Inspection Policy

Why Farm Inspections?

The Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) is committed to a producer-only policy in order to foster the growth of local farms and businesses and showcase products that are grown, raised, gathered, and hand-crafted in Illinois. When products are purchased wholesale from auctions, grocers, distributors, or processors, it undercuts the value and hard work that small farms and businesses surrounding Springfield have dedicated to raising their products, and jeopardizes their ability to sell those products at a fair price.  To ensure the integrity of our “Producer-Only” policy, farm inspections and visits are done to provide evidence to the Market Manager that (1) the products sold at the Market are grown by the vendor on his/her designated property and (2) to familiarize market staff with the excellent operations we represent as voices of the Old Capitol Farmers Market. Inspections will not be used as a tool to evaluate sustainability practices and all inspection results will remain confidential.

Who is inspected?

All growers are subject to a one-time farm inspection completed by the Market Manager and/or inspection team. A grower is defined as:

“a vendor actively involved and invested in the planting, growing, raising, and harvesting of agricultural products. This definition includes ranchers and dairy farmers. Agricultural products are fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, honey, eggs, fresh herbs, flowers, and any meat, dairy, or other agricultural product that is produced on farm and sold by that farm.”

Prepared food vendors, complementary vendors, and artisans are not subject to farm inspections but may be subject to other rules and regulations to insure the integrity of the Producer-Only Market rule.

Overview of Inspection Policy

New growers: All new growers to Old Capitol Farmers Market must have an inspection completed by the Market Manager and/or inspection team and must pay a one-time $80 inspection fee. Inspections will be conducted over the course of the market at the discretion of the Market Manager. The Market Manager will schedule the inspections that must be completed in a 30-day time frame.  Non-compliance will result in forfeiture of your right to participate in the market. Nothing learned on the farm including production practices, proprietary information, and potential rules violations will be revealed to anyone other than market management.

Existing growers: Existing vendors may be subject to an inspection by the Market Manager and/or inspection team on a rotating basis throughout the season. If an existing grower adds a new line/product, that line will need to be inspected before bringing it to Market. There are no additional charges for these inspections. Vendors who refuse inspections will not be able to participate in the Market and may forfeit their space without refund.

Farm Visits and Inspections

All inspections will be announced and scheduled in advance with the grower. The grower must provide any help necessary to thoroughly document the property being inspected and the products brought to market.  All inspectors will use the same Inspection Report form for each inspection. The Old Capitol Farmers Market Inspection Report form will be sent prior to inspection.

The inspection report includes the following subsections:

(1) Property Verification

(2) Farm Information

(3) Resale Information

(4) Farm Product List and Additional Products

(5A) Prepared Foods, Value-Added Products, etc.

(5B) Food Preparation Product Information

(7) Inspection Review & Follow-up.

During the inspection, the inspector(s) will tour the farm(s) and facilities asking questions and completing the Inspection Report form. Vegetable growers will be asked to provide seed purchase and transplant receipts.

Livestock Producers

Livestock operations will be subject to the same Inspection Report as vegetable producers, with some minor modifications. Producers will need to be able to verify that they have raised the meat for 75% of its weight.  This may include showing receipts if they purchased feeder animals, baby chicks, etc.  If they birthed the animals, they need to be able to show records.  Feed receipts or other records of vet care, etc. may be requested. Inspectors will evaluate pastures and ask for records regarding seeding, maintenance, and harvest of pastures, as well as the purchase of hay and straw (if necessary).

As all meat must be processed at a state or federally-licensed facility, producers will be asked to share their processor info on the ManageMyMarket application and will also be asked to share their processing receipts during the inspection.  If the Market Manager and/or inspection team has any suspicions, the processors will be contacted and weekly inventory inspections of growers coolers/freezers may be conducted to ensure that what producers are bringing to market is in-line with the animals raised/processing receipts/other records.

