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Exhibition shows history of food in West County

ArtsChange takes a seat in the dining room this month with a groundbreaking exhibition on the history of food in West Contra Costa, presented at Richmond Health Center.

“Food over Time and Change” includes a 40-foot timeline and a series of prints about the evolution of food in Richmond, starting with the diverse variety of food enjoyed by the Ohlone Native Americans on the shores of San Pablo Bay right up through today.

The exhibit was developed by ArtsChange, a non-profit organization formerly called the Quilt of Many Colors, said Ann Schnake, its executive director. ArtsChange originated at Richmond Health Center in 1996 and has presented more than 50 exhibitions and teaching programs at the health center and other public venues.
“This exhibition gives both some perspective on how the food we eat in Richmond has changed through the years, and emphasizes the potential for our now making healthy changes,” said Schnake, a Family Nurse Practitioner and co-creator of the exhibit along with local artist Meagan Geer.

“We collected stories, ideas and family photos to illustrate this story of change, which has especially gained speed in the past 30 years,” said Schnake. “Contra Costa has a long history of farming. We have gone from living in a rich and varied food environment to becoming another outpost in a fast-food nation.”

The exhibition is on display weekdays through May 10 at Richmond Health Center, 100 38th St. The center opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. except Tuesday and Thursday when it is open until 9 p.m.

An opening reception is planned from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 8, and will include cooking demonstrations, farm fresh produce samples, and a salsa dance demonstration. The reception is free and open to the public. Entrance to the Health Center is on 39th and Bissell Streets.

“We hope that reflecting on the past will bring forward lessons about the kinds of food that sustained families through the years, how that changed and how further change is possible,” said Schnake. “People can turn away from fast food and soda, cook meals, choose vegetables -- we believe that these are empowering acts that are vital to our health.”

For more information about ArtsChange and “Food over Time and Change,” call the Richmond Health Center at 510-231-1348.

Run dates: 2005-04-11 - 2005-05-10
 


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