Washington Square Artistan's Market opens in time for Art Hop

Established organizations and new businesses in Edison are all welcoming the latest addition to the neighborhood, the Washington Square Artisan Market. Seven businesses and organization are collaborating on the spring hop that has everything from belly dancers and Middle Eastern dance to a poetry open mic.

The May 1 Art Hop will feature the grand opening of the Washington Square Artisan Market, operated by the People's Food Co-op, a place for local artisans to sell their wares.

This Art Hop also will offer a chance for art hoppers to move progressively from one spot to the next to take in all kinds of artistic endeavors. First there will be dancing and the Lost Frames Photography at Belly Dance Kalamazoo (at 6:15 and 6:35 p.m.). Rootead Drum and Dancing (at 7:15 p.m.) plus Fran Dwight Photography will be the next stop at the Washington Square Artisan Market, 1315 Portage. There will be live music at Tremolo. There will be art by T. Kifer (from 5-8 p.m.) and a poetry open mic at FIRE (at 8 p.m.).

At Jersey Subs you can see artwork by the Boys and Girls Club. The film Inside the Civic will premiere at Community Promise Federal Credit Union, and Sister Chimes will be at the Washington Square branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library.

The upcoming Art Hop shares the diversity of the Edison Neighborhood, says Kelly Clark of the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, which has been instrumental is working to bring innovative business models to the business district on Portage Street.

Washington Square Artisan Market will feature the work of those creating items for sale in their own homes. The storefront at 1315 Portage offers a chance for smaller vendors to collaborate with one another in a setting that on their own they could not afford. Edison neighborhood vendors will have goods for sale in the market, and it is open to those across the community as well.

The market will be open two days a week initially and increase that as demand grows.

Clarke said the idea for the Artisan Market is to build on the success of the nearby Farmers Market at Bank Street. If the new market proves successful it could be part of a market district, Clarke says.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Kelly Clarke, Kalamazoo County Land Bank

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