Monday, October 26, 2015

The Blind Cafe: Coming to Austin November 3 - 5

I've always heard about those dinners held in a completely dark room and thought they sounded like a fun experiment. Now, coming to Austin November 3-5, is The Blind Cafe, where diners will  experience their meal in total darkness and will be served by legally blind people. This event is meant to make patrons more socially aware and to lose the self-consciousness that can arise in social settings. No light. No cell phones. No need to wipe the crumbs from around your mouth as you eat, as no one can see you.

The Blind Cafe has three main components:
  • To engage in a social dinner experience with vegan and gluten free foods, sourced locally as much as possible.
  • To have a discussion via a Q + A session with legally blind speakers (who double as your servers), as they share their experiences of being blind.
  • To participate in an active listening opportunity by really tuning in to live music being performed at dinner.
All of these together are intended to heighten your senses and to be fully immersed in the environment. Organizers do note that their aim is not to make patrons experience the evening as if they were blind, but rather "designed to change the way you 'see' the world." From their website: "The Blind Cafe does not try to perfectly recreate blindness. Instead, it allows people to interact, trust each other, and experience community in an entirely new way. In the dark, there are no uncomfortable glances, no self-consciousness about what you’re wearing or what you weigh, no distinction between the sighted and blind."

The Blind Cafe will be held November 3 - 5, with two seatings per night at 6 pm and 8:30 pm, at the American Legion, 404 Atlanta Street (just south of Mopac and Lake Austin Blvd., near Deep Eddy pool). Suggested ticket price is $85/person, but sliding scale options are available.

* This is a sponsored post; I have been given two tickets to the dinner in exchange for coverage of the event.