Inspection Results and Disciplinary Action

If the producer-only veracity is called into question for any product, the grower will be asked to cease the sales of those products for the remainder of the season and a written warning will be issued. If sales continue, the grower will be asked to leave the market without refund for the remainder of the season.  If a grower believes the inspection results were incorrect, they may contact the Market Manager and request a hearing before the Market Advisory Committee.

The grower checklist: “What to expect when we’re inspecting”

In order to expedite the inspection process, please complete the form below and have all of the following applicable items on hand at the beginning of your inspection.

  1. A farm map (required): A farm map identifying locations of all crops and livestock and directions to the farm(s) will be required prior to the inspection. The farm map will need to include each field outlined with crop plantings (include greenhouses, high tunnels, and storage and handling facilities) and pastures (include feed and grain storage and livestock housing facilities).
  2. Seed purchase, transplant, or plug receipts for all annual vegetables, fruits, and flowers listed on your ManageMyMarket market application
  3. Livestock birth records or other records of vet care for all livestock listed on your ManageMyMarket application
  4. Livestock purchase receipts
  5. Processor receipts
  6. Pasture maintenance records (seeds, fertility, harvest yields)

Community Group

 

The Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) is a producer-only farmers market located in the heart of Downtown Springfield at or near the corner of 4th and Adams Street. The 2019 season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a total of 24 weeks, beginning Saturday, May 18th and ending Saturday, October 26th. This is a total of 47 market dates. The Market will take place every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. RAIN OR SHINE. In the case of severe weather, the Market Manager will make the determination regarding closing the entire market early.

Market Mission

The Old Capitol Farmers Market strives to:

  • Support small farms and local growers by providing a venue to directly market their goods.
  • Strengthen the local economy by providing a venue for the public to connect with local growers, artisans, musicians, and entrepreneurs.
  • Build community by providing a public gathering space for community members to engage, interact, and exchange ideas with the people and projects around them.
  • Encourage healthy lifestyles through increasing availability of fresh produce and locally raised food.
  • Celebrate the diversity of locally-grown food and artisan products that are unique to Springfield and central Illinois.
  • Support, revitalize, and grow downtown Springfield by increasing foot traffic and patronage to the downtown area.

Community Group Vendors

As a service to the community, the Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) allows booths for non-profit community groups whose mission aligns with the mission of the Market. A community group is defined as a non-profit, charitable, educational, or government organization. An application, pre-approval, and payment are required for community group booths.

  • All groups must feature an educational activity or service that engages the community. Examples include games, photo-booths, raffles, crafts, face painting, and wellness services (dental check-ups, chiropractic services, bicycle repairs).
  • Groups will not be allowed to distribute religious or political propaganda.
  • The Market Manager will evaluate each application before approval.

Fees

The 2019 vendor fee structure will be as follows:

  • Market Season Fees
    • Full Season Wednesday and Saturday:  $500
    • Full Season Wednesday Only: $300
    • Full Season Saturday Only: $300
    • Half season: $300 (24 market dates of your choosing)
    • ⅓ Market: $120 (8 dates of your choosing)
    • Daily rate: $25 per Market day*
    • Street entertainment $5 per Market day
  • Manage My Market Registration Fee: $15
  • Inspection Fee: $80. Only new Growers will be obligated to pay the one-time $80 inspection fee. For more information see the Inspection Policy.
  • Electricity: There will be no charge for electricity at this time.

*Daily vendors and street entertainers must be pre-scheduled one week in advance and approved by market staff. They are required to pay ahead of time or by 8:30 a.m. the day of the market at the market information booth. If payment is not received on the day of the market, a $10 late fee will be charged. Daily vendors and street entertainers also must register through ManageMyMarket.

Application Procedure

The Old Capitol Farmers Market uses online software called ManageMyMarket to register vendors, track certifications, and assign spaces. Vendors must apply to the Market online.  Applications are available at www.managemymarket.com.

