July 24, 2014. Chicago. (ONN) The annual Art, Sustainability and Urban Farming Festival is coming to Chicago on August 2, 2014. According to Congress and President Obama’s Farm Bill, there are allegedly 930 family farms located within the Chicago city limits collecting millions in taxpayer subsidies, 224 in wealthy Lincoln Park alone. But we all know most of them don’t really exist. What does exist is a patchwork of community-run urban gardens. And one of them is set to show off its hard work.
The City Farm in Chicago located just outside the city’s busy downtown area. Image courtesy of CityFarmChicago.org.
Art, Sustainability and Urban Farming Fest
There is one event in Chicago related to farming, urban gardens and food deserts that is worthy of support. It’s the annual Art, Sustainability and Urban Farming Fest. Festival coordinator and sponsor Art Depth searched the city high and low for actual farms. What they discovered is there are a handful of small urban farms in the city, most of which are trying to feed poverty-plagued communities with no grocery stores, also called ‘food deserts’.
“Back in October of 2013 when we indicated our desire for this year’s event to take place on a farm in Chicago, the response was unanimous,” Art Depth festival organizers said, “With contorted expressions of disbelief, the immediate reply was ‘Good luck! There is no farm in Chicago. Are you crazy?’ Since then, we’ve found out that there actually is a farm in the city. There are several! And through our discoveries, a passion has been ignited to bring forces together through Art Depth in order to increase awareness of some amazing programs happening in Chicago - efforts to transform the city’s vacant land into lush acres.”
Art and music
The festival isn’t only about urban farming however. Organizers will also be promoting environmental sustainability and bringing together a number of Chicago’s hottest artists and musicians. Whether its digital media, paint, wood, marble, fashion design, or vegetation sculpting, fest-goers will find an assortment of some of the best original art works the city has to offer. Participating artists include; Jyl Bonaguro, Alan Bovinett, Lauren Feece, Keith Gerling, Brigid Ko, Liana Li, Yva Neal, Angelica Robles, and Robert Stevenson.
Along with urban farming tours, tips and related festivities, Chicago’s artists will be joined by some of the city’s most popular musical acts. Performing at the August 2nd festival will be Anna Soltys, Bowl of Dust, Pastel Fractal, River Valley Rangers, plus the talents of DJ Romasoul.
City Farm Chicago
The festival will be held at the City Farm located on Chicago’s north side at 1204 N. Clybourn, at the intersection of Clybourn and Division. Admission is free, but a $10 donation is requested. And when one looks at all the family-friendly activities attendees can experience, it’s well worth the expense for a full day of fun.
The Art, Sustainability and Urban Farming Fest opens at 11:00am and closes at 4:00. With an actual small, urban farm on the premises, demonstrations by the farm’s dedicated team of volunteers will be given all day long on how they create and sustain their farm located in the heart of Chicago’s concrete jungle. From 11 to 1, family events like kids coloring, craft tables, instrument building, yoga, story time and a fresh food workshop are the main attractions. At 1:00, the live music begins and goes until close.
Art Depth and City Farm
The festival’s two main organizers are Art Depth and City Farm. Art Depth was founded in 2010 by artist, curator and marketing guru Cheryl Postrozny, and is based in Chicago. The company produces experiential art and marketing events as well as organizing theme-based projects and fundraising initiatives. Art Depth promotes individual artists, organizations and select businesses as well as serving to increase awareness about current pressing issues and varying topics.
City Farm is a non-profit organization that converts city-owned property into farmland, as well as offering fresh produce each summer through their Community Supported Agriculture Program. City Farm is part of The Resource Center, which runs The Square Mile of sustainability Project - a project aimed at helping to convert approximately 80,000 vacant lots, representing 40,000 acres, into sustainable farming, actively producing and feeding the city of Chicago.
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