LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – African arts, drumming, dance, and storytelling will fill the indoor marketplace on March 23rd, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sprout MN (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls, Minn.) Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace highlights cultural arts through performances and cooking demonstrations at each monthly market. The March 23rd market will be the first market to showcase a variety of African art performances, which will include opportunities for the public to participate in dance, drumming, and the creation of an art installation that will reside at Sprout. The market will also reveal a new fabric art installation made in collaboration with St. Cloud area women with East and West African heritage, as well as three fiber artists from St. Cloud, St. Joseph, and Little Falls, which features hand-dyed fabric, woven together and hung from the ceiling at the Sprout facility.
The performances are organized by the Fred Yiran Legacy Project (St. Cloud, Minn.), which honors the late artist, Fred Yiran, a master painter, instrumentalist, carver, sculptor, jewelry-maker, poet, singer, performance artist, and an arts and culture educator. Fred Yiran came to Minnesota from Cameroon in the early 1980s to to pursue education Bemidji State University in Fine Arts, as well as a Master of Arts (MA) degree in African Arts from St. Cloud State University. His legacy continues to expand knowledge and understanding of African arts and cultures through the work of his wife, Janette, who facilitates experiences like that found at the Sprout market in addition to the annual Fred Yiran African Arts Day at Lake George in St. Cloud. Fred Yiran African Arts Day 2019 will take place on Sunday, June 30th (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.).
The public also has the opportunity to cheer on their favorite local vendor at the March 23rd market through the Best of 2019 Vendor Awards. Shoppers can pick up a ballot at the information booth and roam the market to find the vendors which appeals to consumers visually, displays a cultural origin or story for their products, depicts uniqueness of the region, and is socially engaging. Local food and art producers interested in participating can become a vendor by visiting www.sproutmn.com/vendors. The community is also invited to watch the cooking demonstration at the market, which will feature a dish with African roots. The cooking demonstration is a regular feature at the monthly Sprout markets to create a fun atmosphere while customers shop the local vendors selling handmade, homegrown food, art, and other products.
The community is invited to shop the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace vendors selling local food and art on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 23, October 26, November 16, and December 14. During these markets, through visual and performing art, culinary demonstrations, educational events and more, Sprout showcases community's assets and talents found amongst the variety of cultures across the region. In the months of April through September, Sprout hosts cultural exchange cooking classes, MINCED: The Finer Version of Chopped cooking competition on May 10th, educational opportunities for growers and artists, and Summer Harvest Dinner on July 26, utilizing food to tell stories and connect to one another.
Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can also double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their EBT card at the market information booth to receive tokens, plus an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in “Market Bucks.” Market Bucks can then be used at vendor booths during the market for any SNAP eligible items - breads, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, and more. SNAP is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT) similar to a debit card. To find out if you qualify for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151 or visit mnfoodhelpline.org for more information.
The activities are funded through a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund.
Interested shoppers, growers, artists, chefs, and educators who want to learn more, visit www.SproutMN.com and follow the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace on Facebook.