Prepare to blast off!
Brian Corrigan wasn't planning to spend his spring thinking about outer space, but the coronavirus pandemic changed everything. "Once COVID hit, that shut the door on where we were going," says Corrigan, one of Colorado's favorite creatives, who usually focuses on "experiences rooted in culture and place." He'd been doing work with communities in the San Luis Valley for Downtown Colorado Inc. when the COVID-19 shutdowns began.
As art projects were wiped off the calendar, Corrigan began wondering what he could do to help individuals and areas hit hard by the economic crunch. And his time in the state's wackiest, weirdest region, one with a strong agriculture industry as well as some weird attractions, inspired the idea of taking the farm-to-table concept to a galaxy far, far away.
He began calling people to brainstorm, and although Corrigan admits that most had no idea what he was talking about, they were all ready to sign up for what became Farm-to-Spaceship: An Artist-Driven Takeout Dinner Experience.
"We just kind of all came together, and decided that the thread that would pull it all together was water from Mars," he says. "That's our special ingredient."
But there's a lot more that's special about this experience, which explores new possibilities for what home entertainment can be. "We're reimagining the typical takeout food experience by combining the meal with an interactive storyline (with both digital and physical elements) that guides participants through the dinner," explains Corrigan. "The premise of the story is that an unidentified transportation company dropped off a shipment of water from Mars. Included in the shipment were secret recipes to elevate the takeout/stay-at-home foodie scene."
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Here's how the Farm-to-Spaceship works: If you sign up for the event ($48 per person), you pick up your package at Somebody People, the eatery at 1165 South Broadway that's providing the culinary portion of the evening, between 5 and 8 p.m. that day. But you won't just be getting a meal and beverages (from Boulder Spirits). Your package will also include a drink video tutorial by Practice Studios, soundscapes and a DJ set by Prince JayJay, dinner visuals by Brooke Einbender, "comedic intervention" by Linda Klein, and an alien flower-power ring by Rowdy Poppy, all with a brand design by Berger Fohr and, of course, a concept courtesy of Corrigan.
At the end of the ninety-minute meal/experience, participants — who are encouraged to show off their EXTRAterrestrial looks — can record their responses, which will be shared with others. There will be dinners on June 5 and June 12; sign up for either on eventbrite.com.
This isn't the only new concept we'll see from Corrigan, who points out that even before the pandemic, people were more interested in acquiring experiences than things. Now, however, public-health considerations put limits on what an experience can be. "In a post-COVID experience economy, could new formats (like this one) create more opportunities for creative works to exist in people's homes?" he wonders. "What do immersive experiences look like for small private gatherings? To us, this collaboration demonstrates that creativity is an act of survival and that our creative sector needs a seat at the table to imagine what’s next for Colorado."
Fasten your seat belts....