Curating food and art with a mission
Studio ATAO is a 501(c)3 nonprofit culinary production studio that creates interdisciplinary, impact-driven content and experiences. We work with artists from all mediums, from visual art and emerging technology to dance, and develop public-facing events, exhibitions, installations and programming around bigger social topics we care about. We are especially interested in exploring different angles of unconscious bias, gender dynamics, immigration, masculinity and income inequality.
The hallmark of our work is vulnerability and poignant discomfort. Our mission is to educate, engage and instigate organic action and allyship through interpersonal connection without judgment or shame. We create safe spaces where open-minded individuals can interact on an emotional and intellectual level, addressing inconsistencies in their worldview and moving forward with active intent towards change. Our ethos is forward-looking, centered on empathy for others and continuous self-improvement.
Studio ATAO grew out of Wednesdays, a popular popup series founded by Jenny & Matt Dorsey in January 2014. The Wednesdays mission has stayed the same since day one: to be a safe place where friends and strangers alike could engage in thoughtful, open conversation. After hosting hundreds of events across the U.S., it became clear to the founders there were poignant social issues that needed its own dedicated events to tackle more specifically -- like the immigrant experience, or willful cognitive dissonance, or the public perception of female pain. So in 2018, Wednesdays officially became Studio ATAO, taking on nonprofit status and further solidifying its mission to use culinary arts for social change.
(In case you're wondering, ATAO stands for all together at once, which happens to be in the definition of funny word 'holus bolus'. When Jenny was unsure what to name the new Studio, holus bolus serendipitously appeared as the Word of the Day on Dictionary.com, where she was browsing, and the definition seems so perfect to what the Studio is about she decided to name it after its acronym.)
Operations Coordinator &
Addy is a recent graduate of Columbia University with a passion for contemporary art, social justice, and holding space for women of color, non-binary, and queer creators. Her background is in human rights research and advocacy, and she has experience in partnership building, community education, and event coordination. At the Studio, she assists with administration, new project development, and dinner-to-exhibition adaptation.
Executive Director &
Chief Creative Officer
Jenny is a professional chef, writer and artist with a special focus on experimental culinary content. Her background is in fine dining; she worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in both NYC and SF before launching her own consulting business and finding her niche on the axis of food, vulnerability and identity.
Jenny and her work has been profiled on Food Network (winning Beat Bobby Flay in 2016), Oxygen TV, NowTHIS, Food & Wine, Eater, Harper's Bazaar and more. Her full background and food portfolio can be seen at www.jennydorsey.co.
Managing Director &
Matt is an executive finance professional and self-taught mixologist. He specialized in startups (Uber, Grovo, Thrive Global) before moving on to start his own investment fund. He was the former finance partner of the Museum of Food and Drink (MoFAD) and an independent CFO consultant. He has won multiple cocktail competitions, including StarChefs and Edible Manhattan, and his cocktails have been featured in outlets such as UrbanDaddy, Forbes and Business Insider. His first book, Healthy Cocktails, was published November 2019 via SkyHorse Publishing. You can see his work on his cocktail Instagram.
Director of Operations &
Julie is an operations and project management guru with a background in digital marketing, high-end matchmaking and technology recruiting for early stage startups. At the Studio, she wears multiple hats overseeing the end-to-end guest experience at dinner exhibitions, managing the company's communications and laying logistical groundwork for future series and expansion. She also leads the curation of Studio ATAO's newsletters and is the knower of every workflow at the studio.
Join our mission
with a donation
Studio ATAO is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that relies on support from a community of passionate partners, sponsors and volunteers. The generosity of our donors enables us to continue creating new bodies of work that shine light on the pertinent issues of today.
Your tax-deductible donation allows us to bring programming to as many cities and communities as possible, pay above-market rates to our staff members, work with sustainable, local and small-business vendors and ensure every experience is as accessible as possible through free and subsidized tickets.
Together, let's use our talents to tell the stories that will help shape tomorrow's world for the better. You can donate an one-time or monthly contribution at the link below, or schedule some time with our team to talk through your giving goals. We deeply appreciate gifts of any amount.