The People’s Potlucks are part of a larger program at MAPP called The America Project. Designed to carry on the legacy of artist and activist Sekou Sundiata, The America Project brings together creative process and public engagement in service to imagination, civic dialogue and critical citizenship. A signature activity of The America Project is the potluck “citizenship dinner,” held in private homes and community spaces at which individuals come together to share their personal experiences of citizenship, community, freedom, family and place through storytelling, dialogue and creative expression. The dinners aim to create an environment for thoughtful reflection, deep listening, and the possibility of finding common ground across difference.
Recently, MAPP has become involved with the Interdependence Movement (short history and declaration attached), a global network of Citizens without Borders , who recognize the interdependent nature of our world and advocate for new forms of constructive civic interdependence to solve cross-border challenges in economics, ecology, technology, war, health and immigration that confront us. Since 2003, the Interdependence Movement has celebrated September 12 as Interdependence Day, and in 2011, the movement is expanding to include year-round expressions of interdependence. In New York, MAPP has joined with several other arts organizations to consider how we can both bring this into our own practice as well as use artistic and creative acts on and around September 12, 2011 to mark that day as one of looking forward and embracing global citizenship.
MAPP sees a place of intersection between The America Project and The Interdependence Movement. Consideration of what we could bring to the table inspired the development—on Sekou’s model—of the People’s Potlucks. Each dinner will be led by an artist, who will create the specific framework for that dinner, and facilitate dialogue as well as a creative activity relating to this framework. We imagine these will take place from May- July 2011and will culminate in a gathering/performance event for all of the participants on or around September 12, 2011.
members of distinct communities and nations. We do pledge ourselves citizens of one
CivWorld, civic, civil and civilized. Without prejudice to the goods and interests of our
national and regional identities, we recognize our responsibilities to the common goods
and liberties of humankind as a whole.
We do therefore pledge to work both directly and through the nations and communities
of which we are also citizens:
To guarantee justice and equality for all by establishing on a firm
basis the human rights of every person on the planet, ensuring that the least
among us may enjoy the same liberties as the prominent and the powerful;
To forge a safe and sustainable global environment for all -- which is
the condition of human survival -- at a cost to peoples based on their current
share in the world’s wealth;
To offer children, our common human future, special attention and
protection in distributing our common goods, above all those upon which
health and education depend;
To establish democratic forms of global civil and legal governance
through which our common rights can be secured and our common
To foster democratic policies and institutions expressing and
protecting our human commonality; and at the same time,
To nurture free spaces in which our distinctive religious, ethnic and cultural
identities may flourish and our equally worthy lives may be lived in dignity,
protected from political, economic and cultural hegemony of every kind.
"The discovery of a new dish
- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin 1755-1826
Article on the topic of population growth: