Charlotte Keniston – A Full Plate

Charlotte Keniston Page Photo-01

The F.E.A.S.T. funds were used to nish a project I had recently started, a Full Plate. Through this project I hosted workshops in which participants and i considered what food means to us culturally, socially, environmentally, and through the lens of family, community, and social justice. Participants then painted a dinner plate (either from their own home or one I furnish) with their ideas of what food is. Once several hundred plates had been painted, I displayed them and also hosted a series of community meals with the workshop participants and others, where we continued the discussion of food and our community. The project was implemented through a series of workshops, providing participants a space to consider the food context in which they live.

Each of those participants, plus many others from the neighborhood and beyond were invited to the community meals at the end.  All aspects of the project were documented through photo, video, and sound (often, the participants themselves were the ones generating this documentation). The neighborhood in which I completed this project is the neighborhood in which I live and do many of my community art projects. I am a part of a neighborhood food justice group, Pigtown Food for Thought. I vet all of my ideas through this group, assuring that they make sense for our context. Through this food justice group we have built a community garden and advocated for the opening of a grocery store in the neighborhood. This group gives participants in my art projects an outlet for activism around the issues that often arise in workshops or community meals. As I work with participants through projects, many times I form relationships with them and they help to determine my next project. The community I work in is Pigtown, a neighborhood in southwest baltimore. It is a vibrant, diverse community that has struggled economically for generations. The idea of this project, and of the greater Pigtown Food for Thought group is to create a community in which everyone has access to healthy food, but also in which we think about food through the lens of community. My desire is to see neighbors growing, cooking, sharing, and advocating for food together. we’ve seen murmurings of it already.

 

Visit Charlotte’s A Full Plate blog

www.cargocollective.com