Community Initiatives

We approach our community spaces and events with the goal of translating online education and discussion into offline action. From our Discord server to public panels, virtual Storyslams and small-group discussions, we create brave* environments where subject matter experts can share their work, engage in meaningful discourse, and offer tools for community members to make change a reality in their spheres of influence.

 

All of our events cover flow through this Educate → Engage → Activate model. With every new topic we tackle via our Resources Library or our Think Tank Initiatives, we also commit to a series of events within each of these categories for thorough end-to-end learning. Everyone is welcome to attend one-off events, but encouraged to attend the full series for deeper dive into each topic area.

We always provide free tickets for anyone who needs financial support, no questions asked. Please just email us at hello@studioatao.org to redeem.

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discussion
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Educate

 
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Group learning events focused on learning more deeply about a specific topic or piece of work. These events are more theoretical than others, with a collective goal of leaving with a fuller understanding of the topic to springboard into future discussions.
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Quarterly small-group discussions and author Q&As based on a specific nonfiction read.

Most Recent Read: All About Love by bell hooks

Regular small-group discussions and director Q&As based on a mix of films, from documentaries to Marvel movies.

Last Film: Big Scary S Word

Engage

 
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Small-group discussion spaces centered on collaboratively unpacking how a specific topic is interwoven into our everyday lives. The collective goal is to foster a productive space where difficult and uncomfortable questions can be addressed without judgement.

A private, discussion-based community for those interested in or working at the intersection of food, beverage, and hospitality and social justice to further conversations on creating equitable, systems-based change in their spheres of influence.

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Activate

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Coalition-building activities, events, and workshops where participants commit to activating within our own circles of influence. The collective goal is to increase each of our capacities to affect change in our communities.
CHAADxStudioATAO Hospitality Worker Town Hall Chicago

A nation-wide series of open-forum Town Halls to discuss necessary changes for the hospitality industry.

Topic Areas: Hospitality, worker rights

Past Events Archive

  • YouTube

Educate

Conversations About Appropriation: Food / Beverage

A panel discussion, presented in partnership with General Assembly

Tokenism In Media:

A Case Study in Food 

A panel discussion, presented in partnership with General Assembly

Activating Local Businesses Through Community-Invested Development

A panel discussion with stakeholders across the real estate development cycle, in partnership with the Urban Land Institute

Q&A with Dr. Marcia Chatelain of Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America

Available to view for our Patreon members

Engage

Unlearning Scarcity: A Virtual Storyslam

Featuring 5 Asian American storytellers. Presented in partnership with Slant'd Magazine.

Activate

Practicing Accountability for Food & Beverage Media

Our first-ever Town Hall addressing crisis and accountability in the food & beverage media industry. Read the recap.

Navigating Media Coverage in the Context of Neighborhood Change: A Food & Beverage Media Town Hall

Our Town Hall addressing responsible coverage of hospitality businesses in gentrifying areas, in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. Read the recap.

Q&A with Dr. Shinhee Han of Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation

Available to view for our Patreon members

Q&A with Director & Actress Isabel Sandoval of Lingua Franca

Available to view for our Patreon members

Support our regular programming

Our team is continuously working behind-the-scenes to ensure our events run smoothly and we are creating a space that is welcoming to all. If you've enjoyed our programming, we kindly ask you to consider supporting us by becoming a monthly patron or with a one-time donation. We thank you for your generosity!

All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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