There is a yearly registration fee of $15 for approved vendors. If you do not have access to the Internet or need assistance with filling out an application, you may schedule a time to register with the Market Manager at the Downtown Springfield Inc office by calling (217) 544-1723. Remember that you will need copies of your liability insurance certificate, Illinois Business Tax Id Number, current vehicle insurance, and any and all necessary documentation from the Sangamon County Health Department/State of Illinois.

Community Group vendors will need to create an account, select the Old Capitol Farmers Market, complete the online application process and upload supporting documents. Remember, only fields with a red asterisk (*) are mandatory. For questions that apply only to growers or farmers, leave these fields blank of place “n/a” (not applicable) in the required fields. When you are prompted to enter a product list please choose “Community Resources” from the list of potential products.

For additional information on Vendor Policies and Requirements click on the link below:

 VENDOR POLICIES/PROCEDURES/REQUIREMENTS 

APPLY TO BE A COMMUNITY GROUP VENDOR

If you are interested in becoming a Community Group vendor at the Old Capitol Farmers Market, the application is live! Once you have completed your application, it will be reviewed for approval. If you are approved you will receive an email notification and an invoice. Payment is not due until after application is processed. Your application will not be considered complete until all documents and photos are uploaded or received.

We have not yet begun approving, placing, or invoicing vendors. Please be patient as we review applications.

MANAGE MY MARKET

2019 Vendor Agreement

I have read the 2019 Vendor document and agree to adhere to the policies, guidelines, and rules as stated and agree to submit all required documents and fee payments via ManageMyMarket by the May 1, 2019, deadline. If I am not able to use ManageMyMarket, paperwork and payments must be delivered to Downtown Springfield Inc (DSI) prior to the May 1, 2019, deadline.  I understand that failure to comply with all applicable rules may result in vendor termination and forfeiture of any paid fees.

Questions? Contact Mollie Ringer, Market Manager at market@downtownspringfield.org or call Downtown Springfield Inc’s Office at 217-544-1723.

For more vendor resources see below:

VENDOR POLICIES/PROCEDURES

 

VENDOR

The Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) is a producer-only farmers market located in the heart of Downtown Springfield at or near the corner of 4th and Adams Street. The 2019 season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a total of 24 weeks, beginning Saturday, May 18th and ending Saturday, October 26th. This is a total of 47 market dates. The Market will take place every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. RAIN OR SHINE. In the case of severe weather, the Market Manager will make the determination regarding closing the entire market early.

 

Market Mission

The Old Capitol Farmers Market strives to:

  • Support small farms and local growers by providing a venue to directly market their goods.
  • Strengthen the local economy by providing a venue for the public to connect with local growers, artisans, musicians, and entrepreneurs.
  • Build community by providing a public gathering space for community members to engage, interact, and exchange ideas with the people and projects around them.
  • Encourage healthy lifestyles through increasing availability of fresh produce and locally raised food.
  • Celebrate the diversity of locally-grown food and artisan products that are unique to Springfield and central Illinois.
  • Support, revitalize, and grow downtown Springfield by increasing foot traffic and patronage to the downtown area.

Market Map

Fees

The 2019 vendor fee structure will be as follows:

  • Market Season Fees
    • Full Season Wednesday and Saturday:  $500
    • Full Season Wednesday Only: $300
    • Full Season Saturday Only: $300
    • Half season: $300 (24 market dates of your choosing)
    • ⅓ Market: $120 (8 dates of your choosing)
    • Daily rate: $25 per Market day*
    • Street entertainment $5 per Market day
  • Manage My Market Registration Fee: $15
  • Inspection Fee: $80. Only new Growers will be obligated to pay the one-time $80 inspection fee. For more information see the Inspection Policy.
  • Electricity: There will be no charge for electricity at this time.

*Daily vendors and street entertainers must be pre-scheduled one week in advance and approved by market staff. They are required to pay ahead of time or by 8:30 a.m. the day of the market at the market information booth. If payment is not received on the day of the market, a $10 late fee will be charged. Daily vendors and street entertainers also must register through ManageMyMarket.

