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Welcome to SFA
Transcript of Welcome to SFA
We stage symposia on food culture, produce documentary films and a bi-weekly podcast. We collect oral histories, foster scholarship, publish great writing, and celebrate underrepresented heroes of the food world.
We give voice.
We are an academic institution.
We deliver pleasures that are substantive and contextual.
We are collaborative.
We provide a rewarding experience.
We work toward the greater good.
We are good financial stewards.
We operate on the up and up.
We are offbeat.
We do good, thoughtful work and share it with the widest possible audience without relying on financial return.
We give back to and advocate for the communities we visit and the people who share their stories with us.
We challenge donors to invest in our mission, values, vision, and good work.
We spend every dollar in keeping with the mission and vision statement. We are frugal, but not cheap.
The SFA is an institute of Center for the
Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.
SFA employs a staff of nine people, including three documentarians, SFA operates on a budget
of $1.3 million per year.
The SFA is funded by membership dues, donor gifts,
grants and foundation awards.
No part of the funds of the SFA are distributed to any member, director or officer of the SFA or any private individual with the exception of compensation for services rendered on behalf of the SFA.
An annual report detailing operations and financial transactions is delivered annually to SFA members in good standing. A quarterly audit by outside accountants is submitted to the SFA's advisory board.
On July 22, 1999, in Birmingham, Alabama, author and activist John Egerton convened a two-day meeting of 50 people who agreed to lend their names to a non-profit organization dedicated to the documentation and celebration of the diverse food cultures of the American South. A mission was set and a name adopted. Today, the SFA is a member-supported non-profit based at the University of Mississippi.
SFA Event Practices
We design events wherein every bite, every person who cooks that bite, and every drink supports our mission and educates our guests.
We plan events on a break-even model to control costs, and we pursue economies of scale.
We value chefs, presenters, and collaborators by offering honoraria, accommodations, and expense reimbursements.
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South.
Our work sets a welcome table where all may consider our history and our future in a spirit of respect and reconciliation.
History of the SFA
Teaching & Instruction
In 2014, SFA welcomed Catarina Passidomo as our first Foodways Professor. Dr. Passidomo holds a joint appointment in Sociology/Anthropology and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. She teaches foodways courses to both undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Mississippi .
SFA produced events, including the fall symposium staged each October in Oxford, and the summer symposium, which changes location each year -- sell out in minutes, sometimes in seconds. With festival and restaurant partners we stage monthly events across the region and across the nation.
A quarterly journal of great writing and a bi-weekly podcast,
brings smart Southern food narratives to a national audience, revealing the region in all its complexity, telling true and sometimes difficult stories of Southern pasts and presents.
In 2015, the James Beard Foundation honored
as Publication of the Year.
Our Oral History Initiative captures stories of the people who grow, create, serve, and eat Southern food and drink. It is through their stories–their eyes–that we get to know our South and ourselves.
SFA programming and projects do not serve as promotional vehicles for products or services, but as forums for education where ideas are exchanged and relationships developed. We believe that our donors realize more benefits from such forums and that corporate donors gain more from a soft-sell than a hard-sell.
We strive to maintain intellectual and creative autonomy for the SFA while working toward shared goals with enlightened entities.
Membership is open to all individuals, entities, clubs, and other organizations interested in the mission of the SFA, upon payment of annual dues.
Want to learn more? Visit our website at www.southernfoodways.org. There, you can explore in more detail our history, vision, bylaws, and documentary archives.
We tell the story of Southern food to as broad an audience as possible. We tell fresh stories to reflect the changing American South. We produce high-quality work, setting a standard in the national foodways dialogue.
support SFA projects.
SFA dollars are channeled through the tax-exempt, non-profit status of the University of Mississippi Foundation.
Through the University Foundation, we receive:
Tax exemption for SFA donations.
Each year the SFA produces films with South Docs, with 1504 Pictures, our Pihakis Film Fellow, and with a host of other talented film makers.
To date, we've made over 75 documentary films.
debuts each new SFA film and
features SFA work in their video library.
The Huffington Post
also share SFA film work.
National called SFA, “the food world's favorite non-profit and symposia host.”
Sean Brock, chef, writer, and seed saver, spoke of the ongoing Southern food and drink renaissance when he said:
“The Southern Foodways Alliance is to blame. It brought us all together. It's a forum, a platform, a meeting place. The common thread we all share is the goal of the Southern Foodways Alliance—to take Southern food as far as we can, continue its evolution and learn as much about its past as possible.”
SFA Leads the Conversation