long pilot project, providing supplies for 5 students.

Public Art in Urban Gardens                                                                                                          

Envisions a hanging photography installation throughout the city’s urban gardens, featuring creative types at work in Philly. Grant Proposal: Pay for materials, printing and promotions of installation.

Recycled Artists-In-Residency                                                                                                      

Collaborative effort of artists and industrial designers fostering public awareness about the local waste stream. Aims to inspire creative methods of diverting waste from landfills. Grant Proposal: Purchase of hand and table saws for the re-purposing of materials.

Grow Together Mushroom Art Experiment                                                                                   

Collaborative mushroom sculpture to be displayed at Space 2033. Mushrooms will be fed at future Philly Stake dinners and donated to community gardens for soil remediation. Grant Proposal: Purchase materials for mushroom growing kits.

Refugee Urban Farm Project                                                                                                               

Establish a produce garden for recently resettled Bhutanese and Burmese refugees in South Philadelphia. Grant Proposal: After purchasing hand tools and other essentials, Refugee Urban Farm Project will provide supplies for preserving vegetables and assemble a cultural recipe book with nutritional analysis.

Warrior Writers                                                                                                                             

Encourages self-expression amongst war veterans through written word, performance and art. Grant Proposal: Launch Warrior Writers' first Philadelphia Operation Recovery Campaign event. A grant will pay for event space, promotions, workshop and discussion facilitators, art supplies, and childcare for vets with children