By Director Bill Brown
The first Big Red Eats Green (BREG) Festival last year was a shocking success. Not shocking that students would want to explore the famous Bloomington local food cornucopia at bargain prices, but shocking that the, uh, feeding frenzy ensued in spite of a last minute location change.
On the day of BREG, weather forecasts and radar indicated that the outdoor festival scheduled for Dunn Meadow should probably be moved indoors. So, at the last minute, with considerable ingenuity for all involved, it was moved indoors to venerable Alumni Hall. I personally assumed it would be a bust at that point as it would be hard for people to find it, in spite of a valiant attempt to place signs in Dunn Meadow. How sad. So much work went into the planning.
I underestimated the power of social media. And I under-imagined how cool even an indoor event combining delicious, healthy, local gourmet food at affordable prices, live music, and campus and community organizations educating students would be. The vibe was magical! The cell phones came out, texts were texted, and tweets were tweeted. OMG! Get over here now! #iubreg @IUeatsLocal
And the People came! SRO! The ancient stone stairwells became dining bleachers. And they returned for seconds and thirds.
Hats off to last year’s incredible BREG sustainability intern Sara Minard and her unflappable mentors Bruce Jacobs and Christine Barbour for a superb initial event! They created an IU legacy.
This year, BREG sustainability intern Frannie Einterz has taken the lessons learned and upped the ante considerably by adding a new venue and a new partner to create Big Red Eats Green (& Bikes). Another rockstar sustainability intern, Kevin Sonoff, in charge of our bicycle friendly university initiatives, contributed the idea of supplementing the event with a bike fair. This addition will feature vendors, bike clubs, bike repair experts and other active transportation interest groups. Of course, live music will also be provided.
The BREG committee, a subset of the CSAB Food Working Group , decided to hold this year’s event at one of our most iconic architectural gems, the IU Art Museum. It would be hard to imagine a more tantalizing marriage than delicious affordable healthy local food, sexy bikes, campus sustainability, live music, fine art, community engagement, and architecture. The central location is accessible to everyone, and, in case of bad weather, the event can move inside to the delightfully daylit atrium. Ever willing to connect art with what is happening on campus, the Art Museum will feature 30-minute tours of art related to food. Luckily, you don’t have to tour the exhibit on an empty stomach!
Opportunities to get involved in campus and community organizations will also be provided, as will information on special tours for foraging, the famous Bloomington Farmer’s Market and area co-ops. Employment opportunities for students will also be presented.
So, let’s review . . . cheap, great, local food, healthy lifestyle, cool bikes, music, architecture, art, sustainability, community engagement . . . OMG! It’s back! #iubreg @IUeatsLocal
Rain or shine, don’t miss Big Red Eats Green (& Bikes) on September 6 from 2 to 6 pm at the IU Art Museum! Entry is free, and items will be priced at $1, 2 or 3. More information can be found at:http://www.sustain.indiana.edu/breg or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. And, of course, you can follow BREG on twitter.