 

Application Procedure

The Old Capitol Farmers Market uses online software called ManageMyMarket to register vendors, track certifications, and assign spaces. Vendors must apply to the Market online.  Applications are available at www.managemymarket.com.

 

There is a yearly registration fee of $15 for approved vendors. If you do not have access to the Internet or need assistance with filling out an application, you may schedule a time to register with the Market Manager at the Downtown Springfield Inc office by calling (217) 544-1723. Remember that you will need copies of your liability insurance certificate, Illinois Business Tax Id Number, current vehicle insurance, and any and all necessary documentation from the Sangamon County Health Department/State of Illinois.

 

Vendors will need to create an account, select the Old Capitol Farmers Market, complete the online application process and upload supporting documents. Additionally, all current products must be listed when registering through the Manage My Market application. Only items listed in your completed application can be sold at Old Capitol Farmers Market. You must list all products that you plan to bring to market. The Market Manager will inspect booths periodically throughout the market season. If you bring items not on your list, you will be asked to remove those items from the table.

 

For additional information on Vendor Policies and Requirements click on the link below:

 VENDOR POLICIES/PROCEDURES/REQUIREMENTS

 

APPLY TO BE A VENDOR

If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the Old Capitol Farmers Market, the application is live! Once you have completed your application, it will be reviewed for approval. If you are approved you will receive an email notification and an invoice. Payment is not due until after application is processed.

*Your application will not be considered complete until all documents and photos are uploaded or received.

We have not yet begun approving, placing, or invoicing vendors. Please be patient as we review applications.

www.managemymarket.com

 

2019 Vendor Agreement

I have read the 2019 Vendor document and agree to adhere to the policies, guidelines, and rules as stated and agree to submit all required documents and fee payments via ManageMyMarket by the May 1, 2019, deadline. If I am not able to use ManageMyMarket, paperwork and payments must be delivered to Downtown Springfield Inc (DSI) prior to the May 1, 2019, deadline.  I understand that failure to comply with all applicable rules may result in vendor termination and forfeiture of any paid fees.

Questions? Contact Mollie Ringer, Market Manager at market@downtownspringfield.org or call Downtown Springfield Inc’s Office at 217-544-1723.

For more vendor resources, see below:

MARKET MAP

VENDOR POLICIES

COTTAGE FOOD LAW

COMMON FOOD REGULATION CONTACT LIST

FARMERS MARKET SAMPLING CERTIFICATE

IDPH PRE-INSPECTION CHECKLIST

CONNECT FRESH

ILLINOIS FARMERS MARKET QUICK FACTS

 

The Old Capitol Farmers Market is a proud member of the Illinois Farmers Market Association.

Old Capitol Goods Joins Studio on 6th Community Room

When Dana Homann and her family closed Old Capitol Goods last month she was a little overwhelmed. After 14 years running her shop, it was understandably an emotional time. Her good friend Alicia Bibb, owner of Studio on 6th, stepped in to help. “I was over at Dana’s shop and she was discussing what to do with leftover inventory”, Alicia explained, “and I thought, I have a way to help”.

When Alicia bought Studio on 6th almost 6 years ago, the back room of the shop was a break room. It was filled with mismatched furniture and messes. One of the first things she changed after taking ownership was to turn this space into a community outreach room. It began with selling artwork from special needs artists. “As word spread, it became difficult to keep that work in stock” Alicia said. The shop offers free coffee, reading materials and there is seating for conversation. More and more artists and organizations have begun to participate, and it’s easy to feel the community in this room.

Alicia encouraged Dana to sell her leftover inventory in this space and to designate a charity for a percentage of the proceeds to go to. The two friends decided to keep it in the neighborhood and chose Downtown Springfield, Inc. When asked what DSI means to them, Alicia gushed appreciation for the promotional help. “As we all know, running a business is difficult, especially a small, local one. We need all the help we can get. This is our way of giving back” she explained. “This is a win, win, win – and those are the deals I like to make” Dana added.

