Arts organization, AMFM is back to host the fourth annual FEAST Festival to raise awareness about food deserts on the South and West sides of Chicago September 11-12.
AMFM returns just in time for the end of Summer to host their popular food and arts festival, FEAST, at Homan Square Park in North Lawndale, where they give away free food in partnership with the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks and Imperfect Produce.
The pandemic and uprisings of 2020 that forced some grocery stores and businesses to shutter, brought food insecurity to an all time high and many citizens and organizations banded together to offer mutual aid services throughout communities in Chicago. AMFM, who has been known to host food activations since 2018, held a food giveaway and virtual cooking program with local chefs and artists in 2020, and say they are excited to return safely to the parks in person this year to host their fourth iteration of FEAST, an arts, music and food festival where they say #everybodyeats.
The festival returns this year with an extra day added, yet with a smaller lineup, to give away more food and ensure that people remain safe in the parks as the pandemic continues to affect communities across the city. The organization has partnered with sustainable, and affordable grocery company, Imperfect Produce, who has been a festival partner since 2019. They have donated over 5,000 lbs of food in the past three years to support this cause. Regional Donation Coordinator, Dana Rainey, says, “We love the event and everything AMFM does to bring awareness and outreach to support our communities.”
In addition to the food giveaway, this year’s exhibition will also feature an outdoor exhibition by local artist, Kiara Jade, and music performances from local artists. Through photography and collage, Kiara Jade’s work engages conversations around the history of redlining, segregation, and how it impacts food deserted communities dating back from 1910 to the present day. Her exhibition frames access to food in predominantly black communities as a civil rights issue.
Headlining the stage this year are popular Chicago jazz artist, Sam Trump, and West side emcee, Boukhepra, with DJ Ca$h Era and AMFM DJ Bonita Appleblunt, alongside newcomers, Azieb and Orisun.
AMFM Founder, Ciera Mckissick, hopes that this will help those in need, and encourage others to find ways to support each other in their own community through small gestures.
“Seeing so many people in need last year made me want to do more, and I have been trying to incorporate the practice of our FEAST festival more into my daily life,” she says. “I know that this festival is only a small solution, and only one time a year. There are people in need the other 364 days of the year as well. The idea is to spark a conversation and bring others on this journey. We do hold some responsibility for one another, and I saw that reflected a lot last year and it was beautiful to see people offer such care,” Mckissick said.
Feast will be held September 11 – 12 from 1-4pm at Homan Square Park located at 3559 W Arthington St and is free for all ages.