Apr 21, 2009: Spring Season at Eastern Market

WASHINGTON, DC (April 20,2009)--Get ready for some toe tapping, finger snapping music Sundays at Eastern Market, May 3 through June 28, as Eastern Market Music, the series sponsored by Capitol Hill Community Foundation, returns for its third year.

Initiated following the devastating fire at the historic market on April 30, 2007, the spring and fall series "has contributed greatly in helping to attract patrons back to the market," said Tom Rall, Manager of The Flea Market at Eastern Market. "And we're encouraged that the foundation plans to continue the series even after a completely restored building reopens sometime this summer."

Again produced by veteran music coordinator Donna Fletcher, two different groups each day will perform 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. sets on the corner of 7th Street and North Carolina Avenue, S.E., outside of Port City Java.

Don't look for Michael Berman, Communications Director for The Flea Market at Eastern Market and an exhibiting artist, at the market this weekend. He'll be in San Francisco, where he has been invited to be a panelist during the 7th International Public Markets Conference sponsored by the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), April 24-26.

Berman will appear at the conference as Executive Director of Diverse Markets Management (DMM), the DC firm which spun out of The Flea Market at Eastern Market in 2005. His presentation will focus on DMM's development of the Downtown Holiday Market, inaugurated in December 2005, in partnership with the Downtown DC Business Improvement District.

Titled "Other Markets, Other Voices" the panel will also include representatives from San Francisco Flower Mart, Charleston (SC) City Market, Anchorage Market and Festival, and the San Francisco Street Artists Market. The Flea Market at Eastern Market sponsored an event during the 6th International Public Markets Conference, which was held in Washington in 2006.
More information on the conference: Public Markets Conference

Rall announced in a recent letter to exhibitors that the popular flea market gift card program, both sale and donation, has been discontinued. "But we will still redeem any issued previously. And we shall reimburse any Sunday exhibitor at Eastern Market for any redemptions," he promised. Many of the exhibitors are now under the auspices of the DC Office of Property Management, which took over direct management of Eastern Market in January.

"Although gift card sales were initiated fairly recently, we had sold several hundred dollars worth to complement the thousands of dollars of gift certificates donated to our customers and area non-profits for many years," Rall explained.

"I really hate to end the program, which generated so much good will," he lamented, "but previously we advertised 175 exhibitors and now have only about 75 in the area I still manage at Hine School. I felt the new arrangements would just be too confusing."

The D.C. Antique Photo show, announced in our last newsletter, drew TV coverage for "Push Pause," a regular cultural affairs report for Fios 1 cable subscribers locally.

Filmed by Producer Jerry Hunter Griffith with assistance from his wife Misha Griffith, a visual image historian completing a doctorate at the George Mason University history program, the clip contained interviews with Rall, who managed the show for DMM, and other exhibitors.

While it is expected to be repeated on the cable network "a number of times over the coming months," according to the Griffiths, they have also posted the 2+ minute spot on YouTube. Watch it here.

The Sunday April 5 Washington Post Magazine profiled long time Flea Market at Eastern Market exhibitor Kim Downes in its "Making It" column. The Elizabeth Chang report featured the Cherry Blossom soap and candles made by Downes.

The extensive interview and the accompanying portrait of Downes can be found here.