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Chicago Recipe Box

The mission of Potluck: Chicago is to use the concept of a potluck where everyone brings a different dish to an event, to explore ways that the city can come together as equals, sharing our stories, joys and struggles, while celebrating the diversity that makes Chicago what it is. The Chicago Recipe Box, the awesome project, will archive our process and promote further city wide community bonding. The project will foster new connections, strengthening Potluck: Chicago’s sustainability.

How it works: 1. Participants bring comfort food and recipe to potluck 2. A meal is shared 3. Cards are collected 4. A deck is made 5. Deck is added to the handmade Chicago Recipe Box 6. Deck is added to the online archive in a printable PDF format

Two formats for the Box//Archive: 1. Handmade - we will craft several editions to be given to the community partners who helped us launch the project 2. Digital – full archive available online for anyone to access and construct their own Chicago Recipe Box

For the potlucks, held at various community organizations around the city, guests bring a portion of their favorite comfort food dish and its recipe to share with others. We chose comfort food because we believe it creates comfortable spaces and conversations among strangers. Through the empathic act of bringing a taste of your favorite comfort food from your culture to a table of strangers, the potluck fosters a connection among diverse cultures and generations over the common need for nourishment. These moments of mutual generosity, when the story of one dish is exchanged for another, often reveals additional commonalities and dependencies among a seemingly incompatible group of people.

(Support from The Awesome Foundation will significantly help us prepare for our role in the forthcoming exhibition "RISK: Empathy, Art and Social Practice", where we will both exhibit the project and host meals around Chicago where cards will once again be collected and added to the archive.)

Funded by Chicago, IL (December 2013)