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Combining storytelling and cooking to create cultural exchange in Detroit.
Combining storytelling and cooking to create cultural exchange in Detroit.
109 backers pledged $8,909 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$8,909

109

For the past three years, I've been working to lower the barrier of connection between people through the art of storytelling. 

My first storytelling project, Pedal to Porch, is a neighborhood bike ride that includes stops to along a route where residents use their front porch as a stage to tell their story.

Its purpose is to encourage neighbors to get to know each while celebrating neighborhood history and inspiring deeper conversations about community change.

We've been successful at garnering community support. Here are a couple of newsworthy articles here:

Please watch this video to virtually experience Pedal to Porch:

We have organized Pedal to Porch events in 6 different neighborhoods in Detroit, and each experience has taught us a valuable lesson: everyone has a story worth sharing. 

My reason for launching a Kickstarter campaign is to support my newest project called, Dinner for 30.

Dinner for 30

Dinner for 30 is a multi-sensory experience that encourages people to bridge cultural gaps through live storytelling and cooking.

Essentially, a cook is invited to prepare a dish that is connected to a fond memory and tell a story about it. At the end of the story, the audience of 30 gets to taste the dish.

We will host and film five (5) events and will design a Detroit story cookbook as well as add event video summaries to our YouTube Channel.

Storytelling events like Dinner for 30 helps to bridge gaps, teach lessons, inspire action, illustrate commonalities, preserve history, impart wisdom, restore spirits, activate the imagination, and infuse hope. Storytelling can help create a more creative, connected, and just world. 

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Since making the announcement about Dinner for 30, we've been invited to write guest articles about the experience. Please see the articles here:

We're looking forward to launching and hosting the 2018 dinner series.

2018 Schedule

  • February 24 
  • March 23 
  • April 28 
  • May 26 
  • June 30

The Timeline

In August 2017, I prototyped Dinner for 30 with a talented group of individuals participating in the National Arts Strategies Fellowship in Vermont. I received some crucial feedback that helped me reshape the experience.

On September 30, 2017, we hosted a final prototype dinner in Detroit to fine-tune the experience and promote the upcoming season.

October 2017 - January 2018, our team will confirm all cooks, venues, and strategic partners for the 2018 series.

By February 2018, with new insights and an awesome line-up of cooks, we will officially launch the Dinner for 30 series.

The Funds

We intended to raise $8,500 to pay for food cost, stipends for the cook and storyteller, and, partially, videography services. We will record short segments of each event and post them on YouTube as part of a Dinner for 30 web series. We will pay for design and editing services for the Detroit story cookbook. 

The Rewards

Some of the rewards include:

  • A digital download/printed copy of the Detroit story cookbook featuring five (5) simple recipes that are connected to 5 family stories in Detroit. The cookbook is for the novice and expert cook alike. Anyone who appreciates home-cooked meals will want to own a copy of this fun, easy, and meaningful cookbook. 
  • A private cooking lesson with a featured cook and a custom Detroit Denim Apron.

Doesn't that sound appetizing? 

Even if you can't make it to an event, as a backer you will have access to the videos via our YouTube Channel and you can see event photos via Dinner for 30 Instagram.

About the Founder

Storytelling transformed my life. 

In 2015, my father was tragically killed, and I fell into a depression. A fog settled over my head that I couldn't shake. One day, I wrote a list of happy pursuits, and "tell my dad's story" was one of them.

That same day, I reached out to Satori Shakoor, my mentor and founder of Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, and asked if I could tell a story on stage to honor my father. Satori agreed and helped me shape my story.

As I formed the story, I noticed a shift in my mood. I began to reconnect to old memories of my father and transformed them into a loving, compassionate image of him. When I shared my story on stage, the fog completely dissipated. I was renewed.

Since then, I've dedicated my work to helping people to craft and tell their stories because storytelling is a tool to heal, transform, and connect.

My father, Cornell, on my very first birthday.
My father, Cornell, on my very first birthday.

If you enjoy storytelling and love food, I hope you will support this project!

