May 22 Soup and Bread Experiment will benefit Cedar Lee Mini-Park

Photo from the March 2018 Soup and Bread event at the BottleHouse, showcasing a variety of soups offered.

The CLE Soup and Bread Experiment’s next monthly event at the BottleHouse in Cleveland Heights will take place on Wednesday, May 22, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Donations from the evening will benefit the Cedar Lee Mini-Park Placemaking Project, which seeks to turn the Cedar Lee Mini-Park into a vibrant gathering space.

The CLE Soup and Bread Experiment is an all-volunteer organization that shares soup, breaks bread, and donates each month to a worthy cause. Volunteer soup makers bring hot soup to the event, local bakeries provide bread and, together, they make a meal. The meal is free, but participants are asked to contribute to the donation bucket, in support of a worthy cause.

Heights resident Simona Mkrtschjan learned about the Soup and Bread Experiment through a friend in Chicago, and decided that she wanted to bring it to her hometown. In existence for just over two years, the Cleveland group has evolved and grown. Events are now organized, curated, and led by Nicole Rossa, Kirstan Ryan and other Heights volunteers. “We chose soup because soup is more than soup—while nourishing and comforting, it also binds people together,” said Rossa.

“We create regular opportunities for neighbors to get each other in service of an organization that is looking to strengthen and enhance our community,” explained Ryan. “In this fast-paced world it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of organizations that need help and the challenges that face us, but what if there was an easy button that said: if you get together and eat soup and give a small donation once a month, you are actively working to help strengthen your community?”

The Cedar Lee Mini-Park Placemaking Project Steering Committee is grateful for the support of the CLE Soup and Bread Experiment’s May 22 event. Spearheaded by FutureHeights, the committee’s partner organizations and businesses include Friends of the Cedar Lee Mini-Park, Heights Arts, the city of Cleveland Heights, the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District, the Cedar Lee Theatre, Heights Libraries, Cleveland Heights High School, Westwork Architectural Studio, Boss Dog Brewing Company, and CLE Urban Winery.

The Cedar Lee Mini-Park site was formed by the closing of a public right-of-way (Cedarbrook Road) in the 1960s to accommodate additional parking behind the commercial structures on Lee Road. The site currently serves as a pass-through for visitors, connecting the rear parking lot and garage to Lee Road.

The site has potential to be more than a walkway, however. Members of the steering committee, and residents, believe it can become a community asset that serves businesses, residents, visitors, students, families and more. Plans for the site include a native pollinator garden, and an outdoor art gallery that reflects the diverse character of Cleveland Heights.

Funds raised at the May 22 event will support the Cedar Lee Mini-Park Placemaking Project’s interactive mural and student ambassador program, led by artist Tom Masaveg.

To learn more, or get involved, visit

Sruti Basu

Sruti Basu is the director of community programs at FutureHeights.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 12:30 PM, 05.14.2019