This Saturday will mark the official first night of Squirrel Hill’s Night Market. This “open street” event will feature live music, food, and over 40 local artists and vendors. I Made it! Market manifested this event and other night markets that have been popping up in different parts of the city. The organization has been using this model to connect community members and create a cosmopolitan nightlife experience for patrons of all ages.
I Made it! Market (IMI) has been creating public forums for local artists for more than 8 years. The organization partners with neighborhoods and nonprofit organizations to raise awareness and improve the communities from within.
The first market took place in May 2007 at Garfield Artworks where 20 artisans were in attendance. This number has since grown to nearly 300. IMI has grown exponentially and continues to provide a means for artists to establish themselves as sellers in the Pittsburgh region.
Night markets got their start in Taiwan as large open-air market places, many of which were permanent structures. While these are still successful in Taiwan and certain areas of China, many have garnered a bad reputation for promoting cheap, questionable goods and producing large amounts of trash left behind by patrons and vendors. IMI is working towards implementing city wide night markets that undo these negative connotations by promoting a sense of community that reminds all of those involved that these events are meant to empower individuals and promote positive community living.
IMI has recently partnered with NextGen:Pgh to plan and implement Squirrel Hill’s first night market. NextGen is a community development organization whose mission is to “engage and mobilize the community by bringing people together in new, exciting ways” including environmental sustainability and improved public health.
Both IMI and NextGen promote better urban living by showcasing local talent and empowering communities. The Squirrel Hill Night Market will take place on August 29th and September 26th from 6-10pm on Murray Avenue between Forbes and Bartlett.
These organizations depend on the people of Pittsburgh to help them make a difference. To see how you can get involved, visit these sites today: