New holiday art market to promote inclusivity, embrace culture; space available for more vendors

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Organizers are aiming to uplift inclusivity in the Lawrence holiday market scene with a new event this December, and there’s still room for more vendors to sign up.

Moniqué Mercurio (Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation), Lawrence artist and organizer, says she’s witnessed the need for authentic spaces where BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community members can showcase their art during the holidays.

She also feels community members want more holiday markets where they can support BIPOC vendors and see themselves represented.

An idea Mercurio had turned into the first “Inclusive Holiday Market.”

Chloe Anderson/Lawrence Times Moniqué Mercurio

“The Inclusive Holiday Market is more than just a shopping experience,” the Facebook event page says. “It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusivity. We are proud to showcase a variety of vendors from different backgrounds and cultures, ensuring that everyone feels welcome and represented.”

Mercurio, owner of MercTribe Designs, partnered up with Taylor Overton and Black:30 to get to planning.

They hoped their collaboration would be a recipe for uplifting local BIPOC artists and businesses. Art Love Collective, where Mercurio serves as the community outreach director, is the event sponsor.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Black:30 President Taylor Overton, at left, and Executive Director Devanté Green

Accessibility for vendors was a high priority for organizers, Mercurio says. Those selling their work at the market do not pay any vendor fees, and tables and supplies will be available for free.

Attendees will be able to shop handmade crafts, desserts, accessories and more in the midst of holiday music and festive scenes. Local vendors will also be selling food and refreshments throughout the day.

The Inclusive Holiday Market is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Drive. Admission is free.

There are 77 vendors registered so far, but there’s room for more as organizers have reserved the entire Lied Center for the event, Mercurio says. Vendors interested in participating in the Inclusive Holiday Market should fill out the Google form for registration as soon as possible.

Visit the Facebook event page for more information and follow Black:30’s Facebook page to stay updated.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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