As part of our Digital Strategies project, Arts Etobicoke designed and piloted a new data collection and story-gathering event called The Feast of Ideas in February 2020. We invited a small group of dedicated Arts Etobicoke volunteers to join us for a four-course lunch and brainstorming conversation. These attendees also served as a test group for this Feast of Ideas pilot project.
An overarching goal for our Digital Strategies project is to find out what arts and culture practices our community are already engaged with, what they would like to see more of, and how Arts Etobicoke can fit into those practices. The Feast of Ideas was designed to get answers to those questions in a creative way and in a supportive environment. We hosted the event at Cirillo’s Culinary Academy, a long time supporter and community partner. Cirillo’s created a delicious four-course lunch that corresponded with our line of questions and short workshops. Starting with something light and fun, moving to a more serious “meaty” discussion, and ending with a decadent imagining of the future.
We were able to collect fascinating qualitative and quantitative data from this event, but also to test the methodology and form of our mini-workshops. We debriefed with both participants and facilitators, evaluated our feedback and small data set and made suggestions for improvements in the future.
We intend to run a series of these events with a large variety of different communities. Now that we have piloted it with our dedicated volunteers, we want to expand The Feast of Ideas to a larger cross-section of community stakeholders and get a much larger data set. The eventual goal of all our Digital Strategies projects is to learn from our community, share with our peers, and inform our future programming.
If you would like to learn more about the Feast of Ideas or would like to participate in a future iteration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.