The Arts Center is starting an appeal to its membership and frequenters of the Downtown Arts Market for financial support for the Market for next year.
"We need to gauge the support and find out what programming we're going to do for the next season," said Mindi Schmitz, executive director of The Arts Center.
The Downtown Arts Market offered music, cultural activities and artisan and food vendors on Thursdays during the summer through August in the Hansen Arts Park. Schmitz doesn't expect any major changes to the Market in 2020, although she'd like to see the number of artisan vendors grow.
"We'd like to repeat 2019," she said. "I think it was a raging success."
Schmitz said it costs from $1,000 to $2,000 for each Downtown Arts Market. No taxpayer dollars are used to pay for the Market.
"It's a significant investment every week," she said.
The Arts Center also plans to conduct a business appeal next year for financial support of the Market.
"Our main appeal for the Market will be in the spring to the businesses," she said. "The businesses in the community stepped up like I've never seen when we asked them to support the Market, and they did."
She said she had "excellent feedback" from the public on the Market.
"The community just looks forward to every Thursday night," she said. "They appreciate the diversity of entertainment. You know, we always try and bring a cultural, artistic aspect to each Downtown Arts Market and we hold true to that every week. And we hope the community recognizes that and appreciates it."
Schmitz said between 200 and 400 people attended each Market this season. On the night that singer/writer Jesse Veeder, artist Walter Piehl and cowboy poet Shad Piehl performed, she estimated about 500 attended.
"It was kind of standing room only, and that's the capacity of the park," she said. She said they'd like to continue building on those successes and reach a broader group of people.
"I think it's really incredible what we put out here at The Arts Center," she said. "... Putting on a Downtown Arts Market like we do once a week is sort of mind-blowing to other organizations across the state and around the region. They would do something similar maybe once a month. But for us to do it every week and the community to continue to come out every week is pretty impressive."
There were no major issues, she said. Some people noted previously the sun could be an issue, but the Jamestown Downtown Association purchased umbrellas for people to use at the Market. On days when there were no food vendors, volunteers from the Arts Center served up frozen Jonny B's Brickhouse pizzas they cooked.
"So we always had an option for patrons in the community," Schmitz said.
She said one of the best aspects of the Market was the diverse audience.
"... what was so rewarding to me as a director is to see all kinds of community members," she said. "Ave Maria (Village) would bring down a bus of their elders. The Anne Carlsen Center would walk their students over."
At the last Market, The Arts Center partnered with the Anne Carlsen Center on the Zot Artz event.
"It was just incredible to see those kids participate in that art event while the entertainment was happening across the street," she said.
She said Chad Kainz, who helped design the Hansen Arts Park, insisted the walkways in the park be handicap accessible, wide enough for wheelchairs to get through and dance. One person actually did dance in her wheelchair to the entertainment, Schmitz said.
"That's what it's about," she said. "That's why we provide it for the community, so everyone can participate in the arts."
Arts Center membership renewals are also being done on an ongoing basis to sustain ongoing programs and the operation of The Arts Center, Schmitz said. The membership renewals are not the appeal that is specifically geared to support the Downtown Arts Market.
"We rely on those sustaining dollars for our operation," she said.