Artists Dish Up Dramatic Dining for Local Needy

Written by Andrea and Anita
December 16, 2009

Photos by Mary Bird, provided courtesy of Zenith Community Arts Foundation Visual and culinary artists added twelve months of glorious food to our walls (and stomachs!) on behalf of Capitol Area needy with the annual launch of their Dramatic Dining Calendar. Zenith Community Arts Foundation (ZCAF) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre hosted the event, which brought together DC-area artists, chefs, and the public for a silent auction, art exhibition, and food tasting. Over the last several years, the event has raised over $100,000 for the Capital Area Food Bank. This year, WUSA Channel 9 anchor Andrea Roane was on hand to bolster the artists and chefs who contributed to this festive holiday event. Also in attendance were key organizers of the Zenith Community Arts Foundation, the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and the Capital Area Food Bank. A 7th Street Community Arts Staple Since 2000, ZCAF has been at the forefront of efforts to better the community through art. Founder Margery Goldberg and many of her collaborators have been putting their artistry, creativity, and advocacy to work on behalf of downtown community initiatives for even longer. This year’s calendar theme, Dramatic Dining, was inspired by ZCAF’s new partnership with the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Both the Foundation and the Theatre share a commitment to local service and arts. The new alliance, prompted by the event’s move from its former home at the Zenith Gallery, brought a new contingent of theatergoers to the annual event, raising even more on behalf of the local hungry. A Mammoth Space—and Heart—for DC The Woolly Mammoth Theatre offered an impressive setting for the fundraising evening—with its high ceiling, modern staircases, and minimalist design. We could easily envision Woolly as the backdrop for other cocktail parties and formal affairs. The studio’s innovative “pay what you can” performances, master classes for local artists, and “stampede seat” shows provide sufficient enticement any day and for all ages, without having to wait for another special event. Building the Bank for All The Capital Area Food Bank, which runs over 700 food programs throughout the DC area, reports that food bank use is up 30 to 150 percent nationwide. Distributing 20 million pounds of food annually, the Bank is key to DC-area relief efforts and supports a variety of exciting community-building initiatives, such as Kids Café, From the Ground Up, and the Brown Bag Program. Canvassing the Community Our favorite pieces include Joey Manlapaz’ oil “Ice Cream” (February) and Bill Mead’s acrylic “Squash Family” (July). Other calendar highlights include Stephen Hansen’s paper mache “Diner Theater,” paired in March with the recipe for Chef Michel Richard’s scrumptious goat cheese Caesar salad rolls, and Cassandra Gillens’ “Grandma's Tea Party” acrylic, aptly coupled in May with the recipe for Teaism’s tea-infused brownies. Contributing artists to this year’s Dramatic Dining calendar include: Bert Beirne, Leslie Exton, Cassandra Gillens, Brenda Gordon, Philip Hazard, Robert C. Jackson, Life Pieces To Masterpieces, Chris Malone, Joey Manlapaz, Donna McCullough, Bill Mead, Davis Morton, Stephen Hansen, Michela Mansuino, Ron Schwerin, Bradley Stevens, and James Tormey And Sampling Some Glorious Food We perused the food-themed artwork while sampling tasty hors d’oeuvres, including lump crabcake-laden crostini and those Caesar salad rolls from Central Michel Richard. We bid on silent auction items, which included treats from Georgetown Cupcake and Red Velvet Cupcakery, gift certificates from restaurants like Oyamel, Black Market Bistro, and The Oceanaire Seafood Room, over a dozen assorted cookbooks, and tickets to area stage productions. This year's Dramatic Dining calendar includes recipes by: Acadiana, Bastille,, Black Salt, Bourbon Steak, Central Michel Richard, Chef Geoff's, Equinox, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Oyamel, Teaism, Through the Kitchen Door, and Zaytinya. Missed This Year’s Calendar Launch? Then purchase your very own 2010 calendar—so you’ll never miss an event again—at the Capital Area Food Bank or the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. The calendar makes a great holiday gift for Washingtonians passionate about this city and newcomers—art-lovers and foodies alike. We confess to having already purchased a few of these culinary and visually art-laden morsels for Santa! And mark that beautiful new calendar now for the Capital Area Food Bank’s biggest annual fundraiser, the 7th Annual Blue Jeans Ball, on March 28th.
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