500 Plates brought together 500 residents in Akron, Ohio from each of the city’s 22 neighborhoods at one, 500 foot-long table on the underused Innerbelt Freeway for a shared community meal.

Prior to this main meal, we collected a favorite household recipe from one resident in each of Akron’s 22 neighborhoods. These recipes were printed onto custom stoneware plates which were used at the community meal, creating a unique way to connect people from different neighborhoods. 

This event also served as a way for residents to reimagine what the underused freeway can potentially be used for, as it closes in 2016. Attendees were encouraged to write and draw their ideas on a table runner and were guided by volunteer table hosts to discuss their personal stories as well as the challenges and opportunities of their neighborhoods, public space, and the future of their city. 

Website

500 Plates

Selected Press

Fast Company, "An Artist Stopped Traffic On An Ohio Freeway To Host A Citywide Dinner"

Curbed, "What Happens When 500 People Share a Feast on the Highway"

GOOD, "Why 500 Strangers Stopped Traffic to Eat Dinner on an Ohio Freeway"

Streetsblog USA, "500 People Ate Dinner on a Freeway in Akron This Weekend"

Akron Beacon Journal, "Akron Innerbelt traffic detoured as 500 Plates program feeds on ideas"

WKSU, "Akronites have food for thought on the Innerbelt"

Photo by Shane Wynn

Photo by Shane Wynn

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