Day One at Open Engagement: The Food Is Great

by Corinna Kirsch on April 18, 2015 · 2 comments Events

Hello, Pittsburgh (and Conflict Kitchen)!

Hello, Pittsburgh (and Conflict Kitchen)!

Hello Pittsburgh! I’m here for Open Engagement, and I’m having a great time at the Pittsburgh iteration of the conference. Before I head out for the afternoon sessions, here’s a few highlights, news, and other tidbits about the event:

  • During opening remarks, Open Engagement staff announced the 2016 conference will be held in Oakland; 2017, Chicago; 2018, New York. I wonder how this’ll change who’ll be attending. I’m sure there’s plenty of people from the west coast who’ll want to attend once the conference comes back (it used to be held in Portland).
  • Not that numbers of attendees are an issue: I was told 1,074 people have registered for the conference this year.
  • Best part of Open Engagement so far: Conflict Kitchen. Last night, over one hundred attendees (and me) ate a Palestinian-style dinner in an open-air pavilion; we were surrounded by the grassy patches of Schenley Plaza, and a bit further away, a bronze dinosaur statue from the Museum of Natural History. After the main course, we watched a press reel; journalists have written plenty about Conflict Kitchen, but usually only when there’s been a protest, or to imply an impending controversy. BUT none of those stories mentioned that the food is actually really, really good. 95 percent of the organization’s revenue, we were told by Jon Rubin, artist and the organization’s founder, comes from selling food. That’d be impossible if the food weren’t tasty. And Conflict Kitchen does their research: the organization goes to other countries and spends time with families who live there to learn about how to make traditional meals. We were all given doggy bags to take food home with us, and we obliged, of course. Go eat there. It’s open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Just another nib about Conflict Kitchen: In May, they’re changing their menu from Palestinian to Cuban.


Karlo Yonit April 20, 2015 at 4:49 am

man who are all the mystery readers who retweet and share these stories on facebook but dont bother to leave a comment or anything? Rhizome suffers from this problem too. no one writes on this site it is a shame because it gives people like me a voice instead of people who know what there talking about. im up late so i will just take the time to share with you readers and you ladies of AFC a little bit about me. i was born and raised in south philly to proud irish parents and went to school for sports medicine. i know what youre thinking.. why are you using this site as a blog? the answer is because i am hung up bad over the cinemagraph discussion in the other thread and wondering why there arent a jillion more comments from AFC fans. i really appreciated your comment paddy and i dont think they are good or good art or even art. i was just messing with you. i like all of the girls at AFC and i really like last years calendar. if I were an up and coming young lady i would want to work for you Paddy. I respect your journalism. youre the only one who has the guts to cover stories that practically fly under the radar of the art world. i want to do a little test if you are reading this just say ‘thanks’ in the comment below. if this thread gets 20 ‘thanks’ i will tell you the secret javascript bookmarklet you can enter in your browser to unlock the most secret hidden area on this site that is currently being used by upwards of 20 people at any given moment. this site is actually a place where me and some other people hang out but it will take 20 ‘thanks’ to reveal this special space. im probably going to bed, thanks for the blog, ill read all your monday links when i get up

Paddy Johnson April 20, 2015 at 7:21 pm

I gotta admit, I’m a little disappointed this comment got shorted to a single letter! Waaah!

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