Uphams Corner UP Market Set for a Successful Summer 2014

Continuing from 2013, the Uphams Corner UP Market is holding monthly Open Air Markets centered at the Paraiso Restaurant on Dudley Street. For August they will join the Uphams Corner Street Festival on Stoughton Street.  Uphams Corner is asking the everyone to attend and support our community's local entrepreneurial efforts.

Uphams Corner UP MarketWith regular planning meetings held since the beginning of the year and the experience from last year, the 2014 Uphams Corner UP Market is targeting an excellent and productive summer.

The open air market, called UP Market, is scheduled one Saturday a month, June-October.  Centered at the Paraiso Restaurant Plaza, each event will feature sales by local artisans, crafters and creative businesses, augmented by area organization information tables. 

Belden Street down to Belden Square will be closed off, giving space for youth activities, arts activities sponsored by the UP Truck, a DJ to keep us dancing and food from area restaurants.

The August UP Market will be part of the Uphams Corner Street Festival which, like 2013, will be held on a closed-off Stoughton Street. 

Uphams Corner is asking for your support.

Plan to attend the UP Market monthly events, bring some cash and plenty of ideas. The planning committee looks forward to your participation and your feedback.

History of UP Market

6/12/12 ArtPlace $480,000 grant awarded by The Boston Foundation  Read article (press release)
8/18/12 Uphams Corner 2012 Street Festival  Read article (review)
5/31/13 Project for Public Space Workshop - open air market discussed  Detail coverage of workshop (5 articles)
8/17/13 Uphams Corner 2013 Street Festival (and first UP Market)  Read article (debrief)
9/14/13 UP Market #2 for 2013 - First solo open air market in Uphams Corner  Read article - great photos
10/19/13 UP Market #3 for 2013
12/20 - 12/22/13 UP Market #4 for 2013
UP Market #1 for 2014
The Future
Questions Remain

The question of focus is still being worked out. Is the upmarket a way to promote local artistic vendors or is the upmarket intended to be a successful open air market?  the answer is still under debate. Under no circumstances, they say, will vendors be allowed who look like a "flea market."

The question of who is managing the UP Market is also under discussion. This is not normally what a Main Street organization does. The goal is to have the market self-supporting and to have an UP Market Manager appointed who receives a small stipend.


UP Market History in Detail

On June 12, 2012, The Boston Foundation announced a $480,000 grant to support an Uphams Corner arts initiative.  The BRA, the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development and the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events would serve as partners in a pilot project to catalyze a "cultural economy" with art installations, outdoor markets, local business activities and "random acts of culture" in and around the historic Strand Theatre and Uphams Corner MBTA stop (commuter rail).

Click here to read press release

The first Uphams Corner Street Festival in many years took place on 8/18/12 after months of planning.  The goals included having local businesses offer sidewalk sales, to create a festive environment for local residents and to celebrate. Even though the day began with rain, it didn't dampen anyone's spirits and the event was deemed a success. 

Clear here to read event review with wonderful photos

On May 31, 2013, the Fairmont initiative organized a workshop put on by the Project for Public Spaces,  PPS opened the workshop by teaching attendees concepts on how to connect urban spaces to create a friendlier, more inviting and more walkable urban space.  The attendees then broke into three groups to apply the PPS concepts to three geographic spaces close to the Fairmont line. 

One group focused on spaces east of the commuter rail line including the open lot at Humphreys and Dudley Streets.  "Why couldn't there be an open market in Uphams Corner?" That's the question posed by Xavier Torres from The Boston Foundation as part of the walking tour, consistent with the cultural economy focus of the art place grant.

Click here to read full coverage of the workshop (5 articles)

Building on the 2012 Street Festival and with a focus turned to the arts, the planning committee selected Stoughton Street for the 2013 Street Festival.  Closed to traffic, it was the perfect spot for setting up two dozen vendor tables, food vendors and information tables.

Click here to read 2013 Street Festival Debrief

Experimenting with the UP Market concept continued with two more events held in the Citizens Bank parking lot, 9/14/13 and 10/19/13.  Some vendors reported high sales while others did not. The limited hours available for use of the parking lot (because the bank closes at 1 PM) restricted the UP Market to Saturday afternoon when much the Uphams Corner foot traffic has already left.

Click here to read article on first open air market event

Praise goes out to the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre (JMBT) for their support of the UP Market concept.  During their performances of the Nutcracker, December 20-22, 2013, JMBT Gave permission for vendors to set up sales tables in the public area adjacent to the Strand Theatre's main theater.  Vendors were allowed to sell before each of the five performances, at the intermission and after the performances. Some vendors did well; others did not. One of the difficulties was the lighting which suits the Strand Theatre's setting but does not promote adequate display of vendor products.

Harvard Business School students participated in several of the markets, examining the format, customers, products and other ambient factors. They released a report with recommendations on how to hold a more successful open air market.  One recommendation was to not limit to vendors to arts only. Consistently, vendors selling more common everyday items such as clothing and jewelry had higher sales than those who sold art, photography and books. 

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Posted: May 29, 2014    Nancy J Conrad