The new partnership will fill a hole left when Old Capitol Goods closed. You can find all the classic Springfield items like Mike Manning prints, Lincoln souvenirs, handmade wood toys, historical prints and more.

Alicia & Dana met 6 years ago when Dana’s shop was next door to Studio on 6th at Tinsley Dry Goods. “I would pop over and ask if my outfit was ok, or which necklace I should wear” Dana said with a laugh. Now, Dana will help out at Studio on 6th in her down time. She even plans to bring in Winston, her dog sometimes. “I’m excited to help such an incredible woman”, she said. The supportive friendship that the two have developed is obvious.

Over the last six years, Studio on 6th has donated to St. John’s Breadline, Helping Hands, Girls on the Run, Compass for Kids, SPARC, Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault, Sojourn House and many, many more. This shop is a testament to keeping local dollars local. “I want to encourage everyone to get downtown and put their spending money into the small businesses that make a difference” said Dana.

2018 Record Breaking Season for Old Capitol Farmer’s Market

The Old Capitol Farmer’s Market celebrated its 19th season as a DSI program in 2018, with record breaking attendance and sales. From mid-May through October, each Wednesday & Saturday morning, the market is held on Adams Street and 4th. It boasts a total of 70 different vendors throughout the season, selling a wide variety of locally-grown and hand-crafted products, contributing to the economic, environmental and social well-being of downtown as well as the entire Springfield community.

This past summer season was the third year that DSI has partnered with Illinois Stewardship Alliance to manage the day-to-day market operations, and Springfield Area Arts Council to program the music. We are also indebted to our premier sponsor, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, plus supporting partners which include Central Baptist Church, The Dinges Family, Chef Michael Higgins, Springfield Youth Performance Group, Midwest Family, the Kidzeum, SpringfieldMoms.org and many more entities and individuals.

“The Market is a celebration of everything that is Springfield, and the partners are really proud of it,” says Market Manager Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant. “Shoppers can find everything from green zebra-striped heirloom tomatoes specially bred to thrive in this region, to homemade blueberry donuts made by local bakers using blueberries grown in the Springfield area. But the market is so much more than a great place to shop; it’s also a great investment in the community.”

2018 Season by the numbers:

  • NEW record: 65,856 total adult and child visitors (10% increase!)
  • NEW record: $23,377 spent by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers to increase their healthy food intake (43% increase!)
  • NEW record: $11,839 Credit/Debit transactions at the Market Booth (13% increase!)
  • 60 Local & Family-Owned Businesses
  • your Farmers Market food traveled 38.9 miles to get to you
  • 30% Women-Owned Businesses
  • 1733 lbs of fresh produce donated

The economic impact on Springfield is easy to see. According to the National Farmers Market Coalition, sales at locally owned businesses infuse three times more back into the local economy than chain retailers.

Download the visual 2018 OCFM Impact Report.

All Incomes Being Able to Buy

This year, the Market was able to match $10,932 of the SNAP sales thanks to Link-Up Illinois Grant offered by Experimental Station, for a total of $23,377 dollars that went directly back into the pockets of local farms and businesses. The SNAP Match program ensures that families of all income levels across Springfield have access to fresh, wholesome food and that SNAP dollars stay local. This year a new partnership with the

Junior League of Springfield helped increase the capacity for staffing, program planning, and data collection for the SNAP program.

Thanks to a new program in partnership with GenHKids, during 10 Market dates from July 25th – Oct. 3rd, farmers were able to provide 1,733 pounds of fresh produce for low-income families throughout Springfield, furthering the Market as a driver of social good.

Downtown restaurants shop weekly at the Farmers Market.

Economic Spillover for Downtown Revitalization

The #AdamsFamily continues to grow, thanks to the foot traffic created by the Farmers Market and the ability for entrepreneurs to test out their products and grow a fan base. Two 2017 vendors made the move to new brick-and-mortar homes on Adams Street in 2018: Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. and the Itty Bitty Fashion Truck.  Custom Cup Coffee also celebrated its final season selling at the Market, having started as a vendor several years ago and now running a thriving brick-and-mortar location on Monroe.

