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!
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
4 – Rick Dunham, Elvis Himselvis
11 – Matt Mifflin, vocal and guitar
18 – Britney Long, singer/songwriter
25 – Casey Cantrall, vocal and guitar
1 – Saint Andrew’s Society, Scottish dance
8 – Springfield Dance Theatre, dancers
15 – Rowdy Dawson, country-western vocal and guitar
The Old Capitol Farmer’s Market — voted Best Community Event, Best Weekend Activity and Best Fresh Produce in 2017 – is back for the 2018 season at 4th and Adams!! Thanks to HSHS St. John’s Hospital for their generous support as premier sponsor.
The Old Capitol Farmers Market is proud to continue its status as the area’s only producer-only farmers market. This means that all products are grown, raised, or handmade by each vendor and nothing is re-sold or mass produced. Over the last two years, the Market has tightened its inspection policy to insure the integrity of the producer-only status.
“Shoppers can feel confident that when they shop at the Old Capitol Farmers Market that they are getting the freshest produce and proteins raised right here in Illinois by the farmers standing in front of them,” said Deborah Cavanagh-Grant, Old Capitol Farmer’s Market Manager. The producer-only rule is part of a larger effort to help shoppers know their farmers and better understand and invest in local food systems.
What’s New in the 2018 Season?
Junior League of Springfield Partnership to Help Decrease Food Insecurity
The Junior League of Springfield (JLS), a 75-year-old local service organization, adopted an Issue Based Community Impact model in 2014 in order to better strengthen the skills of members and create more community impact. Since establishing “food insecurity” as their focus area, JLS has committed over 200 hours of service toward this issue.
The Old Capitol Farmers Market has been chosen as the avenue for Junior League to partner to combat food insecurity over the next several years. Citing the Market’s successful use of SNAP benefit matches totaling more than $16-thousand in 2017 alone, Lindsay Bentivegna, President of JLS, said, “Partnering with the Old Capitol Farmers Market and its SNAP Match Program will allow Junior League members to interact with those coming to the farmer’s market and help influence the positive outcomes of the SNAP Match program.”
Junior League members will be actively involved with data collection, fundraising and event planning, and program implementation with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, specifically related to their day-to-day management of the Market.
ISA secured the largest SNAP grant match in the Market’s history this year, totaling $11,000 from Link Up Illinois, a program of non-profit Experimental Station. The money has increased for our Market because it has so successfully found an audience who can use Link benefits for purchases of locally grown fruits and vegetables from our vendors.
Look For the “Signature Ingredients!”
This season it will be easier than ever to find the freshest local ingredients at the food trucks and prepared food vendors at the Old Capitol Farmers Market, thanks to the new “Signature Ingredient” chalkboard signs.
Each food vendor has committed to purchasing and highlighting at least one Market ingredient on their menu each week– the “signature ingredient.” It could be anything from local eggs in your breakfast tacos, to farm-fresh blueberries in your muffins, to perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes tucked into your burrito.
The signature ingredient program helps build connections between small farms and local businesses, keeps money local, and gives patrons the choice to eat local and try out the freshest seasonal ingredients.
New Options on Adams Street
The economic benefits for both the local farmer and artisan community, as well as the businesses in the vicinity of the Old Capitol Farmers Market, are clear and have led to many of the Adams Street vacancies filling in with new brick-and-mortar businesses that Market patrons should check out this season. Itty Bitty Fashion Truck started as a Market vendor and has been open in their “permanent home” since November at 403 E Adams. They will be hosting special summer hours all Market season, opening at 8 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
New brewery Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. opened earlier this year at 406 E Adams Street to rave reviews and will have special Saturday hours, opening at 10 am, during the Market. Kiddos by Urban Sassafras, a second venture from Cassandra Pence Ostermeier, has weekend-only hours at 407 E Adams, offering free interactive art activities for kids of all ages and Take-and-Make kits for sale. “The Market is where Urban Sassafras really took off, and I’m happy to have an outpost there again,” said Ostermeier.
Look For Local Businesses at the Commercial Tent
You may also find some new local businesses whom you hadn’t heard about at DSI’s new “Commercial Tent,” located at the northwest corner of 4th and Adams on various Saturdays throughout the Market. Based on the Logan Square Farmers Market in the Chicagoland area, the Commercial Tent provides locally-owned Springfield businesses an opportunity to inform market goers about their products and services.
