The Dinners Project

The Dinners Project launch in Kansas City, MO. Photo: Forester Michael
The Dinners Project launch in Kansas City, MO. Photo: Forester Michael
Art. Food. Democracy.

The Dinners Project is part of the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative designed to bring together artists, community leaders, and neighbors to explore the role of art in building a strong democracy and imagining a better future!

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PARTNERS

Creative Capital

For Freedoms

#LoveArmy


About

The Dinners Project is a non-partisan initiative of Creative Capital, in partnership with For Freedoms 50 State Initiative and #LoveArmy. We’re proud to be part of the 50 State Initiative, a platform that is activating a national network of artists and arts institutions to serve as civic forums for action and political discourse leading up to the mid-term elections.

The Dinners Project is designed to bring together artists, community leaders, and neighbors to explore the role of art in building a strong democracy and imagining a better future, and getting people active in the mid-term election!

In these challenging times, what we need most is imagination and vision. Artists have always been at the forefront of movement building and cultural evolution—bringing imagination and vision to life. What role will you play in shaping the future of our country and democracy?

The Dinners Project was inspired by the Day of Dinners led by the Dream Defenders in 2017, in collaboration with Women’s March, and Color of Change. Thank you to Margaret Silva for her support of the Dinners Project launch in Kansas City, MO.

Creative Capital

In response to the National Endowment for the Arts’ termination of the majority of its grant programs for individual artists, Creative Capital was founded in 1999 with a mission to reinvent cultural philanthropy and to support innovative artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines. Our pioneering Creative Capital Award involves building a long-term relationship with an artist, providing funding at strategic moments in the development of their project, and surrounding the artist with critical resources, counsel and advisory services. Creative Capital also offers a variety of tools and strategies needed for artists to have thriving practices and serves artists representing a diversity of disciplines, education and career levels, abilities, ages, genders, races, cultures and geographic locations. Since 1999, we have committed $40 million in project funding and advisory support to 511 projects representing 642 artists and have worked with more than 18,000 artists in over 800 creative communities across the country.

For Freedoms

Founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Creative Capital Awardee Eric Gottesman, For Freedoms encourages new forms of critical discourse. With a mission to use art as a vehicle to build greater participation in American Democracy, For Freedoms is a platform for greater participation in the arts and in civil society. FF produce’s exhibitions, installations, public programs, and billboard campaigns to advocate for inclusive civic participation. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms uses art to encourage and deepen public explorations of freedom in the 21st century.

#LoveArmy

The #LoveArmy is a network of people across the country who are committed to revolutionary love. Together, we are building a nation where everyone matters and every vote counts. We lead projects that stand up to hate, heal divides and create a place of dignity for all people. Through education, connection and action, we grow love + power. #LoveArmy is an initiative of the Dream Corps, a social justice accelerator founded by Van Jones.


What to Expect

For Hosts
When you sign up to host a dinner, we’ll send you a host guide developed by #LoveArmy. We want hosting to be as easy as possible with engaging and thought-provoking conversation that leads to actions big and small. In the guide, we’ll walk you through the hosting process step-by-step and offer support as you go along. The guide will include discussion questions and different exercises for bringing your group together.

Host or Attend an Open Event
If you’d like to host an event that’s open to the public or you’d like to attend an open event, please use the signup form at the top of this page. We’ll do our best to connect you and let people know about your event.

Other questions?
The guide should answer most of your questions, but if you haven’t found an answer you can reach out to us at dinners@creative-capital.org or check the FAQ.


Public Dinners

On this map are locations of dinners available for the public to attend. Select a location and use the event link to signup!


#DinnersProject

We want to know what’s happening around the country! Share your photos and videos!


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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Have a question about the dinners not in our FAQ?

    Contact us at dinners@creative-capital.org

    What does it mean to host a dinner?

    If you sign up to host a dinner, it means you’ll plan the dinner—find a location, send invites, host and facilitate on the day of. We’ve put together a host guide that walks you through each step, so if you’ve never done this before, that’s no problem. You also don’t have to do everything yourself – feel free to collaborate with friends or ask attendees for help.

    Can I attend a dinner rather than host one?

    Yes—some of the dinners will be private but others will be open to the public. Once the hosts have decided on dates and locations, we’ll let you know where the open dinners will be so you can attend if there’s one near you.

    Is there a fee to host?

    No.

    Do I have to be an artist to host?

    No—anyone can host. We encourage you to invite artists, but you don’t have to be one to host or attend.

    How many people should I invite to my dinner?

    Up to you! It’s good for conversation to have at least 5, but it’s really just what you’re comfortable with. In the host guide we give some direction on how to facilitate the evening whether it’s a large or small gathering.

    If I’m a host, do I have to pay for dinner?

    No. You’re welcome to cater the dinner if you want, but these are meant to be potluck dinners.

    How long should dinners last?

    We recommend the event be about 3 hours long. You’re welcome to make it as long as you’d like. Less than 3 hours probably won’t be enough time to connect, eat, and dig into conversation.

    Can I host a dinner if I’m abroad?

    Absolutely!

    How did you get the idea to do this?

    #DinnersProject was developed in collaboration with For Freedoms and #LoveArmy and was inspired by a Day of Dinners, an activation conceived by the Dream Defenders in collaboration with the Women’s March and Color of Change that took place On June 25th, 2017. Nearly 11,000 people in more than 250 cities across the country came together with their neighbors in potluck style dinners as a way to build stronger bonds across communities.