Elevating the conversation.
As we learned with the Harvest Dinner in 2010, large-scale, site-specific, community focused events can facilitate more community development than we identify at the outset. Our events are not intended as fundraisers for our organization, but rather a critical piece of our work. They are conceived as part of a larger concept, focus on new possibilities for collaboration, reinterpret a place, and ultimately expand perceptions of our city. The outcomes we strive for with these undertakings include fostering entrepreneurial endeavors, increasing cultural industries, and inspiring the community towards new possibilities and expectations. Whereas the Harvest Dinner forged new relationships among chefs and aspiring culinary professionals, led to establishment and sustainability of small-farms, brought together a diverse array of the community at a single table, and allowed people to experience a critical industrial site in need of city-action and attention, Elevate set out to accelerate the momentum across disciplinary boundaries.
Conceived as a one-of-a-kind experience at the intersection of both Stored Potential banner topics–Land Use, Food, Agriculture and Transportation. The event took place on a bridge over the Interstate 80 corridor that clipped and decommissioned the elevator, made two neighborhoods from one, and produced a massive flow of people and goods through the city—changing our movement, economy, and physical landscape. Much like the towering concrete grain elevator, the landscape comprising the I-80 corridor is equally white noise, so indistinct, we no longer notice its expansiveness. An aggregation of concrete yards, rail corridors, unused lots, and in between spaces, this corridor comprises an extensive amount of Omaha’s landscape.
The result was an unprecedented collaboration between teams of food and spatial designers in a unexpected public space. Teams designed and constructed 19 unique ‘Elevation Stations’ lining the bridge and served a corresponding small dinner course of the freshest ingredients grown and produced locally. Stations included a dinner table comprised of smaller dinner tables etched with names and addresses of all homes removed for the construction of I-80, burlap bags of lettuce greens biked to the site by caregivers of the plants then hung from an overhead map indicating the location where they were biked in from, and a dilapidated barn reconfigured into a pavilion heat charred to reflect the char-grilled locally raised lamb to be served from it. All 500 attendees were assigned a unique sequence of stations with the intent that each would spark conversation and experience. Select stations will be debuting as pop-up pocket park transformations of vacant lots throughout Omaha in 2013, called Station Points.
1 Tim Shew / Nancy Novak + Drew Johnson: B & G Tasty Foods, Union Pacific, Drake-Williams Steel, Sunderland Brothers Company, Fisher Building Services, Joe Tess Place, Weitz, Davis Erection;
2 Matthew Taylor / Bob Trempe + Brian Hamilton: The National Arbor Day Foundation, Lied Lodge and Conference Center, RDG Dahlquist Art Studio, Plum Creek Farm, Shadowbrook Farm, Perfect “ten” Bison Ranch, Dave Hutchinson and family, TD Niche Farm;
3 Mark’s Bistro / Ryan Fisher + Andrew Conzett + Colin Conces: Ryan Fisher, Andrew Conzett, Colin Conces, Davis Erection;
4 Nebraska Brewing Co. / Grant Landreth + Chris Jansen: EcoStores Nebraska, Jim and Virginia Conway, Julie Dierberger and Jessie Dewitt, Craig Jansen, Larry and Sharon Landreth, Becky Swanson, Jay Swanson;
5 Stokes Grill & Bar / b2lab: B2LAB, INC., Ronco Construction, LLC, White Lotus Group, Look Architectural Coatings, Titan Machinery, Buss Family Farm, Hotel Deco XV;
6 Boiler Room / HDR: Paul Kulik, Boiler Room, HDR Architecture, Kiewit Building Group, Omaha, Miller Electric, Omaha, Iron-Knee Co., Paul Konchagulian, State Steel, Puritan, Eagle Enclosures, Honey Creek Farms, Shadowbrook Farm, Tenuta Angoris/Villa Locatelli, Peripherique Wine Merchants, Italian Vine;
7 bread&cup / Rudolphi + Leslie;
8 Institute of Culinary Arts / PEN + Miller + Davis / Growing Cities: PEN Architect, BVH Architects, George Paul Vinegar, Heritage Nursery, Spotlight Presentations;
9 Dario’s / HDR: HDR Architecture, Lund-Ross Constructors, Palleton, Inc., SGH;
10 Jeff Everroad / Watson Tomaz Yurkovich: Min Kim, Heartland Scenic Studio;
11 Chris Myers / Urban Alchemy + architectureisfun + Dahlin Studio: James Dahlin, Sr., Tom Rossi, Terry and Catherine Ferguson, Chef Robert Anaya, Lauritzen Gardens, Botanical Interests, Renze Display, Todd Valley Farm, Bluff Valley Farm, Millard Lumber, Patton Equipment, Leo A. Daly;
12 Localmotive / EXis Design Shop + Contrivium Design and Urbanism: EXis design shop, Contrivium Design and Urbanism, Localmotive Food Truck, JB Design-Specialty Construction, Lueder Construction, Palleton, Inc., Re-CYCLE Bike Shop, Hot Shops Pottery, Crystal Forge, Blooms Organic, Rosebud Veal, Range West Beef, Garden Fresh Vegetables, Rhizosphere Farms, Plum Creek Farms;
13 Block 16 / dKISER design.construct + MEASURE CUT CUT STUDIO;
14 J. Coco / POLYNOMIAL: Dicon Construction, Omaha Friendly Services, Engineered Controls, Inc., The Architectural Offices, Dice Communications, Wood Specialties, Inc., Courtyard Inc., Vic Gutman and Associates;
15 M’s Pub + Vivace / AToM Design Studio + UNL Architecture: Birdsong Farm, Graddy’s Tomato Farm, H’Olaffson Specialty Foods, Natures Best Gardens, Omaha Farmers Market, Squeaky Green Organics, Courtyard Inc., Lowe’s, Millard Lumber, Regal Plastic, Sherwin-Williams, The Waldinger Corporation, Randy and Kim Dickhut, The Home Depot;
16 Grey Plume / TACKarchitects: Bob Grinell, R.L. Grinnell Corporation, Danna Grinell, Ridonkulous Acres, The Mastercraft Building, Palleton, Inc.;
17 Sara Adkisson Joyner / Sara Jacobson + Allyson Gibbs + Alex Bodell: Shadowbrook Farms, Dutch Girl Creamery, Herb Box Dairy, Stoysich , Yang’s Garden, Morning Glory Meadow Eggs, Just Bees, Rhizosphere Farms, Moue’s Garden, Jisa’s Farmstead Cheeses, Abarrotes Hidalguensa, Mary’s Tortilleria;
18 Dante / DeOld Andersen Architecture: Benjamin Moore Paints, Lucky Bucket Brewery;
19 MCC Institute of Culinary Arts
Dessert: Sara DeMars Cerasoli, eCreamery, Greenstreet Cycles