The Norfolk Arts Center may have changed the name of its annual fundraiser, but don’t worry, there's still going to be soup.
The Norfolk Arts Center rebranded the annual Soup ’R Art fundraiser into Artisans Along the Avenue. The event will now be a soup and art crawl along Norfolk Avenue.
According to Elley Coffin, the Norfolk Arts Center program coordinator, they decided to change the event space because they were outgrowing the old location. Plus, COVID-19 has made things complicated.
“We've kind of outgrown the college a little bit,” Coffin said. “But you know, as COVID-19 has come back around, even restaurants were like ‘if it's the only format, we won't be able to participate because we don't have the manpower or the supplies to pack everything up and move to a venue.’ ”
The Soup ’R Art event previously has been at Northeast Community College’s Lifelong Learning Center. Now, people will have the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance of each restaurant.
Coffin said local artists would be stationed inside the restaurants so people can enjoy their soup and look at art at the same time. Plus, it keeps people out of the cold.
“We definitely want to keep our artists indoors,” Coffin said. “And honestly, the restaurants are pumped about that because they're like ‘we want these people in here.’ ”
Artisans Along the Ave will feature six local restaurants and their soup: Black Cow Fat Pig; The Pier Seafood; The 411; Taylor Made Catering; White Mulberry Bakery; and District Table and Tap.
Another new addition this year for the Artisans Along the Avenue event is wine. Jim’s Fine Wine and More will be serving wine at the event to people of legal drinking age, Coffin said.
According to Coffin, the rebranding of their fundraiser also will provide for more outreach for the arts center’s biggest event of the year.
“Norfolk has been striving to create an art scene here and an art presence,” Coffin said. “I think this event really accents that because we’re literally dispersing the art through normal locations that people are at.”
There are six local artists who will be at Artisans of the Avenue, including Coffin’s sister, Abbey Coffin, as well as Roger Nadrchal, Mike Fluent, Josephine Ramirez, Denise Dendinger and the Wayne State College Art Club.
The event didn’t take place in person last year because of COVID-19. Instead, Norfolk Arts Center hosted the event virtually.
“We missed the in-person, restaurant and community aspect of it,” Coffin said.
Coffin said the arts center usually would expect around 800 people to attend the event. But with COVID-19 and other factors, it’s hard to tell exactly how many people will attend.
The Artisans Along the Avenue event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 29, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.