You may find additional information on our website: http://dinnerfor30.strikingly.com

Risks and challenges

Our goal is to design an experience and product that connects people to the beautiful stories and delectable recipes. We recognize that we might have challenges with the live events, i.e., the technology not working properly, the storyteller may not be well rehearsed, the food may not be as tasty as the recipe sounds. However, we have developed a process to minimize these challenges and have incorporated a feedback loop to gain insight on how re-work the plans for the next dinner.

We firmly believe that we have the right people in place to turn this dream into a reality. If you are as passionate about live storytelling and cooking as we are, please support this campaign. Many thanks!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Send Good Vibes

    We most graciously accept your good vibes. You'll receive Kickstarter backer updates and access to our YouTube channel to watch the series.

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    Master a Meal

    You'll receive a digital download of one (1) recipe and story of your choosing. (+ all previous rewards.)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Download the Entire Cookbook

    Interested in adding new, simple recipes to your cooking repertoire? You'll receive a digital download of the Detroit story cookbook featuring five (5) recipes that are each connected to five (5) family stories in Detriot. The cookbook makes cooking fun, easy, and meaningful. Additionally, you'll gain access to our YouTube channel to watch the series, and your name will appear in the "Backers" section on the official website.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Feast Your Eyes

    You'll receive one (1) pre-order ticket to Dinner for 30. (+ all previous rewards.)

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Master the Collection

    You'll receive a printed copy of the Detroit story cookbook featuring five (5) simple recipes and stories. You'll gain access to the Youtube channel to view the series, and your name will appear in the "Book Backers" section of the cookbook and website.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Taste & Read Detroit

    A special thanks to Belt Magazine for donating Detroit themed books to the campaign. Now we have a book bundle reward that includes the Detroit Story Cookbook, Aaron Foley’s “How to Live in Detroit Without Being A Jackass”, “The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook” edited by Aaron Foley, and finally “A Detroit Anthology” edited by Anna Clark.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Bring a Buddy

    You'll receive two (2) tickets to one (1) Dinner for 30 event and two (2) digital downloads of the Detroit story cookbook. Additionally, your name will appear in the "Event Backers" section of the book and website.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Eat For Your Heart's Content

    You'll receive one (1) ticket to all five (5) events and a printed copy of the Detroit story cookbook. Your name will appear in the "Signature Backers" section of the official website, book, and video credits. (+ all Master the Collection rewards.)

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    Pledge $425 or more About $425

    Chat with the Cook

    Want to talk to the cook? You'll get a 30-minute scheduled conversation (Skype/Google Hangout) with a 'Dinner for 30' cook (of your choosing) about your mutual love for food and stories. (+ all Feast Your Eyes rewards.)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Become a Community Partner

    We will work in a partnership to develop a Dinner for 30 event that aligns with your organizational mission. *For Detroit Organizations Only*

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Craft Your Story

    Want to learn how to tell a great story? Schedule a 45-minute Skype/Google Hangout session with Cornetta about enhancing your storytelling skills OR learn how to organize Dinner for 30 in your community. Your name will appear in the "Signature Backers" section of the book, website, and videos (+ all Feast Your Eyes rewards.)

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    Pledge $1,300 or more About $1,300

    Whip Up Something Good to Eat

    You'll receive a private cooking lesson from one of the cooks featured in the Dinner for 30 series. Additionally, you'll be given a custom apron from Detroit Denim. Your name will appear in the "Executive Backers" section of the book, website, and videos (+ all Feast Your Eyes rewards.)

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    Pledge $3,200 or more About $3,200

    Sponsor An Event

    Look behind the scenes, ask those burning questions, and join us in a friends and family private gathering. You'll be recognized as an event sponsor at the event. You'll receive a signed copy of the Detroit story cookbook, and your name will appear in the opening credits of the video as an "Executive Backer", plus the book and website. (+ All Bring a Buddy rewards.)

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    Pledge $5,500 or more About $5,500

    Bring 'Dinner for 30' to Your City

    Cornetta will come to you and help you plan Dinner for 30 in your city. You'll receive a signed copy of the Detroit story cookbook, and your name will appear in the "Executive Backers" section of the book, website, videos. (+ all Bring a Buddy rewards.)

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Funding period

- (47 days)