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Taco Stand Project: An experiment in sharing

With a vision to create an environment of curiosity and discovery, Idea Exchange is embracing a centuries-old method of exchange and welcoming this fall, the Taco Stand Project.

The Taco Stand Project is an experiment, a venue, an activator for community sharing. It aims to bring us together to find new ways of navigating the challenges of today. The Taco Stand Project wants to become a different kind of norm, where trading skills and sharing ideas are not tied up in commerce and power, but rather a community minded collaboration, with cost free resources and social empowerment.

In Mexico, a taco stand is a temporary venue and a gathering hub, serving low-cost food to any given neighbourhood and offering social interaction. Many taco stands in Mexico remain unregulated, meaning they pop up as necessary and remain outside the framework of regulated restaurant culture. They arrive from necessity of making a buck in impoverished places. They show up temporarily at festivals and community hot spots. They care for the locals and offer a quick bite for cheap.

Borrowing from this culture of unregulated economy, the Taco Stand Project explores what opportunities reside in our community for empowering people to share their skills, trade tasks or things, or teach an original solution to a common problem.

The Taco Stand Project is our first attempt and needs you because a community is built by all of us.

The Taco Stand Project has been developed in conjunction with the exhibition With Mexico, From Love which opens Friday, November 25, 7:00pm at Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square Gallery (and yes, at the opening, there will be tacos).

Intrigued? Excited? Get involved!

There are two ways to participate in the Taco Stand Project:

  1. Give a workshop, a talk, a demonstration, or tell a story. Share your culture, knit a sweater, fix some things, or salvage the discarded. It’s your stand. Your venue. Book it.
  2. Trade things at no cost. Two hours of dog walking in exchange for a car wash. Tomatoes in exchange for homemade pies. An old collection of vinyl in exchange for a guitar. The Trading Post at the Taco Stand awaits your announcement.

As long as it’s safe, environmentally friendly, beneficial to someone, and clever in not perpetuating capitalist hunger, we’ll make it work.

Submit your Taco Stand Project contributions and ideas

We are seeking participants for the Taco Stand Project from Saturday, November 26 until Saturday, February 18, 2017 at our Queen’s Square location, 1 North Square, Cambridge.

Click here to learn more and apply to be part of the Taco Stand Project.

The last day of the project is Sunday, February 19. Last day to submit is Thursday, February 16. Earlier submissions will have best choice of selection for dates and times, so don’t take too long. Let’s see we what we can do together.

For further information, please contact Karen Murray-Hopf at 519.621.0460 ext.155, or

1 North Square, Cambridge, ON  N1S 2K6
Mon – Thurs 9:30am – 8:30pm
Fri – Sat 9:30am – 5:30pm
Sun 1:00 – 5:00pm

Admission is free and all are welcome.
For more information, visit, call 519.621.0460 or follow on Twitter @IdeaXchngART.

Idea Exchange Art + Design presents contemporary art, architecture and design from three galleries in the City of Cambridge: Design at Riverside, Preston, and Queen’s Square.






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