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cropped-001_2041.jpgRooting: Regional Branches, Global Concerns unites trios of artists/farmers/chefs in Chicago and India and connects diverse fields of urban agriculture, food, the arts and small business, catalyzing discussion across disciplines in order to create new hybrid models of sustainability and to better connect people to what they eat. Merging the poetic with pragmatic action in response to the challenging and urgent matters of growing and consuming food sustainably, the trios will collaborate on meals as artworks, conducting discussions and workshops centered on growing, eating and distributing food in cities.

The Symposium: From October 18-20, lectures, workshops, tours and vendors at the Chicago Cultural Center on the subject of urban agriculture will compliment a series of four themed meals developed by creative teams composed of farmer/artist/chef trios at Roots & Culture in Wicker Park. The event will pull together local, regional, and international presenters to share projects and best practices addressing soil health, water conservation, advocacy, food production and distribution, and building sustainable communities. Presentations will be documented on video and posted online with a companion online publication with contributions by symposium participants.

The symposium will kickoff with New Delhi-based artist Akshay Raj Singh Rathore as keynote speaker. Rathore, Flora Boillot, and the Rhizome Alliance, supported in part from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago EAGER grant and a Propeller Grant, are establishing a new international collaboration that expands Rathore/Boillot’s project, NegotiatingRoutes, which re-introduces heritage seeds and indigenous trees in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Sullivan Galleries: At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Symposium visitors can experience a concurrent exhibition by artists Akshay Rathore (featuring a rooftop garden of fall root vegetables), Nancy Klehm and TBA.

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