Madisonians encouraged to join the Mosaic Dinner Movement

The organization believes sharing meals with others strengthens our bonds.

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Madisonians are encouraged to host dinners with others. | Photo via Mosaic Dinner Movement (Marlon F. Hall)

It was James Beard who said, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

The Mosaic Dinner Movement (MDM) has taken those words to heart.

The new partnership with Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence at UW-Madison, Marlon F. Hall, Dane County Food Collective, and REAP Food Group brings individuals from diverse backgrounds together to share meals and exchange stories, thereby bridging divides and celebrating the richness of our collective experiences.

Help them work toward that goal by becoming one of their Madison-based dinner hosts. Applications are now open until Tuesday, April 30.

Here’s how it works.

The invite

Hosts volunteer to share a meal with at least four guests of their choosing. Think: friends, coworkers, associates. There’s no maximum number of guests, but everyone should be able to sit at the same table. Guests should be of different backgrounds and, ideally, not know one another.

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Dinner attendees are asked to share and contemplate together. | Photo via Mosaic Dinner Movement (Marlon F. Hall)

The structure

Those attending the meal go through three “stanzas” that can be tweaked by the host.

  • Personal story practice | Have quotes at each table setting. Ask guests to sit at the one that resonates with them most, and inquire why.
  • Cultural story practice | Have guests bring an artifact that tells a story about their cultural or ancestral history.
  • Global story practice | Have guests share something about who they are as a person, in four words.

The meal

The host decides the format of the meal (something they prepare, potluck, take out, etc.). MDM does not compensate hosts for meals, but participating in the project is free.

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Over a meal, the Mosaic Dinner Movement believes bonds can become stronger. | Photo via Mosaic Dinner Movement (Marlon F. Hall)

After the meal

Hosts collect and photograph the four-word stories, quotes, food, and friends for MDM to potentially share on its social media channels.


Register here. Or, to learn more about the project and how to get involved, visit REAP Food Group or send an email.