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and you will know it’s done when the oil stops bubbling


Dates: September 23, 2022 - October 2, 2022

Run Time: 90 mins

Venue: Kensington Corridor Trust Community Garden


All of us together will create a recipe book. Food is community, food is power, food is legacy, food is memory, food is love, food is home, food is life. Food has the capacity of bringing folks from different backgrounds together. Food is personal history, oral history, and oral tradition. Artist Mike Durkin plans to look at the role food and recipes play in the Kensington area. Whether it’s a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, or the recipe we’ve made because it makes us feel good, recipes hold special places in our lives. By tracing the past, present, and future stories around the food we can forge deeper relationships with our neighbors as well as the environment our food comes from through story-sharing circles. Mike, alongside Mural Arts, will be partnering with Kensington-area community groups focusing on houselessness, food insecurity, community development, as well as neighborhood artists and leaders.

The story-sharing circles will culminate into constructing a recipe book as well as a presentation and participatory community meal. Mike will explore rituals for the participant, like only making a meal during a specific holiday, using a specific type of frying pan for the meal, or listening to specific music while cooking. With select participants, Mike will collaborate to create an artful response to their contributed recipes. These could take the form of video, writing, audio, photography, sculpture, or performance. In addition to this, we will look at the physical impact of making food by cooking some of the recipes. For example, if we are making tortillas, we would look at how our body moves in the stretching of the dough, the smells, the sounds, the emotions, and the stories that surround it. The action of getting our hands is just another way to relive the recipes. The aim of the project is to look at the diversity of community members to tell the story of Kensington through recipes.

Mike Durkin with the residents of the Kensington area, presented by Mural Arts Philadelphia

Mike Durkin (he/him/his) is a large-bodied multidisciplinary social practice performance artist residing in Philadelphia and New York City. Mike is guided by the intersection between art and the everyday. With his performance group, The Renegade Company he has created site-responsive social practice productions exploring houselessness, food access, place, and gentrification. Favorite Fringe Renegade directing credits include: (Kensington) Streetplay, Animal Farm to Table, Damned Dirty Apes!, The Hunchback of Notre Dame...A Mute Play, and Bathtub Moby-Dick. He is currently developing a performative cookbook that looks at the role recipes play in communities incorporating dance, video, and communal meal making. Upcoming projects will be held at the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Houston, Louisiana State University, and Michigan State University. Mike has held residencies with Revolve Art Gallery in Asheville, NC, Space at Ryder Farm, Drop Forge and Tool, the Hambidge Arts Center in Rabun Gap, GA, and the Greenhouse Lab with The Orchard Project. Mike’s work has been presented at the Brandywine River Museum, Barnes Foundation, Mt. Moriah Cemetery, the Life Do Grow Farm, and in parks, churches, and fields, along the streets in Kensington, virtually, and most recently with The Performance Studies program at Texas A&M University. Mike is part of the 2017 MFA in Devised Performance class with Pig Iron Theatre Company/University of the Arts.

Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. To learn more, visit

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