Don’t be scared.
Bonus Fun Stuff: Rocky Road Soothed My Soul After A Hack.
The Blind Cafe may be a “darkness organization” but its mission and intent is to shed light on “inspiring positive social change events nationwide, all held in complete darkness and facilitated by legally blind keynote speakers and facilitators.” It sold out over Valentine’s Day; now it’s back this week in Carrollton, June 16, 17 & 18.
Based in Denver since 2010, Blind Cafe is a 501c3 organization that includes “road shows” or pop-up events, to create a setting where attendees feel more connected to one another without visual cues. It’s not meant to recreate or replicate the life of a visually impaired person; those are shoes that cannot be filled by the sighted, says Brian “Rosh” Rocheleau, Executive Director and Founder of The Blind Cafe. But it’s a dining, discussion and music event as well as a medium for social change… in pitch black.
No one is blindfolded, though; the venue at Atlantis Business Center in Carrollton will be completely darkened.
Not Just Dinner in the Dark
The experience includes discussions and conversations from legally blind facilitators who talk intimately about their lives; music played live by Austin-based Constellation Prize (also in the dark); and a vegan, gluten-free dinner (to be as inclusive as possible), served by blind waitstaff. It’s a darkened social experience for the palate and for the mind.
The cost of the dinner covers the evening’s diverse itinerary, propagates the mission to serve communities nationwide, as well as helps incubate the VEX project: “a vocational enrichment provider, redefining blindness through community resources, career mentoring, and professional consultation.” While the Blind Cafe offers a sliding scale ticket fee, that range extends from $85 to $195, with $125 being the average ticket sale. To see dates and times or to buy tickets now (the Valentine’s Day Blind Cafe dinners in Dallas sold out quickly), visit Brown Paper Tickets.
So what IS on the menu?
While the folks at the Blind Cafe are still working on the menu for this Dallas-based dinner, it looks to be an awesome array of delectables …
- A glass of wine, with other beverages available
- A vegan, mostly gluten-free and dairy-free meal created on site by local chefs
- Dark chocolate dessert
There is something about engaging in organic conversation in a room full of strangers who can’t see each other that instills a sense of community along the group. At the end, a candle is lit and it feels as if you’re waking up from a collective dream that you somehow shared with everyone around you.
Hayley B.7×7 Magazine
A limited number of generous participant “dinner scholarships” are available. Email The Blind Cafe from this link to get more info.
For more details about the Blind Cafe events and what it’s like to have an open-hearted dinner in the dark with your neighbors, please click here.