Select Page

Extremely brief summary

  • Five $400 grants to fund storytelling projects that focus on cultural exchange in foodways and food systems in the US
  • Medium: written, audio, video, or other creative structure
  • Submit proposal through this form by Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 Friday, Aug. 19, 2022
  • Story due Friday, Sept. 30, 2022


National food justice organization Slow Food USA is committed to amplifying voices from across our nation’s rich foodways through five feature stories produced by members of its network and/or members of the Food Systems Leadership Network. These Cultural Exchange Storytelling Grants are one way we will be doing so.


What we’re seeking

Slow Food USA invites brief proposals from story documenters that will be developed into full features over the course of six weeks. Stories can be of any length and told through any medium. Storytelling projects should be centered around building relationships and engaging in cultural exchange. We encourage collaborations among Slow Food chapters and Food Systems Leadership Network organizational members. The Slow Food USA and Food System Leadership Network teams are happy to provide assistance with collaborations. 

Priority will be given to:

  • Story producers and storytellers who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color; women; people with disabilities; and/or LGBTQ+ 
  • Participants of the two-part workshop series Story Feeds Culture, funded by FSLN and led by the Food Culture Collective.


What we’re offering

Slow Food USA will award $400 grants to five storytelling projects that can be used to cover expenses including but not limited to equipment, transportation, and compensation for people involved in the storytelling project. Grants are generously funded through the Food Systems Leadership Network Activation Grant. Grants are considered technical assistance to storytellers so that they are prepared to strengthen their storytelling expertise and create equity in the story production process.

Slow Food USA will also offer editorial support to story producers, guidance on cultural exchange, and organic and paid promotion of produced stories through its social media channels and email marketing platform. Story producers will retain all legal rights to the final product, which will be published on slowfoodusa.org with permission to publish and post elsewhere.

Friday, July 15 Grant program launches; applications open
Friday, July 22 Q-and-A session
Friday, Aug. 19 Applications close
Monday, Aug. 22 Awardees notified
Friday, Sept. 9 Midway check-in with Slow Food USA
Friday, Sept. 30 Final drafts of stories due to Slow Food USA
Oct. 10-14 Stories launched across Slow Food USA channels
How we’re defining cultural exchange

“Cultural exchange implies a mutual and beneficial sharing of cultures and beliefs. It is viewed as inevitable and contributing to diversity and free expression. It is seen as something which is usually done out of admiration of the cultures being imitated, with no intent to harm them.” (Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Exchange – What’s the Difference? Uddeshya Delhi)

Cultural exchange happens when two or more people:

    • Embody vulnerability. Create space for your own vulnerability so others can feel comfortable being vulnerable, too. 
  • Embrace curiosity. “We are really only one question away from being connected; from learning about one another’s journey. And that one question only comes about when we are willing to be open to hearing another truth outside our own.” — Lee Mun Wah
  • Be teachable by continuously checking in with yourself, your team and your counterparts and by being open to feedback and new ideas.
  • Center compassion. Exercising empathy, listening actively, and remaining present with the impacts of our intentions are just a few ways we can be compassionate in a process of cultural exchange.
  • Make room for accountability by being willing to admit to mistakes, by unpacking and addressing harm, and by course-correcting whenever necessary.
  • Practice cultural humility. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines cultural humility as “a lifelong process of self-reflection and self-critique whereby the individual not only learns about another’s culture, but one starts with an examination of her/his own beliefs and cultural identities.” Learn more here.
  • Dare to be bold in challenging biases and stereotypes and in leveraging your privilege to shake up the status quo.

Please reach out to comms@slowfoodusa.org with the subject line “Cultural Exchange Storytelling Grants” if you have questions.