OlioHouse | Breaking Bread: An Olio Salon Dinner

Brian Lewis at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sat, Jun 22 at 2 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Join educator and community activist Brian Lewis for the first OlioHouse salon dinner. We'll have Olios during the day and cap off the evening with a shared dinner centered around the theme of identity and what it means to be a radical citizen.

Who are we, as Americans really? What are American's guiding mythologies and what is its power in the world? Am I personally and publicly implicated in America's domestic and international actions and influence? What does it mean to be a critically engaged citizen at a time of intensifying US influence (power) and apparent empire. Can I be a citizen of this nation while still claiming a broader allegiance to a global community and humanity at large? These are just some of the questions that prolific poet and professor Sekou Sundiata explored through his highly collaborative work, produced in the final years of life. Instigated by the events of September 11th, Sekou brought together students, artists, and audiences and invited them to join him on his journey to try to uncover, distill and articulate the essence of American identity and American soul at a pivotal moment in our nation's contemporary history. One of the central methods Sekou leveraged as part of his "Research-to-Performance" method, was the Citizenship Dinner- a call for individuals from various walks of life to build community through the shared experience of food.

At this OlioHouse weekend, we will explore some of the key themes and questions that drove Sekou so many years ago while tapping into our own stories and identities to see what it means to be a radical and critically engaged citizen in the current American context. We will share food, stories, poetry, laughs and most importantly build community while attempting to break the barriers that so often divide us and keep us from recognizing our shared humanity and responsibilities to one another to address some of our most pressing issues.

Rough Schedule:


2pm: Arrive at OlioHouse to lunch

3pm: Brian will teach an Olio on the Mythology of American Identity

4:30pm: Free time to explore Wassaic, check out the art residency and swim/hike!

7:00pm: Communal cooking and an Olio Salon Dinner


9:00am Yoga and Breakfast

11:00am Closing Reflections

People can catch a ride for the noon or 2pm train back to Grand Central

Teacher: Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis teaches courses on the Black Arts Movement and Art Making and Civic Engagement at the New School. He is the director of programs and education at Exalt, an equitable future for court-involved youth.

Venue: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

What is Think Olio?

Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.