Local Chefs & Ingredients Light Up the Loft
Cities that embrace art have more civic engagement, better child welfare outcomes, and lower rates of poverty. For that reason, Art in the Loft (AitL) is so much more than just a gallery in Alpena– it’s a NE Michigan community treasure. They provide a space for many area groups, such as the R.E.A.C.H. program which teaches those with special needs culinary life-skills and confidence. As part of it, this year’s groups were schooled by Presque Isle Farm on how to grow their own microgreens, and even made recipe books incorporating fresh ingredients. Another program, ArtPOP, geared towards artists 18 months-4 years old, provides ongoing free access to the arts and establishes an early connection to personal creativity and innovation.
During the summer of 2018, 200+ Alpena Boys and Girls Club members enjoyed 2+ hours a week of hands-on visual and culinary arts instruction at no cost. To make sure that no one is turned away from the arts, Art in the Loft has also created a generous scholarship fund so all can participate.
How does the Loft accomplish these amazing feats? In addition to a vital board committee that works tirelessly year-round on grant applications, AitL hosts an annual fundraiser gala to support all these programs. And this year, just like the last 18, the Loft will ask donors to partake in an event that is consistent with what the gallery holds to be one of its truest values – giving back to the community.
On November 7th, the fundraiser, Light Up the Loft, will host a local chef competition, live music, and a silent auction. The event will feature hand-crafted cocktails, live music from Nina and the Buffalo Riders, and locally-sourced tapas from area chefs. Come enjoy the LIGHT-inspired atmosphere, and use your phone to bid on incredible Michigan auction items and experiences. Tickets can be found here.
Plus, as a Certified Local Food Event, they commit to sourcing at least 20% of the food ingredients for the event from identifiable Michigan farms and to reducing food waste. In 2018, Taste the Local Difference completed 38 different Certified Local Food Events throughout Michigan that contributed over $66,614 to the local food economy. Come feast at this event on six local chefs’ culinary creations, vote on your favorite, support local food, farmers, and the arts!Stay tuned to TLD’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for photos of the event and to find out which chef will win the 2019 Tapas Takeover!
Molly Stepanski is the Local Food Coordinator for northeast Michigan and the statewide Sales Supervisor. She enjoys reading with her six year old, planting and hiking in the dirt, cooking up her own recipes, drinking farmhouse cider, and eating lots of fresh, seasonal produce (and anything deep-fried, in accordance with her southern heritage). She owns and operates Presque Isle Farm with her family and is a founding member and V.P. of the NE Michigan Food & Farming Network. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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