JAM: Clear out your craft clutter

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010

By Tanna Peters

This summer, downtown Juneau welcomes the second coming of the JAM. No, it's not a delicious treat to enjoy with peanut butter, it's the Juneau Artist's Market, and this year crafters are being called from far and wide to clean out the crafted clutter pileup and make a few bucks.

Saturday kicks off the first in a season-long series of markets designed to be a weekend stomping ground as well as a place for crafters to engage with the community. Every Saturday, Sunday and Monday through August 14, locals and tourists can peruse or sell their handmade creations.

Nancy DeCherney, Executive Director at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, explains why they began to JAM.

"Part of the arts council's job is to promote the arts as an economic driving force," she said. "So [JAM] encourages those in the arts and crafts to contribute to the economy. We are not always asking for handouts - we are helping artists become business people."

If this sounds like you, then think about joining this year's JAM. Not a crafter, but have a green thumb? New to the lineup in JAM's second year is a Farmer's Market table with fresh produce, fish, berries, bread, jams (ha ha) and more.

JAM is located on the front lawn of the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, or inside the building in case of rain. So far the lineup of participants includes some repeat crafters, but there is plenty of space for more.

Want to get your toes wet? Crafters may sign up for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Tables are $10 apiece or $25 for the three-day weekend. Have a more serious thirst to sell your craft? Get a season pass for all weekends for $200. In addition to the minimal table cost there is a $25 annual membership fee into the artist's market to cover promotional goodies, plus five percent of your gross sales will go directly to keeping the JACC going.

If that isn't enough, this year's markets will have music and food as an added bonus. On Saturdays, which draws a local crowd, various musicians will play throughout the summer. Sundays and Mondays come with a mix of locals and tourists, so think of your audience when choosing a day for sales. Plan to reserve your table at least a week in advance and storage space is provided for those who commit to the whole season.

This year will even be open to crafters from other local communities. The farmers market table will be receiving goodies flown in from around the state, so if you are a crafter and want to sell your goods long distance, fly them over too!

Contact JAHC at 586-ARTS to get signed up. Otherwise, come on down this Saturday, June 12 to soak in the sun (cross your fingers) and enjoy the JAM!



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