2009 Forecast grantees Grace Davitt + Anna MetcalfeÂ collaborated with Redeemer Lutheran Church + Redeemer Center for Life to host weekly outdoor dinners with one of a kind handmade ceramic tableware. At the last dinner participants were invited to take the dinnerware home with them to keep memories of the warm summer nights alive through the winter. Karis Thompson shares impressions of the event.
“A perfect summer evening for a meal outdoors.Â Tables draped with linen and set with handmade ceramic dishware, each uniquely designed and glazed.Â A menu showcasing locally raised meats and the harvest of urban gardens prepared collaboratively by seasoned and emerging chefs.Â Music inspiring conversation and movement.Â Neighbors and friends from near and far eating together, talking together â€“ the meal and conversation extending well past the typical 20-30 minutes usually allocated for dining and ending only when all the food has been eaten or the sun begins to set.
How does this happen? And how did this happen in the Harrison neighborhood of North Minneapolis, a community whose median income and lack of whole foods offerings too often force a diet of affordable, accessible processed and fast foods?
It happened through the power of people and their connections and collaboration.Â Through Grace and Anna who wanted to explore the synergies of community and art and slow food and invested much in the conceiving and realization of this Thursday Nights Out venture.Â Through the commitment of neighborhood community gardeners â€“ organized by Harriet â€“ who lent their particular gardening wisdom and hours of cultivation to produce a striking harvest from the garden in Redeemerâ€™s backyard. Â Through neighborhood and visiting chefs passionate about recipes and taste and nurturing family and friends.Â Through local farmers who raised meat and produce for our table.Â Through volunteers gathering to cook and set tables and host a meal and wash dishes and greet neighbors from early in the morning to late in the evening each Thursday.Â And through a communityâ€™s openness to new recipes, new ways of cooking and eating, new conversations and relationships, and collaborating through different ways of perceiving, communicating, interacting.
Thursday Nights Out gave us a taste of being and becoming a community nurtured by inspired food and the power of relationships.”
-Reflection by Karis Thompson