This weekend, a local market will make its way down Seventh Street as a way for the community to support local artists and Fourth Avenue.
Full of around 300 artists and vendors, the Made In Tucson market happens twice a year — once in the fall and once in the spring. This spring’s market is happening on Sunday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along East Seventh Street, west of North Fourth Avenue.
The market started back in 2018 and was created by the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition. When it began, the market was very small and started with roughly 50 vendors. Fast forward to 2023 — they received over 500 applicants for this spring’s market. While there’s not enough room for that many vendors, organizers also don’t want the large number of vendors to take away from the personal and intimate feeling the market gives the community.
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“We wanted to make sure everyone was included, from artists who are just starting out to those that have been making art for years to make the fair diverse,” said DeeDee Koenen, who is co-owner of local shop Pop Cycle on Fourth Avenue and part of the coalition.
Made In Tucson features almost anything you can think of, with many different kinds of art displayed up and down the block. From bags, candles, jewelry, high-end art and even cookies and handmade cards, there’s something for everyone. There will also be seven local food trucks for shoppers to enjoy right onsite while they browse the vendors’ works of art.
Some of the 300 artists you’ll see at Made In Tucson include photographer Jesse J Media, Herbs and Love Co. with their loose-leaf tea, woodworker La Vida Taprut, Succulents by Penny with their succulent home decor, local shop Hola Chingona’s owner Maria Iturralde, baby and toddler brand Cactus Wren Apparel, and mixed media artist Birdwrx.
For food options, you’ll find Reservation Sensation with fry bread, Mexican and Native American restaurant La Indita, Japanese-style sandwiches from Fatboy Sandos, hot dogs from You Sly Dog, Fat Noodle for ramen, refreshing lemonade from BlackJack Citrus Infusions, and Heavy Kettle Popcorn.
Made In Tucson was created because organizers wanted to host a local fair for the community to engage with, while also giving more opportunities to local artists. Back in 2018, there weren't many local markets, so it was time to add one.
“This kind of event is important because the art in Tucson helps flavor the community and keep us who we are,” says Koenen. “As Tucson grows, we need to invest in those who work hard to produce amazing products.”
Koenen added that a market like this is important because shopping for local art is more sustainable and helps the artists grow, plus all of the vendor fees from the market go right back to the Fourth Avenue Coalition, she says.
The coalition uses the money to help support Fourth Avenue. Some of the work that’s been done includes helping businesses in the area spruce up their spaces and adding some large-scale murals to beautify and preserve the integrity of the avenue. Some future goals include adding benches, outdoor spaces and restrooms, Koenen says.
If you go
What: Made In Tucson market
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 19
Cost: Free to attend, bring money for shopping and food
Visit the event page for more information.
Madi Kingsbury is a senior at the University of Arizona, studying journalism. She's an apprentice with the Arizona Daily Star and #ThisIsTucson for the spring semester.