Sports are not only about brawn and brain, but culture and community. Without a doubt, contemporary society owes much to the sports gods: Sunday game-watching rituals; superstitions ranging from lucky t-shirts (and other unwashed articles of clothing) to untrimmed facial hair and bizarre eating habits; and of course, the pre-party tailgate. In the history of organized sports, there are also countless instances of great triumph: 2004, the year the Boston Red Sox finally shook the “Curse of the Bambino” and won their first World Series Championship since trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1918; “The Catch” in 1982 where Joe Montana and Dwight Clark’s surprise touchdown resulted in the 49’ers NFC Championship win against the Dallas Cowboys; the 1980 Winter Olympics in which the ragtag US hockey team miraculously defeated the Soviets 4 to 3. In powerful moments such as these players seem to transcend their sport, and in the resulting aftermath, one cannot help but feel as though they just witnessed something much more profound than a simple game.
Saturday, August 10, 2013, marked the first I-70 Series “games” since the historic 1985 MLB World Championship competition between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. Drawing inspiration from this historical event, BREAD! KC co-organized the series with BANK Projects in St. Louis with the intent to educate and activate the creative communities residing along this corridor by creating a cultural exchange between the two cities.
BANK Projects is a small, alternative, artist run project space located just off South St. Louis’ hip and funky Cherokee Street. The space was founded in 2012 by Marianne Laury, a St. Louis native and KCAI grad who is currently an MFA candidate at Washington University, and Mitch Kirkwood, a KC native as well as a KCAI graduate.
In order to successfully pull off the I-70 Series with each city equally represented, it took a lot of planning and organization on both sides of the state. BREAD! KC turned to former 2011 Bread grant recipient, CartWheel (a roving alternative social/retail space in the form of a baby blue short bus), to haul a dedicated group of creative KC peeps to STL. The team included Michael Pollock, a baker; Tyler Fox, a personal chef; Matthew Hayden, a musician; Elvis Achelpohl, an architect; Kimberly Carlson, a sex educator, and of course, Jessica Rogers, whose day job is that of a non-profit administrator. Talk about a colorful crew!
In terms of representing the KC food scene, BREAD! KC took this job very seriously. Craig Howard offered his famous sweet potato biscuits (which you can now find every Friday evening at the BADSEED Market), chewy cowboy cookies were offered by morsel, The Local Pig provided beer brats and pork shank, Howard Hanna and The Rieger donated cured and sliced smoked pig’s head, Farm To Market Bread Co. loaded us up with pretzel rolls, hot dog buns and sliced white bread, Oddly Correct kept everyone caffeinated with Hop! Toddy, Boulevard Brewing Company provided a selection of beers, and we were proud to feature Boys Grow bbq sauce and agave ketchup. In St. Louis, BANK Projects received donations from Local Harvest, coffee from MELT, and a plethora of fresh produce from neighborhood gardeners. The wonderful roster of St. Louis attendees also provided an amazing spread of regional dishes, including bread pudding bars and Cardinal cookies.
In the main gallery, the “Show Me Taste” competition featured Vess’ Whistle Orange Soda, Imo’s Provel cheese, a sampling of delicious Kakao chocolate, Boulevard beer, and Gates BBQ sauce. Participants were asked to taste each product and vote for the city they thought each product hailed from. Surprisingly enough, the majority of participants guessed correctly for each product.
In an effort to utilize the former bank’s drive-through teller windows, Erin Olm-Shipman organized Drive-thru Poetry, which featured works by three St. Louis poets (Jazzy Danziger, Richard Newman, and Stephanie Schlaifer) and three Kansas City poets (Jose Faus, Jordan Stempleman, and Lesley Ann Wheeler). As event attendees approached the window, the poems were read over the microphone, and then a copy of the poem designed by James Walker and printed by Lindquist Press was delivered through the transaction drawer.
A trivia battle MC’ed by Andrew Erdrich rounded out the day’s activities, featuring questions about each city’s cultural identity. Randy Vines of STL-Style was the victor by a single point, and was awarded a gift certificate to fellow Cherokee Street merchants, MELT.
Tunes spun by DJ Miscela kept the people moving until late night, when we were joined by a freestyle rapper that kept the crowd entertained for a solid two hours. What a way to cap off the day!
An enormous round of thank you’s to all our generous donors and collaborators, Jessica Rogers and Matt Hayden for hauling the KC crew (and lots of equipment) over, St. Louis’ ReTrailer for keeping us hydrated with that tasty tea, PBR for their generous donation to the beer fishing supply, Tyler Fox for his incredible culinary creations, Andrew Pollock for the amazing carved watermelon, Richard Finneran for his trivia expertise and PA system, Kevin Kinsella for his man hands and moral support, and Marianne and Mitch for hosting us all weekend…and introducing us to Summer Jam.
Stay tuned for the return of the I-70 Series, next time on Kansas City turf!