Leaping Lizard to Host 2 Fundraisers for Stone Soup Collective

Rivertown Stomp on Friday, January 22nd, is a collaboration with two local nonprofit organizations, The Cincinnati Music Foundation and Jazz and Roots Cincinnati. This 1940's-themed event, will feature a 17-piece swing band, The Jump n' Jive Show Band, a Western Swing band The Midwestern Swing, a Ragtime pianist, Jeremy Stevenson, a wonderful group of dancers from SwinGallery, and historical elements (such as a wartime fashion contest). More info can be found here

RAoK the Casbah on Saturday, January 30th is first and foremost a celebration of the first year anniversary for the Stone Soup Collective's "Random Acts of Kindness" project. Since Feb of 2015, this grassroots group of volunteers has performed a monthly outreach in the community, including clothes/food drives, visits to senior homes, surprise gifts to police officers and firefighters, and much more. All of the costs for these events have been out of pocket for the volunteers. The proceeds from this fundraiser will go toward supplies for future outreach events, as they continue to grow their group in numbers as well as their scope. The concert will feature Wabi Sabi Ambient Jazz Experiment, Poco Loco Latin Jazz, Coe, Common Center, a Zumba dance hour, a limbo contest, and a giant drum and dance jam session. More info on this event can be found here.

We sat down with Liz Wu, the director of The Stone Soup Collective, prior to these events!

Tell us about The Stone Soup Collective…
The Stone Soup Collective's mission is to build community through education and outreach with a focus on music, creativity and wellness. This may involve a musical workshop or performance, a community drum circle, opportunities to volunteer with Random Acts of Kindness, a collaboration among various arts organizations, and much more. We are interested in bringing people together, encouraging creative self-expression and giving practical, hands-on ways to improve our communities and build relationships.

What made you decide to start The Stone Soup Collective?
I started the organization because I am always amazed by the amount of talent and the amount of heart that is present within our city. I wanted to create a means for people to connect around the arts as a vehicle for positive social change and individual well-being. Oftentimes, the arts are relegated to the realm of entertainment - but they are so much more than an enjoyable pastime; music is healing, dance is liberating, literature is enlightening, theater is provoking, visual art is inspiring. Beyond that, the arts are communal in nature - since there is always an audience in mind, the act of creation invites interaction. Therefore, we aim to bring people together through the arts, with a focus on concrete ways to invite public engagement and direct community involvement. 

What items are most needed for donations? What are other ways people can help out?
During these events, we will be accepting donations of hats, gloves, scarves, gloves, kitty litter and cat food in preparation for our upcoming drives. Cash donations are also helpful and will assist the participating organizations in continuing their work. Individuals interested in becoming a volunteer for any of the organizations mentioned above would be most welcome and can email kindflash@gmail.com for more info and visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kindflash/ 

What is next for The Stone Soup Collective?
For 2016, we hope to establish The Stone Soup Collective as a 501c3 organization, broaden our programming throughout the area, and begin to host classes and workshops at our studio at The Turtle and the Stone Productions in Newtown.