The third annual Dane Arts Buy Local (DABL) Night Market will bring together artists and vendors from every inch of the county, showcasing the importance of arts in the Madison economy on Oct. 12 at the U.S. Bank Building on the Square.
Mark Fraire, Director of Cultural Affairs for Dane Arts, emphasized the value of supporting the art and culture industry in Dane County. In 2015, the industry generated $249.9 million in economic activity for the region, Fraire said.
Dane Arts, a small agency within the county government, puts on events such as Dane Arts Buy Local to expand conversations about the value of art within the community.
“There is a huge return on arts and culture,” Fraire said.
Dane Arts Buy Local provides artists with the opportunity to sell products to local business owners, creating an exchange that stays within Dane County.
“The goal is to raise dollars to help individual artists perfect their craft,” Fraire said.
Thirty percent of profits raised by individual vendors is re-invested in the event’s costs for the following year to ensure a steady source of financial support for Dane Arts Buys Local.
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Beyond generating profits, Dane Arts Buys Local provides an opportunity for artists to showcase their work.
“There is a real lack of resources for individual artists to get support in Dane County,” Fraire said.
Dane Arts Buy Local is a step in the right direction. Thirty artists were accepted to sell at the Night Market, all of whom were selected from a competitive pool of 58 applicants.
“Vendors were picked based on highest artistic merit and the overall composition of their work,” Faire said.
Age, geographic location, gender balance and cultural diversity are also important factors that the Fraire’s team considered, he added. As a diverse county, it’s important that artists from the entire region are represented. Among some of the pieces that will be featured include jewelry, metalwork and wood sculpture.
In addition to choosing technically talented artists, Fraire’s team evaluated what businesses owners are looking for in prospective pieces. The goal is to make sure that local artists are supported by community members by “closing the deal,” Fraire said.
In addition to the sale, the Night Market will feature a one-hour panel discussion. The “Art of Business and Business of Art” panel will feature five speakers, all selected by Fraire, for their leading roles in the Madison music industry. Growth in the music scene at local businesses have placed Madison in a unique spotlight, Fraire added.
The panelists include Zhalarina Sanders, Charlie Goldstone, Cathy Dethmers, Joey Banks and Beth Kille. They will be discussing the changing shape of the music industry in Dane County.
Nearly a year of preparation has gone into the planning for the event. Fraire and four other team members started operations last January. The group met regularly throughout the year to discuss various issues ranging from diversity and inclusivity to logistical concerns.
For example, all vendors will be provided with Square readers so they can complete credit transactions on mobile devices faster and more efficiently, Fraire added.
Strengthening marketing strategies was another focus of the Dane Arts Buy Local team. Several local publications including Brava Magazine have done print segments on the the event to inform business-owners within the community.
“We do our best to reach as many businesses as possible.” Faire said.
Dane Arts has made distinct efforts to stay updated on social media to engage citizens of Dane County with specific events and the impact of supporting local art within the community.
The event will feature music, drinks, food and art from 4-9 p.m. at the U.S. Bank Building this Thursday.