THE RUBBER CITY'S LONGEST-RUNNING INDIE HANDMADE MARKETPLACE
Crafty Mart hosts a bi-annual multi-venue craft show that showcases over 70 of the best handmade makers regionally and draws thousands of shoppers to Akron’s downtown, along with occasional pop up markets with community partners all over town.
Crafty Mart operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
Crafty Mart's purpose is to provide creative and engaging opportunities for artists and community members to foster artistic, thoughtful, and community-focused lifestyles. Crafty Mart has the specific purpose of conducting events which (a) allow artisans to showcase their goods to community members; (b) provide artisans the opportunity to collaborate with others to advance the state of the arts locally; (c) showcase regional commitment to the arts; (d) foster discussion and education about the arts; and (e) educate the public about the high degree of effort, skill, and artistry involved in creating handmade goods.
The first Crafty Mart took place in 2009, giving Akronites a place to shop small and local artists and makers a platform to sell their goods as well as attracting unique crafters and artisans to the Rubber City.
Co-founders Juniper Sage and J Hudson ran the event in their spare time until 2012, when they asked Crafty Mart vendor and event organizer Brit Charek to step in and take over operations. A formal nonprofit was founded, and the rest is history.
In 2013, Crafty Mart was named one of the 'Best of the City' by Akronlife Magazine. It was voted 'Favorite Place To Do Your Holiday Shopping' by readers of Akron Empire in 2014. In 2015, Crafty Mart was was awarded a Zenith Award by the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitor's Bureau in the category 'Best Retail Therapy' and was a finalist in the Knight Arts Challenge. In 2017, the Mayor of Akron endorsed Crafty Mart as an organization that supports creative entrepreneurs and activates downtown spaces.
Crafty Mart receives support from the Greater Akron philanthropic community. Grants have been generously provided by the Knight Foundation, Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the GAR Foundation, the Akron Community Foundation, the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the Ohio Arts Council and Arts In Stark. Crafty Mart was also a finalist for the 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund through Artplace America.
Are you coming from out of town? Looking for dining and hotel options in the Akron area? Let us help you with some suggestions:
Downtown Akron Partnership—Destinations (great display of places to go/see while downtown!)