Indiana Foodies Unite at First FoodCon | Civil Eats

Indiana Foodies Unite at First FoodCon

In a city well-known for hosting some of the largest conventions in the country, but not for its diverse and progressive taste in food, an experiment was born: Encourage food organizations and businesses from across Central Indiana to man information booths, and pair that “convention” atmosphere with works of art inspired by food, hands-on activities and of course, food itself.

The experiment was a success.

More than 2,000 Hoosiers turned out for the first FoodCon in Indianapolis this past weekend—a self-described unconventional convention, that showcased and explored the art and culture of food in Indiana.

A few of the unconventional attractions included vegetable music by Herron High School Jazz Band (inspired by, of course, the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra), a composting and rain barrel workshop presented by Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology, a six-artist food-inspired group show in the Harrison Center’s main gallery, “The Tomato Project,” an initiative by a Herron High School student that encourages people to plant tomato plants in origami newspaper holders and donate the resulting fruit to food banks; and a multimedia piece about two local farmers markets.

Outside, visitors were treated to toasted marshmallows by a local gourmet marshmallow caterer, and could gaze at the stars through a telescope.

The convention piece included tables and booths set up and manned by representatives from organizations like 38th & Meridian St. Farmers Market, Slow Food Indy, Blooming Gardens CSA, LIFE Certified Farm & CSA, Traders Point Creamery, Goose the Market, Red Rosa Farm, Natural Born Juices, INShape Indiana, Farmers Feed Us, and the Indiana Humanities Council to name just a few!

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But the best part of the night? The food, of course. Each booth was required to bring something for a pitch-in dinner and submit the recipe of the item, placed on the back of a trading card with the organization’s name. What did the hosts, the Indiana Humanities Council bring, you might ask? Twenty-seven Ingredient Chili Con Carne, inspired by the 27 Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders, a book we have in our free lending library for book clubs.

The main gallery included catered hors d’oeuvres, and downstairs, artists offered coffee and desserts in their open studio space.

This event was held at the Harrison Center for the Arts, as part of a First Friday tour in Indianapolis that encourages art dealers and galleries to open their doors to the public for free. The Indiana Humanities Council was a partnering organization; this event served as an unofficial kickoff to “Food for Thought” a two-year celebration of food and the role it plays in our lives.

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Kristen Fuhs Wells is the communications director for the Indiana Humanities Council. Her favorite Indiana meal would include fresh-caught (and fried) bluegill, ‘crickbank’ potatoes, cherry tomatoes straight from her garden and a bottle of Three Floyd’s Gumballhead. Read more >

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