“Despite brisk winds and ominous clouds hanging over North Philadelphia Thursday afternoon, members of Amber Art and Design, a Philadelphia art collective, hurried around the mosaic-tiled plaza known as Meditation Park, hanging strings of lights and driving tiki torches into the ground.
It was closing night of the Village Table: a series of four-course communal meals that are part social experiment, part art project, and part community-health intervention.
The monthly pop-up feasts on the 2500 block of North Alder Street for anywhere from 50 to 100 guests were conceived by Amber Art and Design as part of a residency at the Village of Arts and Humanities. You can’t buy your way into these meals: Diners must contribute volunteer hours or a family recipe.
“Sharing a personal family recipe is a very intimate experience, and we value that,” Amber Art’s Keir Johnston said. “We collect recipes as a way of getting a census of the community, what their culinary reality is.”
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