More Fresh Than Anywhere

Environmentally, farmers and food vendors at the Market travel 38.9 miles one way to bring their products to market, a carbon footprint that is significantly less than that of food on grocery shelves, which travels an average of 1200 miles. Market staff inspect new farm vendors to verify that all products are grown by the farmers and not purchased from wholesale auctions or out-of-state, ensuring that all dollars stay local and truly support area family farms. We work hard so that you can trust that our market is truly “local” and “fresh.”

Award-Winning

The Market remains one of the most popular attractions in downtown. This year, the Market received three accolades: Best Fresh Produce and Best Weekend Activity by the State Journal-Register, and Best Free Entertainment by Illinois Times. According to visitor counts recorded in 2018, 65,856 total adult and children visited the market (an average of 2,634 each Saturday) with a record-shattering 7,299 patrons on opening day, Saturday, May 19.

Chef demonstrations, educational displays by partners, and family fitness programs make the Market more than just a place to shop. St. John’s Hospital offered free health screenings, and a number of community groups offered services, such as free books from the Land of Lincoln Book Share, meditation with the Student Yoga and Mindfulness Project, and a weekly Local Business tent we added as another form of community collaboration.

We also would like to thank the City of Springfield Office of Public Works for helping ensure the safety of the streets where the Market comes alive every single week and the Convention & Visitors Bureau for promoting it to our city’s visitors.

What’s Next for the Market?

Fortunately for Springfield, the final Holiday Market takes place at the State House Inn at 2nd and Adams on December 22, and a Winter Market will take place there once a month from January – April. For a full schedule, see our calendar of events.

Next year we’ll celebrate our 20th year! Contact us if you want to be involved as a sponsor or a community group.

 

Past DSI President, Mark Tomaw Retires After 42 Years.

Monday morning will be a little different for past DSI president, Mark Tomaw. After 42 years at RSM, Mark will be retiring. He spent his entire career just off the Old State Capitol Plaza, with office locations in the PNC building and the eponymous building where Innovate Springfield resides currently. He head up several programs & events and served countless volunteer hours with a dream of making Downtown what it was when he began working in the 70’s.

He kindly lent me a few minutes of his last week (still filled with work travel & meetings until the very end) and we discussed the changes he’s noticed in our neighborhood over the years. His stories are plentiful and familiar as he shared memories of loss and re-growth.

What was downtown like when you began your career here?

It was a lot different back then, there was a lot more people working downtown… a more sense of vibrancy than we have seen in recent years. I can still remember, in the summer, if you went out on the Plaza, people were just lined up along the Old Capitol fence sitting and eating lunch and just spending time. The number of employees filled up our entire neighborhood. You had CIPS in the Illinois Building, the banks were multi-level, not to mention the state agencies that were downtown that aren’t anymore. So… big difference there.

 

What year were you President of DSI?

Awww… you would ask that! I believe it was ’06/’07. RSM initially began a relationship with DSI by doing their payroll taxes. I think the executive director at the time asked if I would consider joining the board. Then, at some point, I was treasurer, and then cycled through. I followed Cindy Davis. I think I was the 7th president.

 

What issues were you working on as a board at that time?

You’re talking 10 years ago now… so… [laughs]. To some extent, the issues were similar. Continuing to try to fill empty space, to try to promote downtown, maintain the historical integrity but promote the economic vibrancy. Early on, before I was president, I know that one of the first big issues that came up was the space at the corner of 5th & Adams, where Driftwood was. It was known as the K-mart building, because when I came down, it was a K-mart. It was empty and deteriorating and there were concerns because it was so prominent off the plaza. We needed someone to renovate it. That ultimately got done, but it was the catalyst for DSI to determine that we need a charitable organization that would be in a position where an owner of a building could donate a building, get a charitable deduction and then could use that to facilitate to get the property in the hands of a developer. That’s how the Heritage Foundation came about. It was very active for several years.

