In the summer of 2000, editorial and commercial photographer Casey Kelbaugh hosted the first Slideluck Potshow in his tiny Seattle backyard with about fifty friends. Surrounded by talented artists, Kelbaugh realized that Slideluck brought artists out of their studios and darkrooms into a common space and allowed for creative expression, exciting collaborations and cross-pollination. Fueled by this, Kelbaugh and many others worked to produce twenty Slidelucks in galleries, lofts, backyards and studios all over Seattle over the next three years.
When Kelbaugh relocated to New York City in the fall of 2003 he brought Slideluck with him. In early 2004 Kelbaugh packed 150 people into his East Village apartment for the first New York City Slideluck Potshow. By 2006, Slidelucks drew upwards of 1000 people and Kelbaugh enlisted the help of Alys Kenny to produce and co-direct the organization. Requests for Slidelucks in other cities poured in from around the world as word of mouth spread about the events.
Kelbaugh and Kenny spent much of 2007 and 2008 on the road, working with local teams to facilitate launches of SLPS across Europe, North, Central and South America. In 2009, Slideluck became a 501c3 non-profit organization and launched its community outreach program, the Slideluck Youth Initiative.
In 2010, Slideluck broke the Guinness World Record for the Largest Potluck Dinner on Earth at Slideluck Potshow XV in Dumbo, Brooklyn with over a thousand participants and 479 individual dishes. The first annual Slideluck Directors Meeting was held the following day with roughly 25 local directors convening from four continents.
Slideluck began to diversify its revenue streams in 2010 by hosting auction fundraisers, applying for grants, collecting licensing fees and through corporate sponsorships. Growth continued steadily as many systems and procedures were put into place by global producers that succeeded Kenny – Wren Noble, Nicole Pangelinan, Carly Planker and Suchan Vodoor.
In 2012, Maria Teresa Salvati, the Director of Slideluck London, was appointed Slideluck Europe Director, and Andres Ronderos, director of Slideluck Bogotá was named Director of Slideluck South America. As well, Rachel Langosch became the Director of the Slideluck Youth Initiative and Mesha Bhansali became the Director of Slideluck Asia. In 2014, Sasha Okshteyn was welcomed as Slideluck’s Assistant Director.
Slideluck is currently based in Bushwick Brooklyn, in the lovely Sandbox Studio BK. Kelbaugh, Okshteyn, producers Jen Plaskowitz, Andrew McFarland and Hannah Sporn a committed group of team members, volunteers and advisers continue to work toward what they do best: building and strengthening community through food and art.
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