Follow the Drinking Gourd – Urban Growers Collective Celebration

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.
Follow the Drinking Gourd – Urban Growers Collective Celebration
Events Details

04 October 2018


06:00 pm - 09:00 pm


Theater on the Lake

Follow the Drinking Gourd: Cultivating Pathways to Freedom

a celebration of Urban Growers Collective

Thursday, October 4, 2018
6:00 – 9:00pm

Theater on the Lake
2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60614


*Ticket sales have ended; to be added the waitlist, please email*

$200 per person I Tables: $2,000 for 10 people
Click here to purchase tickets or a table.

Can’t make it, but still want to support our work? Donate.

You can also support our work by bidding on our fabulous auction packages! Find our auction at

These auction packages are truly one-of-a-kind and you won’t find these experiences anywhere else. Our online auction runs until Wednesday, October 10th.


Sam Kass, Food Entrepreneur, Former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition. Founder of TROVE, venture partner in Acre Venture Partners

Sam Kass
Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Mary Ellen Caron, After School Matters
Evelyn J. Diaz, Heartland Alliance
Sandra Holl, Floriole

6pm: Cocktail Hour & Silent Auction

Featuring hors d’oeuvres by: sweetgreen, Vie, Bad Hunter, Chef Carrie Schloss, and Fresh Moves Mobile Market.

Featuring drinks by: Hart Davis Hart Wine Co., Revolution Brewing, Virtue Cider, Lagunitas Brewing Company, and Dark Matter Coffee.

7pm: Dinner & Program

Featuring Urban Growers Collective produce and food by: FIG Catering, Barilla, and Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits.

8pm: Dancing & Music by DJ Rae Chardonnay

Join our Faceboook event page; don’t forget to share and invite your friends!

Event attire is “Farm Chic,” semi-formal.
Valet parking is available.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by Sep. 1 to or 773-376-8882.


Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Barilla.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Margot & Thomas Pritzker Family Foundation
Betsy & Andy Rosenfield
Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation
Wendy & Hank Paulson
Trott Family Foundation
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Pritzker Traubert Foundation
Susan Hassan & Rodd Schreiber
The Comer Foundation Fund
Farm Aid
R4 Services, LLC-Rooney Family

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact or 773.376.8882.

Prefer to pay for tickets, a table, or sponsorship by check? Checks can be mailed to:
Urban Growers Collective
ATTN: Ashley Monk
1200 W. 35th St., #118
Chicago, IL 60609.
*Please be sure to include what the check is for, along with contact information.

Special thanks to our board of directors and planning committee:


Adriana Díaz
Erika Dudley
Jessica Pérez
Margot Pritzker
Trisha Rooney

Planning Committee:

Ross Barney
Meredith Bissonnette
Margaret Catania
Rodger Cooley
Jason Feldman
Huili Feng
Gillian Knight
Tres Peel
Carrie Schloss
Vivian Tyler

About Urban Growers Collective:

Rooted in growing food, we cultivate nourishing environments which support health, economic development, healing and creativity through urban agriculture.

All event proceeds will support our work in 2019 when we will:

  • Train, educate, and provide jobs to over 300 teens and 30 African American and Latinx men with limited employment options
  • Grow and provide food to over 11,000 people facing food insecurity and diet related illness
  • Provide long-term land access and technical assistance for beginning farmers, focusing on farmers from ‘food desert’ communities
    Lead garden classroom education and provide produce to over 150 preschoolers and their families
  • Provide community education through agriculture, small business development, and equality building workshops

Follow the drinking gourd…

Our logo was inspired by the legacy of the drinking gourd. “Follow the drinkin gourd” was a song used by conductors of the underground railroad to guide slaves to freedom using the big dipper, or in African culture, the imagery of the drinking gourd. Using the north star as their guide, enslaved men, women and children fought their way to freedom. We hope that through our work, we honor the stories and sacrifices of our ancestors. By reclaiming activism and growing food, we give the tools to foster resilience, growth and personal freedom.

Follow us on social media to stay updated on all the event details:
Instagram  I  Facebook  I  Twitter

If you have any questions, please contact us at or 773.376.8882.

Location Map