We started the Taste of Downtown, which ultimately became the Blues & BBQ (which is now run by Barry Friedman). The Farmer’s Market began when I was on the board as well.

I can remember some really tight times when I was treasurer. We got lucky when the weather was nice and we could get our head’s above water with the fundraising.

 

What do you think we need to do as a community to improve our downtown?

If I had that answer, I would have been bringing that up a long time ago [laughs]. I continue to think that we have to foster a good relationship without the City. I just think that the type of organization that DSI is… it cannot reach it’s potential with that support. That’s a challenge, because the City faces it’s own issues from a financing standpoint. Beyond that, I’m honestly not sure I have a good answer. Once you get people down here, there are wonderful restaurants and shops… we just need to get them here.

 

From your experience, where do you see it going from here?

Obviously, I want to see it more vibrant than it is. The nightlife is much more than it was when I first started. There are so many restaurants and music. We also have so many more downtown residents… I want to see that continue to grow.

 

After 42 years working in the same location, what is your favorite place…

to have lunch? Of all the years, definitely Cafe Moxo

to have a drink after work? I know what it was 40 years ago… there was a little place just south of Capitol called Midway Pub. It’s an empty lot now.

to shop? I never did much shopping… ask my wife [laughs].

 

So, what now?

“We’ll travel a bit. I’m thinking I’ll just see how it goes… I don’t want to be too busy”, he says with an sly smile.

Downtown Shuttle Reduced Fare Announced

This morning, the Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) announced a discount fare for the Downtown Shuttle. Regularly priced at $1.25 per ride, the reduced fair is only $1.00 per ride. Additionally, there is a discount pass good for 10 rides that costs just $5.00. Passes can be shared by families or friends riding together. This is perfect timing as the summer heat makes hopping on an air conditioned shuttle pretty tempting!!

Passes can be picked up at the SMTD Offices at 928 South 9th St. or are available on the shuttle directly. Note that drivers are not equipped to make change and cannot accept debit or credit cards, so exact change will be needed.

The Downtown Shuttle has faced a danger of being cancelled, which would be tragic to many retail shops & restaurants. The route is based primarily on key business corridors in the downtown neighborhood. As many local business owners know, we get plenty of complaints about parking (although garage parking is plentiful). The Downtown Shuttle is a welcoming solution to giving tourists and locals alike an easy way to get around.

The service runs every 20 minutes from 6:20am to 6:20pm and every 10 minutes from 11:20am to 1:40pm Monday – Friday. To see the route and learn pick-up/drop-off times, visit the SMTD Downtown Shuttle website.

Look for signs at the following locations: Stratton Building, Washington & 2nd, Capitol & 5th, and Adams & 7th.

A Different Kind of T-Shirt

Connor Homann from What’s The Shirt

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of visiting with Connor Homann from What’s The Shirt inside of Old Capitol Goods. A self-proclaimed “International T-Shirt Mogul”, Connor brings his quirky sense of humor to this charming shop off the Plaza. Connor’s parent’s opened Old Capitol Goods years ago, and as you often see with local businesses, this innovative son has taken over for his parents and brought with him some new upgrades.

Connor’s father originally offered screen-printing capabilities in the back of the shop, often producing large amounts of t-shirts for local company fundraisers and events. After learning about not only screen-printing, but also direct to garment (DTG) printing in St. Louis, Connor decided to apply his talents here in Springfield.

There are a few things that make this a specialized offering, of which no one else in town provides. The first being that What’s The Shirt uses water-based inks which are all eco-friendly. Most t-shirt companies use a type of plastisol ink that is harmful to the environment. Connor’s DTG technique produces a softer, more light-weight feel on the t-shirt, versus the textured feeling of vinyl. Another awesome specialization is that What’s The Shirt can print just one of a design. Many t-shirt providers require a minimum order due to the work that goes into the set-up. “Think of it as a comparison to your printer at home”, Connor explains.

