Ends on

The MSU Museum CoLab Studio is seeking proposals for Food Fight!, an exhibition and public programming series that explores issues related to food security, production, and sustainability, and the social, environmental, political, and economic relationships human beings have with food.

Food meets a fundamental human need. Like shelter, sleep, and other physiological needs, if this need is not met, we won’t survive. This dependence on food makes it something that can be controlled, a factor that, when manipulated by governmental and corporate policy, contributes to global inequality and stress on the environment. Further, as climate change continues to add pressure to food production and distribution, creating a sustainable, equitable food system grows increasingly challenging.

At the same time, our approaches to growing, preparing, and consuming food provide an avenue for creativity, imagination, and community-building. Shared experiences around food often bring people together and play an essential role in shaping our communities, traditions, and cultures.

From the way culinary practices influence and shape communities and cultures, to struggles for food security and the design of our food production and distribution systems, our individual and collective relationship to food is complex and constantly evolving. As technology continues to advance and we face increasing pressures on our environment, what will the future of food and our food systems be like? How does the implementation of certain agricultural practices help eliminate the ever-growing pressures on the environment? What kind of influence does our personal relationship with food have on our interactions with others?


  • How can we approach urban and rural development in ways that don’t create food deserts and other forms of inequality of food supply and nutrition? How can we conserve and even expand shared resources?
  • What contribution could urban agriculture, home gardens, and farm-to-table make to the creation of sustainable and equitable food systems?
  • Are genetically modified crops the sustainable solution to farming in climate change?
  • What could the role of technology be in developing sustainable community food systems? What might the future of food be like?
  • What are our individual, personal relationships to food? How do we internalize “food fight” in the form of diet culture and eating disorders?
  • What impact does media/social media have on how we perceive a “healthy” body image and diet? How does it change our relationship with food?
  • How do culinary practices and traditions around food shape cultural and social identity? How can food be a source of creativity, community-building, and imagination?
  • How could we reduce food waste and toxic or environmentally-damaging packaging for foods?
  • What could be new or reimagined ways to shape the interplay of food growing, preparation, cooking, and eating that extend and enhance our cultural and social identities?
  • How do we address food security for a growing global population in an increasingly unstable climate, both politically and geologically?
  • ...or something else entirely!


Creativity, experimentation, and collaboration are highly valued by the MSU Museum CoLab Studio. We want to hear from artists, psychologists, story tellers, digital gamers, biologists, performers, neuroscientists, designers, computer scientists, nurses, engineers, musicians, mathematicians, architects, students, etc.. Your participation makes each exhibition a truly unique, multidisciplinary, and diverse collection of experiences.

Your proposal might be for an exhibit, such as a new or existing artwork, digital intervention, research project, a virtual reality game, a series of visualizations, or something else that we haven’t thought of yet. We love exhibits that blend science, technology, art, and design; are interactive and performative; or involve immersive storytelling. We also accept proposals for programs and events, such as a performance, a panel or conversation, or a facilitated workshop. We strongly recommend that you keep our target audience of young adults (18-25) in mind as you develop your proposal and consider including interactive or participatory elements into the experience.

For tips on what makes a good submission, answers to commonly asked questions, or to learn a bit from previous exhibitors about what it is like to create a submission, check out our FAQ page and informational video.


The curatorial team for the MSU Museum CoLab Studio exhibitions consists of students, MSU Museum staff, and subject-matter experts in the selected theme. The curatorial team for Food Fight! includes:

Jen Owen - Assoc. Chair of Research, MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; Coordinator for Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center

Dawn Opel –  Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel, Food Bank Council of Michigan; MSU Writing, Rhetoric, and American Culture

Sarah Cavanaugh – Undergraduate student in Marketing with a minor in Arts & Cultural Management; MSU Museum Communication Assistant

Delaney Henderson – Undergraduate student in Arts & Humanities; MSU Museum Exhibition Assistant

Sydney Urbaniak, Undergraduate student in Philosophy, MSU Museum CoLaborator 

Mark Sullivan – Creative Director, MSU Museum CoLab Studio ; MSU College of Music

Caroline White – Education and Learning Manager, MSU Museum CoLab Studio

Abbie Stevens – Manager of Public Programming, MSU Museum CoLab Studio (consulting role)


As a guide, our projects are funded for $1,500 USD (to be used for production costs, shipping, etc.).

Open from January 6th, 2023 to March 31st, 2023

Results by April 28th, 2023

Keywords: Food Deserts; Food Emergencies; Food Waste; Artificial Scarcity; Body Image; Inequality, Nutrition, and Health; Food Fraud; Urban Agricultures; Cooking, Creativity, and Culture; Body Image; Food and Cultural Identity

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.