The Studio’s newest venture is a facilitated  discussion series for industry professionals and community members to deep-dive into one social impact question directly related to their work or communal lives.

 

We are currently hosting Experimental Salons on:

  • Recognizing, Disrupting, and Combating Tokenization in Food Media

  • Unlearning Scarcity & Cultivating Solidarity for the Asian American community

about

the experimental salons format

COVID-19 Update: All Experimental Salons are currently held virtually for 6 participants via Zoom.

 

Experimental Salons are private, intimate (8-12 people), facilitated dinner-and-discussions tailored for industry professionals and community members come together and discuss a pertinent question related to social impact.

The goal of these Salons is to lower the risk of diving into difficult topics and create safe spaces for positive conflict and differing viewpoints. 

We use a facilitation model that addresses our own complicities, focuses on specifics, and reinforces personal responsibility to drive change and begin collective, immediate action after the event. Our Salons bring together advocates who don't often find themselves in the same place, but are eager to work together to find solutions - especially over a comforting meal. We hope these salons are both powerful and discomforting for the people who join them, so we can all contribute to developing manageable, actionable solutions for dilemmas that often feel insurmountable.

What happens after the salon?

After the initial 2-4 Experimental Salons per topic, we compile our learnings to create an Educational Resource that is made available to the public via our Resources blog and social media channels. Read our Toolkit for Recognizing & Disrupting Tokenization in Food Media.

After the toolkit goes live, we restart both private Experimental Salons and public conversations in order to keep iterating on our toolkit. Watch our public panels on tokenization, with General Assembly and the Museum of Food & Drink.

We are now working on building our toolkits into formal industry whitepapers by signing 1-2 companies committed to implementing new changes at their organization. We would follow them for a period of 12 months, then write a whitepaper on their journey analyzing what worked (and what didn't). We hope these whitepapers offer a framework for change that other organizations can learn from and utilize for their work.

How much do salons cost?

After our initial 2-4 Experimental Salons per topic that are invite only, all Salons are open for anyone in the public to register interest and will always be under $25. We resist the omnipresent pay-to-play model because we know what demographics of people are often left out of the room when tickets rise into the hundreds or thousands. We believe the dissemination of ideas must be open and available to everyone in order to build a more equitable future. 

where & when are salons happening?

We are currently hosting Salons virtually via Zoom. Pre-COVID, we were hosting Salons in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. We hope to add more cities to the mix 2021!

 

We also host private Salons for teams and organizations. If you are interested in having us facilitate an internal series of conversations for your company, please reach out to us at salons@studioatao.org.

discussion topics

We have so many topics in mind and are always trying to build more Salons to accommodate them all. We are always actively seeking new partners and organizations to expand our discussions to new facets of these industries as well as new disciplines altogether. We are cognizant of our limitations, and know we need the guidance and partnership of other like-minded people and organizations to curate, moderate and drive the thoughtful conversations at the heart of our Salons.

 

If you're interested in working with us on a series of Salons pertinent to your industry - be it rebalancing opportunity in the cannabis boom or dissecting ableism in architecture - we would love to hear from you!

current topics

For food media professionals:

For the Asian American community:

Intrigued? join us

We'll be sending updates about our 2020 Experimental Salons via our Eat, Drink & Do Good Newsletter below.

community partners & sponsors

We are deeply appreciative to our partners and sponsors who believe in our Experimental Salons and its discussion format and enable us to continue bringing more of these events to life. If you're interested in opening up your space, providing nourishment or contributing in any other kind of way, we are all ears. Please email us at salons@studioatao.org, and we thank you kindly in advance.

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Site Credits

Photography: Stacey Salter Moore, Briana Balducci, Joseph Magnelli, David Chow, BK Narayanan, David Nguyen

Videography: Federica Nanfeng, Sarah M. Park

© 2020 by Studio ATAO, Inc. A 501(c)3 nonprofit.