INDIANAPOLIS — Plans are underway to bring a series of night-time festival style farmers market events to Indianapolis.
Indy Night Market will feature food, arts, and culture. The plan is to kick off the two-day events on Juneteenth weekend this summer.
Growing Places Indy, which hosts the Indy Winter Farmers Market, has teamed up with Be Nimble Foundation. They've launched a crowdfunding campaign with a goal to raise $15,000 to make the events possible.
“Since the beginning of Covid, the food system has shown it's extremely fragile. We need to support our local restaurants and local businesses,” Victoria Beaty, executive director Growing Places Indy said.
“I think the biggest thing is that this is the year and this is the time where we really have an opportunity to stand out, to build things from the ground up, and support each other,” Kelli Jones, co-founder and co-CEO of Be Nimble Foundation said.
The crowdfunding campaign is supported by the CreatINg Places initiative, which began in 2016. The program is available to projects in communities across the state. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority will match the the money raised by the crowdfunding campaigns.
“When we invest money into a project like CreatINg Places then we also become invested in it personally,” Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch said. "Then we talk about it and so it creates momentum, and it grows. It's a way to instill community collaboration but also community pride."
The CreatINg Places Indiana initiative has made projects like the Dog Park at Immanuel downtown a reality. Other successful crowdfunding campaigns include a splash pad in Arcadia and the Angels of Hope Memorial in Fishers.
The money donated for Indy Night Market will help fund the kickoff event on Juneteenth weekend and two additional events later in the year.
"Juneteenth is a really important for the weekend for the Black community," Beaty said. "We wanted to shine a light on Black restaurant owners, Black food entrepreneurs, and Black chefs. During the pandemic they have really taken the brunt of the hit when it comes to restaurant closings and things like that."
Jones said they've been thinking about how to keep supporting the community after the pandemic.
“We feel like this is a two in one thing," Jones said. "We're both supporting our community showing entrepreneur ship is key giving them and providing the places they can access."