Monday, January 31, 2011

Salt City Dishes Wrap Up

Hi there! My name's Christine and I'm helping out with the social media for Salt City DISHES by mainly blogging, using our Twitter account (@SaltCityDishes), as well as posting things to the Facebook Fan Page.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend, the inaugural event was held at the St. Clare Theater on North Salina Street, on Syracuse’s North Side. The theater had a comfortable and cozy atmosphere, with small candles lining the tables throughout the room, along with strands of lights strung across the ceiling. DJs from WAER, Syracuse's local campus radio, played background music as the guests arrived.

Briana's homemade cupcakes were also a hit (and very pretty to look at!)

Once everyone was seated, our hosts for the night, Briana and Stasya, welcomed everyone to the event, thanking everyone who was able to help make it a reality. While listening to them speak, I thought about not only the importance of this event for a city like Syracuse, but its ability to bring together groups of people who might all share the same cause, but might not have been necessarily ever able to ever meet if it was not for DISHES. It made me proud to be able to be able to work with this organization.

Nine groups gave presentations about how they planned to use the money from DISHES to better Syracuse or the surrounding area. After the groups presented, our diners voted on the project they believed had the most potential -- awarding them $1,000 to realize their project.

The first presenters were Thomas and Meg from Library Far. Library Farm allows people to "check out" a plot of land at the Northern Onondaga Public Library in Cicero, NY, where they can grow their own fruits and vegetables. Anyone is allowed to sign up and begin using a plot of land.


Joe, Mike, Ken and Vanessa presented their idea for hosting an Upstate Improv Festival in Syracuse on April 8 & 9, 2011. The event would be "another reason for young artists to visit and perform in Syracuse," they said, and would be based on other such festivals in Providence, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. In addition to comedy performances, the festival would provide workshops on improvisational skills.

Tonja Torgerson and Joel Weissman, with Syracuse Urban Beautification Public Arts Resistance (SUBPAR), were next to present.

View the video of their winning proposal on our Facebook page, as well as a summary of their project on our blog as well or within the article that appeared in The Eagle. One of the things that I liked most about their proposal was the amount of detail for each individual tile that would be placed to make the city more aesthetically pleasing.


Daniel Alguilera from Syracuse Community Cookbook Series was next to present. He proposed collaborating with the Photography and Literacy (PAL) Project and La Casita Cultural Center where the cookbooks would not only pass down recipes to younger generations, but allow them to become more engaged within in their culture. Listening to his proposal, I thought of the recipes that have been passed down to me from my grandparents and how important they are to me.


Jay Muhlin and Nathaniel Sullivan, from Walking on Water, were up after Daniel. They proposed a collaborative audio tour for those wishing to walk down Water Street from Crouse Avenue to Clinton Square. Being within their 'target' audience, one of the interesting things that I took away from this presentation was their solution of trying to make more students walk downtown. I was initially hesitant at first, but after listening to their presentation, believed in their project and wanted it to succeed.


Storefront for Syracuse presented after a short intermission, proposing to revitalize old abandoned store fronts in Syracuse's downtown area, making them usable for local artists and students wishing to use them for exhibitions, and giving a new look to Syracuse's downtown.


Sara Mills from Art Cart presented her idea of a mobile bus with art supplies that would travel to outdoor locations throughout the city, providing free art activities within the community.


Skillshare was the second to last group to present: they proposeda day of free community workshops for anyone with a skill they would want to share with others. This past summer, Skillshare included workshops such as Real-World Community First Aid, Composting 101, Community Bike Repair and Divine Decks.


The final presentation was from FiboCuse, whose goal was to define the Fibonacci Spiral in Syracuse and gradually expand it beyond the city. Markers defining the spiral would be placed throughout the city and would be made between a collaboration of local high school students and artists.

Out of all of the night’s presentations, this was the most interesting and unique approach in attempting to improve Syracuse's overall image. I had heard of the Fibonacci sequence before, but never applied in this way. I hope that this project does become implemented, because of its originality and promise for Syracuse.

The night ended with a performance from Brown Bird, whose music perfectly complimented the atmosphere of the night. Overall, it was an amazing time and a great way to meet new artists and thinkers within Syracuse. I cannot wait for our next event in May and I am excited for what new ideas I will see there!

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