LITTLE FALLS -- Students from three different central Minnesota schools will be featured artists at the indoor marketplace set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26 at Sprout in Little Falls.
Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace highlights cultural arts through performances and cooking demonstrations at each monthly market. The October market will highlight talented students in both music and culinary arts, a news release stated. The market will also reveal a new art installation made by a young artist, as well as have free art activities for all ages.
Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace season includes six monthly markets from October through March. The first of the season this month will gather a variety of food producers, artisans and artists who make their homegrown, handmade products available for community members to purchase. The market takes the form of a mini monthly festival, offering entertainment through performances and cooking demonstrations. The October performance is organized by Todd Peterson, Little Falls High School band teacher, and includes a mix of students and teachers in a first-of-its-kind jazz ensemble. The six member jazz combo includes Peterson; Joel Pohland, band director at Pierz Healy High School; and Carl Mathwig, Pierz Pioneer Elementary band teacher; as well as a student from each of the schools. Playing jazz standards from the Big Band and Swing eras, plus Latin and modern jazz, the group will perform three sets during the market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Following the band performance, there will be a cooking demonstration at 1 p.m. in the Sprout kitchen, with samples available for market attendees. Students from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School’s ProStart Program will demonstrate a butternut squash-apple bruschetta, using ingredients sourced locally from Sprout’s Food Hub. Mary Levinski, the instructor for the program states, “This is a great recipe, we tried it out and the students loved it, even though they typically do not like squash.”
Sauk Rapids-Rice High School is one of 50 schools in Minnesota that offers the ProStart Program, a national two year culinary training program that provides real-life experience opportunities, culinary techniques and management skills to high school students. Market attendees are encouraged to come to the event hungry, to taste the samples and to dine at the Cabin Fever “pop-up restaurant” that will have lunch, craft brews, and wine available during the market. Local food and art producers interested in participating in the market can become a vendor by visiting www.sproutmn.com/vendors.
Another feature of the market is a new art installation by Andreas Nordrum, a young artist from Laporte, who created a life size Migizi, Ojibwe for “Eagle” out of red willow and cedar wood. The willow was woven to create the tail feathers, and the Migizi’s head was hand carved out of cedar wood. The majestic piece now hangs from the rafters of Sprout’s facility.
Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can also double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace and the Sprout Mobile Market. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their electronic benefit transfer card at the market to receive an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in “Market Bucks.” SNAP is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an EBT similar to a debit card. To find out if you qualify for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 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.