October 14th, 2015

City Suppers Return!

by Emily Vanest


The City Gallery, in partnership with the Harrison Center for the Arts, Urban Times, Downtown Indy and Indiana Humanities, invites you to be part of our second annual “City Supper” on Sunday, November 8. You can make a pot of soup and invite neighbors to “bring a bowl and a side” or invite neighbors on your block to sign up for a course in a progressive dinner and enjoy the walk around your neighborhood while you eat, or even start your own weekly supper club. The community and conversation will be the real highlights of the evening — the food will just be a pleasant excuse for getting together. You can sign up to host a supper here.  When you host your dinner, snap a few photos of your evening, send your pictures and a blog post about your experience to citygallery@harrisoncenter.org. We will send the first 60 people to respond a $25 gift certificate for one of our favorite locally owned restaurants . . . hopefully, you can enjoy a different kind of City Supper.

There are many ways to invite your neighbors in. You can:

  1. Have a signature dish that you serve on a regular basis.
  2. Issue an invitation to whoever has time to come. Tuck invitations into screen doors, send an evite or text, or issue an open invitation on facebook.
  3. If you’re having a sit down dinner, invite your guests to contribute a side, dessert, or a bottle of wine.


Some families join together for a weekly supper club. One Fountain Square group began several years ago with the simple goal of making time every week to connect with neighbors. Their guidelines for what they informally call “Sunday dinner” have helped to make the group work for so long:

  1. 6-8 member households rotate hosting the meals
  2. The host prepares all the food for their assigned week.
  3. The host is responsible for inviting all the guests for their assigned week. Hosts are encouraged to use these meals to invite new neighbors and build community, rather than create a clique.
  4. Supper starts at 5:30pm and ends at 7:00pm. Guests can arrive late, but can’t stay late.
  5. If you are having a busy week and can’t stay for the meal, you can bring a dish for carryout.

Another option that relieves some of the burden of hosting is to set up a progressive dinner:

  1. Pick a date, and send an email to several neighbors in close proximity asking if they’d be willing to host a course for a neighborhood progressive dinner. Course options could include cocktails, appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, and after dinner drinks.
  2. Once your schedule is full, decide how many people you can all comfortably include and send an invitation to your neighbors. When guests RSVP, make sure to send the addresses of the homes where you’ll be eating.
  3. Plan to spend around 45 minutes at each home, so that hosts can plan, but be prepared for late lingering over drinks at the end.

However you choose to build community in your neighborhood, we’d love to hear about it. Don’t forget to send your pictures and blog posts to citygallery@harrisoncenter.org.