Chautauqua: Creating Community Through Food

I’ve had the honor and pleasure of collaborating with Derek Denckla, founder of Farm City, in the past and I am so excited for his upcoming project called Chautauqua: Creating Community Through Food, featuring 20+ events in the likes of potlucks, book clubs, speakers, and performances presented by seven artists and organizations dedicated to harvesting community, dialogue, and creative productivity through the medium of food.

In an effort to “collapse the distinction between maker and consumer”, Chautauqua aims to cultivate and educate through food while “harking back to historic cultural gatherings started in New York and held in rural farm communities all over America.” To provide some background history, Chautauqua Assemblies provided entertainment and culture to remote farm areas in the 19th century. Here, it is presented to urban dwellers through art and performance, education and culture.

Over the next few months, seven presentations will take place at 61 Local. Of note is artist Chole Bass’  Process Dinner, an “interactive performance and meal” where individual recipes are broken and consumed per ingredient or step within its instructions, allowing for a conscious consumptive experience. Artist and curator Tracy Candido will give guests an opportunity to source ingredients from the local market and work in groups to create recipes using the same ingredients and share the recipes collectively. An organization called Communal Table will host monthly dinners to “foster mindfulness of the ways cooking and eating are communal acts.” I am particularly excited about Communal Table #2, titled Covered Dish, in which participants bring a dish and learn about the tradition of potlucks. The Sustainability Speaker series will highlight “innovative individuals empowered to make sustainability a part of their life” and cover topics like food, water, transportation, and preservation. You can also Talk Trash with a group of artists who collect your waste and make you, talk. The conversation is titled Deriva-trivia: The Trajectory of Trash from Production to Consumption.

Check out more details and a very full schedule of events on the Farm City Website. Can’t wait!

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