We’ve all been awaiting news about Terra Madre 2010, Slow Food’s biennial worldwide sustainability conference—news about how big it will be, when applications will be online, and so on. Well, over the past few weeks Slow Food USA has rolled out the details, and we’ve managed to put together a fairly complete picture of what it will look like. (If you haven’t already read it, be sure to read our background blog post, “What Is Terra Madre?”)
First of all, Terra Madre will take place from October 21-25, in Torino, Italy. There will be a total of 400 delegates from the United States—traditionally built around a core of food producers (i.e. farmers) and chefs, but also including educators, students, and activists. That represents a decrease from previous years (when the numbers were generally seen as unmanageable), but the implications for Columbus aren’t clear at this stage. There aren’t any preset limits by chapter, as far as we know; we could be allotted two delegates, or twelve. Our standing as one of the larger chapters in the country should put us in a good position. All we really know is that the number of slots is not unlimited, but that if we make a good case for representation we should have a reasonable claim on a fair share of those slots.
That means we need to focus on making our case. Slow Food members should already have been notified via email of the fact that applications are now available online. The application has two parts, an electronic part and a second part that’s mailed in; the deadline for the second (final) part of the application is May 15. Delegates will be announced in mid-June. The application isn’t too complicated, but it’s going to take a bit of time to fill out well, so we’d recommend doing it sooner rather than later. And it is very much worth doing: people selected as delegates will have in-country travel, meals, and lodging covered by Slow Food USA, and we’ll be raising funds to cover most of their airfare as well. (Those not selected can still attend as observers.)
Now. How can your local chapter help you?
First of all, we can’t help if we don’t know that you’re applying! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you’ll be applying to Terra Madre. We’ll send out periodic updates with a list of the names and affiliations of all of the applicants to all of the applicants. Why?—because, as you’ll see, Slow Food USA wants applications from people who are part of a food community… so to the extent that you know your fellow applicants and they have enhanced your work, mention them in your essay! Doing so helps Slow Food USA to get the big picture of Columbus’ sustainable food community as a community working toward a common goal, rather than as a set of isolated individuals. Finally, when you’ve finished a rough draft of the second (essay) part of the application, send it to the same email address and we’ll be happy to offer whatever advice we can. Please get your drafts to us no later than May 8, if you would, so that we can get suggestions to everyone in a timely fashion. Thanks.
We’ll have more information soon on upcoming fundraisers. For now, drop us a line to let us know that you’re applying or if you have any questions, and get to work on those applications!