International Taste of Soul in Macon raises funds, attracts visitors and flaunts culture – Knight Foundation

International Taste of Soul in Macon raises funds, attracts visitors and flaunts culture

Like many nonprofits, the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Ga., is challenged to come up with creative and fun ways to raise money. While organizing these fundraisers, the goal is also to create events that reflect the museum’s mission of educating people about African American art, history and culture.

One of the Tubman’s most popular fundraisers is the International Taste of Soul event, which serves as a way to connect people from different cultures using one common denominator: food. Soul food, to be exact. At the same time, this annual affair gives people an opportunity to check out the Tubman’s exhibits.

Scenes from a previous year’s International Taste of Soul event. Photo courtesy of the Tubman Museum.

During Taste of Soul, local celebrities, leaders and restaurants each have tables and share soul food dishes from around the globe. Attendees are given a plate, utensils and a napkin to start their tasting journey. In the past, there have been platters of food that range from collards from the southern United States to carbonade flamande from Belgium (a dish that resembles a beef stew). There are always a few tables that go all out on their meals, and everyone seems to make their way for seconds and even thirds to these stations.

This year’s event should be particularly memorable, as it was just in May of this year that the Tubman Museum, a Knight Arts grantee, moved from its former 8,500-square-foot home to an expansive new 49,000-square-foot facility. The move has been a long time coming–the museum first received funding for the new building in 1998 and initially broke ground in 2001–and Taste of Soul will likely be the first time that many attendees venture inside the new building.

To highlight the new venue, the tagline for the 2015 International Taste of Soul is “Around the Rotunda in 80 Dishes”–a reference to one of the facility’s architectural features.

“Because of the new Tubman Museum’s striking rotunda and our ability to lock in celebrity chef Gerry Garvin, who is also an author, this will be one of the most exciting International Taste of Soul fundraisers the Tubman has ever hosted,” said Harold Young, the museum’s special events manager.

Celebrity chef Gerry Garvin will host 2015 International Taste of Soul.

Chef Garvin is the author of three cookbooks; former host of “Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin,” which ran for seven seasons on the TV One network; and current host of “Road Trip with G. Garvin” on the Cooking Channel. Garvin is also an entrepreneur and consultant who has created dishes for companies such as Kraft, and has a product line of spices, nuts and wines.

The 2015 International Taste of Soul will take place on August 30 from 3-6 p.m. at the new Tubman Museum on 310 Cherry St. Tickets are $30 for members, $35 for non-members and $15 for children. They can be purchased in advance online.