Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Syracuse Gathers to Eat, Vote, and Innovate

by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder

Growing up in Auburn I spent little time in Syracuse until I moved back to the area last fall and began an internship at Northside Urban Partnership. During my time here, I’ve found this much to be true: we who live and work in Syracuse love our city. This past Saturday I attended DISHES for the first time and couldn’t wait to demolish a Mexican feast and vote for my favorite innovative public project. Under the soft glow of strung lights, the rows of long tables were filled with people who wanted to enrich their city by voting for one of five projects: Salina St. Refreshed, the Cooperative Permaculture Garden, Trees: Symbols of Powerful Experiences, Noexcuses: LOWdowns, and Syracuse in Print. The presentation content touched upon a number of topics; some presenters promised to preserve Syracuse’s history by hand painting faded signs that boast of the city’s past or by recording the personal histories of Syracuse’s residents. Others focused on art as a way to bring the community together and celebrate the talents within our city through an art competition showcased on the walls of the Tech Garden and a series of print-related workshops culminating in a small press festival. The project that won the $1,000 grant, however, enacts change through the youth of our city. An alum and two current students at Nottingham High School presented their community garden initiative called, the Cooperative Permaculture Garden. The garden would be a hands-on opportunity for students at Nottingham to learn about healthy eating, the sciences, and how to work together to produce food for families in need. The project will bring together the Nottingham community and give students and their families a connection to Syracuse through food and gardening.

Before the presentations began we were reminded of the generosity of Syracuse and the surrounding community. Much of the food and drink were donated by local businesses and farmers, allowing the chef to create a variety of delicious dishes, including an assortment of enchiladas, black bean soup, and Spanish risotto. As volunteers served food and drink, it became clear that the dinner was for the community, by the community, in order to improve the community.

After all the lemon cookies were eaten and the coffee poured, the winner was announced and the Cooperative Permaculture Garden appeared on stage to accept their grant and a porcelain Syracuse China dish which served as the group’s trophy. The excitement was palpable and we rushed to add our names to volunteer lists for all of the projects presented that night. Like many presenters in the past, we look forward to seeing these projects succeed and find support through other initiatives. We still want to hear the histories of Syracuse and we still want to see historic advertising signs refreshed, art on the walls of the Tech Garden, and Syracuse in print. There is no absence of support in our city. There is no absence of cool and innovative projects. There is no absence of talent. Perhaps most importantly, there’s no absence of pride in calling Syracuse “home.”

 Photo by Allison Gates, allisongates.com

 Photo by Allison Gates, allisongates.com

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cooperative Permaculture Garden Wins!

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Stetson
WHEW! What an amazing weekend! THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the sponsors, supporters, team members, presenters, volunteers, and attendees. 

The 4th DISHES was a great success and we're very excited to announce the winner - Cooperative Permaculture Garden at Nottingham High School! Reina, Symone and Sterling did a great job presenting and we can't wait to see what they're able to accomplish with the micro-grant. Best of luck to the other four projects - we know they're going to accomplish incredible things in this city, regardless.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Many Thanks!

DISHES would not be possible without the generous donations of individuals, businesses and farmers from across the region! This evening, you'll have a chance to sample from this generosity. We are so grateful!

Our Sponsors:

Art Store
Assumption Church
First English Lutheran
Cafe Kubal 
Cobblestone Valley Farm
Dessert by Design 
Grindstone Farm 
Mandana Inn
Side Hill Farmers 
Small Potatoes
Sound Garden
Stones Throw Farm
Today's Rentals
Wagner Valley Brewing Co 
Wake Robin Farm

After the event, get out there and support these wonderful people!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Max McKee to Perform at DISHES

We are proud to present our music for the evening: the one and only Max McKee!

Inspired by American and World folk music, Rhythm and Blues, ancient and modern spiritual teachings, and the sounds of shamanic music from across the globe, the music of Max McKee is aimed at wonder. A native of the Syracuse area and a graduate of SUNY Oswego, Max has been adventuring through music from the get go. Blended with this child-like energy of playfulness, hypnotic rhythms, textural chord colors, and lyrics seeking higher consciousness bring this music together to create a melting pot of mystical roots music.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Side Hill Farmers - New Sponsor Spotlight!

Side Hill Farmers, a cooperative of livestock farmers based in Madison County, just donated some local ground beef for our event! Once you sample it, you'll have even more reason to stay updated on their soon-to-be opened butcher shop and local-foods market in Manlius! Stay tuned through their facebook and website; they're aiming for an opening date of mid-June.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vinomania - New Sponsor Spotlight!

Tonight you'll get a chance to sample some vines from the infamous VinoMan! In addition to wine, the store sells unique and tasty spirits. Funky atmosphere, approachable staff, and frequent wine tastings make Vinomania a MUST visit.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Today's Rentals - New Sponsor Spotlight!

Today's Rental, located at 705 N. State Street, has generously donated the use of 24 tables for our dinner! Got an event coming up? They also rent out tents and chairs. We're grateful!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cafe Kubal - New Sponsor Spotlight!

Our event is made possible through the generous donations of goods and services from local businesses, farms and individuals. It's thanks to them that we're able to make ticket prices affordable while offering such a generous supply of food and drinks. On May 11th, you'll have the pleasure of sipping some delicious Cafe Kubal coffee while eating dinner and watching presentations. This business prides itself on making "coffee for the soul" and you can sample some of their delights in three different neighborhoods around Syracuse- Downtown, Eastwood and on SU Campus.

Want to learn more? You can do so through Cafe Kubal's facebook, twitter or website.

Enormous thanks to them for their contribution and wholehearted support of our effort!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 2013 Posters!

Mark your calendars - tickets for our May 11th dinner go on sale on THURSDAY MAY 9th and will be available until they sell out at Syracuse's The Sound Garden and The Art Store. A huge thanks to these two businesses for supporting our effort. When you drop by - buy something awesome!