About Stone Soup
Washington, D.C.-based Stone Soup Productions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that produces and provides fiscal sponsorship for trailblazing documentaries and innovative outreach initiatives that help bring an astonishingly diverse body of American art, culture and achievement into focus, opening pathways for rich exploration of human themes. Stone Soup Productions approaches every project with a commitment to engage, educate and inspire, and is backed by a long history of producing high-caliber films, digital transmedia and engagement strategies designed to create impact.
The Story of Stone Soup
It’s only fitting that an organization dedicated to sharing a world of stirring human stories should borrow its mission, and name, from one of the world’s most universally inspiring tales. The centuries-old story of “Stone Soup” is told in many forms across the globe. This East-European version opens on a fractured post-war community struggling for sustenance—both for their bodies and their broken spirits.
Once upon a time, there was a desperate famine in which people jealously hoarded whatever food they could find, hiding it even from their friends and neighbors. One day a wandering soldier came into a village and began asking questions as if he planned to stay for the night.
“There’s not a bite to eat in the whole province,” he was told. “Better keep moving on.”
“Oh, I have everything I need,”said the soldier. “In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you.” He pulled an iron cauldron from his wagon, filled it with water, and built a fire under it. Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water.
By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come to the square or were watching from their windows. As the soldier sniffed the “broth” and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their skepticism. “Ahh,” the soldier said to himself rather loudly, “I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage—that’s hard to beat.” After a short time, a villager approached hesitantly, holding a cabbage he’d retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot. “Excellent!” cried the soldier. “You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salted beef as well, and it was fit for a king.” The village butcher managed to find some salted beef, and into the pot it went. Potatoes, onion, carrots, and so it went…the recipe grew—one villager, one house, one ingredient at a time—until a hearty and bountiful meal was had by all. The villagers offered the soldier a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell. The next day, he traveled on, taking his cauldron and stone with him.
Of course, the soldier in the story left the villagers with more than fond memories of a fine meal. He reminded them of what they had forgotten was possible: By working together with everyone contributing what they can, we all benefit.
More than just a production group, Stone Soup Productions aspires to be a catalyst for action—a reminder that our greatest potential isn’t realized in solitude, only in solidarity.