Award-winning teenagers from around Illinois are set to compete for a slot in the 2018 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest in Washington, D.C., in late April.
This regional level event in the LRS Theatre at the Hoogland is free and open to the public.
The Springfield Area Arts Council will host the sixteen high school students who were winners and runners-up in competitions held last month in eight regions spanning Illinois. From contests starting in their own classrooms, these students study, memorize, and recite renowned classic and contemporary poetry at each level of competition. A panel of writers, teachers, and performers judges each recitation. The state champion will receive a trip to the nation’s capital to join a field of fifty-three students vying for the top prize, a $20,000 scholarship.
This year’s judging staff includes Rodrigo Carramiñana, formerly of Carbondale (university dean); Brian Ellis, Bishop Hill (storyteller), Quraysh Ali Lansana, Chicago (teacher and poet), and Maurine Magliocco (professor emerita).
Wynton Gage of Springfield’s Southeast High School and Cole White of Pawnee High School will represent the Central Illinois region.
The Springfield Area Arts Council coordinates this annual contest in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Poetry Out Loud is backed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Now in its fourteenth year, the contest is designed to encourage interest in poetry at the high school level. In Illinois this season, over 7,460 students and 164 teachers from 48 Illinois public and private high schools participated.
Wonder what’s fresh for the 2017 season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market? “Lettuce” tell you!
This market season–in addition to the fresh, local, in-season produce and value-added products you are used to–we’ll offer music, chef demos, family workouts, and more!
We’re so pleased that the great staff of Illinois Stewardship Alliance are once again managing the day-to-day operations of our Market, which was voted the #1 Reason to Come Downtown by Illinois Times readers last year. We’re also glad to welcome the Springfield Area Arts Council as a partner, who has lined up a whole season of Saturday music for you to shop by.
Join us Wednesday and Saturday mornings, from 8a – 12:30 pm, all spring and summer and fall, through Halloween at the Market on October 28.
ON SALE THIS WEEK
locally grown and delicious asparagus, cabbage, greens, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, sprouts, squash, strawberries and tomatoes picked at peak ripeness by our fantastic growers
WED. MAY 17 ACTIVITIES
Enjoy a t-shirt tote-making station, a “pop-up Library” courtesy of Lincoln Library, and a 7:30 am group bike ride from Washington Park to the Market as part of “Curb your Car” week.
SATURDAY CRISS-CROSS LAYOUT
On Saturdays, the market goes all “cross-cross!” In addition to vendors on Adams Street from 3rd to 5th, our Market Advisory Committee suggested we ramp up the safety by closing the 4th Street “crossing” and host vendors on 4th Street as well, from the alley west of the USPS, to the alley west of Resource One. Patrons are invited to park for free again in the Resource One parking lot, entering using 3rd Street, on Saturdays only. The city parking garage at 4th and Washington will be open for $5 as well, accessible by Washington Street. Download the map>
SAT. MAY 20 ACTIVITIES
WNNS FM will be broadcasting live when the Market opens at 8 am.
At 9 am: You and the kids can participate in a free family workout hosted by the YMCA.
Or watch and learn how to prepare fresh whole food from Chef Higgins in the Hy-Vee Healthy Cooking Tent.
At 10:30 am, we’ll host our official ribbon cutting with Mayor Langfelder and the Iles Middle School marching band. Don’t forget to say hi to your favorite returning vendors and meet some new ones AND have a free piece of Opening Day Cake provided by Incredibly Delicious.
After the official ribbon cutting, From 10-noon, Mike Anderson will be serenading shoppers.
NEW SERVICE – CHEF CREATED, MARKET INGREDIENT, MEAL KITS!
Do you love a meal kit delivery service, but wish you could support local farmers while you eat it?! Have your rhubarb cake and eat it too by trying out the Farmers Market version prepared by Chef Ryan Lewis. On Saturday, May 27, he will have a take and make meal option for sale featuring herb roasted chicken and asparagus and sorrel salad with raspberry and rhubarb vinaigrette. For veggie lovers, he will have cornmeal pancakes and fried egg sauteed asparagus and radish with lemon and chive.
See you at the market!
The Old Capitol Farmers Market is sponsored by HSHS St. John’s Hospital and managed by Illinois Stewardship Alliance on behalf of Downtown Springfield Inc. Springfield Area Arts Council is partnering this year to provide live music on Saturdays.
Downtown Springfield, Inc.
3 W Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 15
Springfield, IL 62701
P: (217) 544-1723