Washington DC can seem like quite the sleepy little town in August…Congress and the city council are both out of session, and everyone else seems to be on vacation. But there are still some gems hidden around the city, and one of them is a brand-new outdoor arts market, that was nothing but an idea a mere thirty days ago.
Beth Baldwin is an artist and crafter, and a former employee of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. As an experienced event planner, as well as a fan, advocate, and producer of public art, she was a natural person to approach when the Commission and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center wanted to find a way to activate empty space in the convention center.
Beth had lots of ideas, and the people who sign the grant checks liked a lot of them. Her idea to create a small, outdoor market focused on artists, crafters and designers in Washington DC particularly caught their eye. Fortunately, four dates in August were confirmed, with support from both the Commission and the Convention Center! Perhaps less fortunately, Beth had thirty days to wrangle vendors and performers, and to get the word out.
Luckily, Washington DC is full to bursting of talented artists and creators, and Beth’s experience and contacts gained from organizing arts events made the whole process come together quickly.
In just thirty days, more than forty-five artists, crafters, and designers applied and were juried into four one-day events over two weekends in August, starting on Saturday, August 7. Beth is very proud to have every ward of the city represented among the vendors, as well as a handful of Virginia and Maryland artists as well.
Additionally, she was very careful to have a variety of art and crafts represented. For a relatively small number of vendors, the diversity of goods available is amazing: painting, photography, jewelry, handmade books and paper goods, children’s clothes, handbags, and hats were all there, and much more. All handmade by local artists and designers, most of them living and working right in the city, some only a few blocks away from N Street itself.
Arts on N Street is brand new for 2010, but the success of the opening weekend already has everyone talking about how often it can happen again. Beth is confident that she won’t run out of interested vendors, so it’s very possible that Arts on N Street may become an annual or even a monthly event. Stay tuned!
Arts on N Street features around 45 vendors and is located on N Street between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, right behind the Convention Center, and is one block from the Mount Vernon Square Metro station. The market is open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm for two weekends only (for now): August 7-8 and 14-15, 2010.