Friday, October 28, 2016

Our favorite time of the year is here...

Syracuse, we're so excited to see your creative and passionate proposals for how you'd enliven Syracuse. If you're ready to fill out an application - hit the 'Requests for Proposals' tab on our website.

Don't forget - DISHES looks for projects that include a public component; are well-developed/past the "idea-stage"; will take place in Syracuse, NY; and are scheduled to happen/launch within one year of winning the grant.

Want to attend an info session to learn what DISHES is all about? Let us know by sending us an email (

Many thanks to designer Tommy Lincoln for making our RFP so gorgeous. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Checking in on Syracuse Plays Chess

             Anton Ninno is not a chess master. He’ll be the first to tell you that. He’ll also be the first to tell you about the power of chess. Regardless of whether you’re rich or poor, a nerd or a jock, you can enjoy a game. Regardless of your skin color or your native tongue, you speak the same language when you play chess.
            “Chess is magic,” Anton said. “It just works for some kids. I don’t know why.”
            Anton is the founder of Syracuse NY Chess Association, the winner of the top prize $2,000 grant at the most recent Salt City DISHES community dinner. Syracuse Chess aims to teach children life skills through chess clubs and tournaments.
            He was introduced to DISHES by his daughter, who mentioned that it might be a good way to get the word out about the Syracuse NY Chess Association. Anton approached the presentation with hopes of networking.
            “I was as surprised as anyone that we actually won,” he said.
            The attitude he hopes to instill in young chess players is the same; it’s more than just victory or defeat, it’s the words you share in the meantime.
            “It doesn't matter if you’re the winner or the loser,” he explained. “You do the same thing. You have the same conversation.”
            Since winning the grant, Anton and his team have been expanding their reach to local libraries and community centers around the city. They teach chess workshops and help organize tournaments. Each location has its own flavor, he explained, adding that while the program was designed for children, Syracuse Chess has managed to reach adults, too.
            When it comes down to it, for anyone he’s teaching, chess is just a game. But it’s also so much more than that. For one student who joined chess club in first grade, the game might have been a nudge toward the right path for the future, Anton pondered, explaining that the young boy got serious about school because he wanted to stay in the club.
            “Maybe chess saved his life,” Anton said.

You can find additional coverage on the Syracuse NY Chess Association here:

To learn more about Syracuse NY Chess Association, search “Syracuse NY Chess” on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

DISHES turns 6!

This October marks 6 years since the DISHES concept was first conceived by Rachel Somerstein, inspired by a similar dinner she had attended in Brooklyn, NY, called F.E.A.S.T. A team of three, including Briana Kohlbrenner and Stasya Erickson, was formed in October 2010 and thus Salt City DISHES was born! Full of magic and celebration, the first DISHES dinner debuted on January 23, 2011. The event was an instant success with a sold-out crowd of 175 attendees and 9 exciting presentations. Here's a look back at our very first dinner captured by Daylight Blue Media.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Introducing our new co-director, Lorna!

The DISHES team is incredibly excited to announce a new addition, Lorna Oppedisano, who will help Jeremy and Stasya plan, sustain and grow DISHES. Lorna's been connected to DISHES since the very beginning and covered our very first event for the Syracuse New Times back in 2011. What has she been up to since then? Here's what she had to share with us...

What do you do for work?
I’m the managing editor of Syracuse Woman Magazine. We’re a monthly magazine that highlights the achievements of women in our area. In my day-to-day, I get the privilege to interview and write about these ladies, and I’m inspired by them daily. I also coordinate with a slew of extremely talented photographers and writers to produce content for the magazine.

What do you do when you’re not working?
What most people don’t know about me is that I’m an introvert. I love to be as involved as possible and meet new people, but when all is said and done, I like some time to myself to recharge. So when I’m not working, you’d probably find me either outside or at the gym running or hanging out with family and friends.

Why did you decide to get involved with DISHES?
I’ve been a fan of DISHES since the early days! Back in college, I interned at the Syracuse New Times. One of my first assignments was to write about Salt City DISHES. I met the folks involved in founding the event, and have stayed interested ever since. I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of it.

In your opinion, what’s the best part of the event?
That’s such a hard question! OK, if I just had to pick one thing, it’d be the fact that it’s a community event. I know that sounds simple, but there aren’t a ton of events that are by and for the community and open to anyone who wants to be involved.

Welcome, Lorna! We're so very excited to have you on board.