“You can print just one, or many, where as if you need a mass amount of prints, you would go to a printing company.” The largest run of t-shirts that Connor has printed with the DTG technique is around 400 for last year’s Amaranth Apple Festival. He also still provides traditional screen-printing for larger orders if requested. What’s The Shirt can create custom designs from scratch, offer design assistance, or simply print what you send them over email. How easy is that?!

Another upgrade Connor has brought to this local shop is an online store, DivergenTee. You can find over 450 pre-designed offerings that are funny, cultural and/or political. “I’ve had great success with this”, he says, which really says a lot considering the competitiveness of online shopping these days.

So, next time you need a single gift or a large order of t-shirts, be sure to check out What’s the Shirt and hit up Connor. You’ll enjoy, if nothing else, his great conversation and humor (but I can almost promise you’ll walk away with a new shirt).

Opening Minds Through Art

SIU School of Medicine and the Springfield Art Association are teaming up to bring you an incredibly special art reception this Friday evening at the SAA Collective Gallery in the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of neurocognitive disorders. Its failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with dementia. OMA also provides volunteers with opportunities to improve their attitudes toward aging through the weekly interaction with OMA program participants. The goal is to help create a society that values older adults with dementia. This program achieves this by building genuine friendships between people with dementia and volunteers as they engage in art-making.

Volunteers have been working with dementia patients once a week at the Springfield Art Association since the beginning of April. Before artists are matched up with patients, they are prepped with background information such as the participants interests, family members names, favorite colors, and of course health background. The patient works with the same artist every week to bring comfort and familiarity. Together they learn and create artwork, while developing a friendship.

Each participants creations will be on display at the SAA Collective Gallery June 8th & 9th.  Be sure to stop by and show support for these amazing people!

JOIN US (FREE TO ATTEND) ON
JUNE 8, 2018, 5:30 – 7PM
AT SAA Collective
420 South 6th Street
Springfield, IL 62701

Featured Artists Names:

Gail Record

Jean Kienzler

Ginny (Virginia) Reiser

Jean Staab

Tricia Balli

Don Elam

Nadine Hughes

Joe(Bobo) Beneky

Carita Gehlhausen

Mike Akins

Shirley Kane

Marybeth Zietz

OMA is supported by an Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative-Specialized Supportive Services (ADI-SSS) Project grant from the Administration for Community Living through the Illinois Department on Aging, as well as a grant made by the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln King’s Daughters Organization Blackstock Fund to the SIU School of Medicine, Center for Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders www.siumed.edu/alz.

Artist on the Plaza Season Announced

The Springfield Area Arts Council (SAAC) has produced summertime concerts for over thirty years. The outdoor performance series is called “Artist on the Plaza,” and it features local talent on the Old State Capitol Plaza/Grounds every Wednesday from noon to 1 pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Funding comes from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the City of Springfield, and downtown merchants — meaning you can grab your lunch to go, grab a table and a chair outside on the Plaza, and relax to different music each week, all for free!

 

 

 

SCHEDULE

June

6 – Springfield Area Youth Jazz Band, instrumental jazz

13 – Carole Vetter, rhythm and blues vocalist

20 – Tater Tot, eclectic vocal and instrumental

27 – Phil Steinberg, Sinatra stylist

July

4 – Rick Dunham, Elvis Himselvis

11 – Matt Mifflin, vocal and guitar

18 – Britney Long, singer/songwriter

25 – Casey Cantrall, vocal and guitar

August

1 – Saint Andrew’s Society, Scottish dance

8 – Springfield Dance Theatre, dancers

15 – Rowdy Dawson, country-western vocal and guitar

22 – Route 66, barbershop quartet

29 – Mary Bryant Home Singers, vocalist

No Such Template. Please Select Valid Template and Try Again.