Artist on the Plaza Season Announced

The Springfield Area Arts Council (SAAC) has produced summertime concerts for over thirty years. The outdoor performance series is called “Artist on the Plaza,” and it features local talent on the Old State Capitol Plaza/Grounds every Wednesday from noon to 1 pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Funding comes from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the City of Springfield, and downtown merchants — meaning you can grab your lunch to go, grab a table and a chair outside on the Plaza, and relax to different music each week, all for free!

 

 

 

SCHEDULE

June

6 – Springfield Area Youth Jazz Band, instrumental jazz

13 – Carole Vetter, rhythm and blues vocalist

20 – Tater Tot, eclectic vocal and instrumental

27 – Phil Steinberg, Sinatra stylist

July

4 – Rick Dunham, Elvis Himselvis

11 – Matt Mifflin, vocal and guitar

18 – Britney Long, singer/songwriter

25 – Casey Cantrall, vocal and guitar

August

1 – Saint Andrew’s Society, Scottish dance

8 – Springfield Dance Theatre, dancers

15 – Rowdy Dawson, country-western vocal and guitar

22 – Route 66, barbershop quartet

29 – Mary Bryant Home Singers, vocalist

The Biggest Downtown Weekend of the Year

Used by permission of the Old Capitol Art Fair Committee.

Downtown has a lot of great festivals (one of them being DSI’s Amaranth Apple Fest) and great weekends, but one could argue that this weekend is THE BIGGEST WEEKEND of the year in Downtown Springfield. Throw together the state’s largest outdoor art festival, drag queens, fresh produce and a race of pink-adorned people — not to mention downtown’s shops, restaurants and bars — and you could literally spend every few hours doing something new, fun and fresh. And not even spend as much as you would during a day at a theme park!

To help you plan your weekend adventure, here are the links to the most popular events taking place on Saturday and Sunday plus a map of the street closures.

Looking for what to do tonight? Check out our event calendar>

Old Capitol Farmers Market – Official Ribbon Cutting & Cake

Saturday 8 am – 12:30 pm at 4th and Adams

The first Saturday of Springfield’s “Best Community Event” includes performances by Springfield Youth Performance Group, a free community workout by Pure Performance, a chef demonstration by Maldaner’s chef Michael Higgins, music by Rachel Rambach and complimentary cake for all patrons thanks to vendor and downtown restaurant Incredibly Delicious.

Old Capitol Art Fair

Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm around the Old State Capitol at 5th and Washington

Whether you are a serious art collector or are just developing an appreciation, there is original art here for you, in the form of jewelry, sculpture, photography, glassware, pottery, wood, metalwork, oils, watercolors, and other media.

Springfield Pridefest

Saturday 11:30 am – 10 pm at 4th and Capitol

This street fair embraces diversity and celebrates the Central Illinois LGBTQ community with a parade, children’s area and main stage. Plus two drag queen contests and karaoke!

Susan G Komen 5K Race for the Cure

Saturday 5 pm – 9:30 pm at 2nd and Capitol

This popular race to fight breast cancer celebrates its 5th year in Springfield, with a 5k and 1k and pink fireworks at the end of the night.

What’s New at Our 2018 Farmers Market

Every Saturday of the Market season

The Old Capitol Farmer’s Market — voted Best Community Event, Best Weekend Activity and Best Fresh Produce in 2017 – is back for the 2018 season at 4th and Adams!! Thanks to HSHS St. John’s Hospital for their generous support as premier sponsor.

The Old Capitol Farmers Market is proud to continue its status as the area’s only producer-only farmers market. This means that all products are grown, raised, or handmade by each vendor and nothing is re-sold or mass produced. Over the last two years, the Market has tightened its inspection policy to insure the integrity of the producer-only status.

“Shoppers can feel confident that when they shop at the Old Capitol Farmers Market that they are getting the freshest produce and proteins raised right here in Illinois by the farmers standing in front of them,” said Deborah Cavanagh-Grant, Old Capitol Farmer’s Market Manager. The producer-only rule is part of a larger effort to help shoppers know their farmers and better understand and invest in local food systems.

What’s New in the 2018 Season?

Junior League of Springfield Partnership to Help Decrease Food Insecurity

SNAP statistics from the 2017 market season. ISA won more than $2k more in match money for 2018.

The Junior League of Springfield (JLS), a 75-year-old local service organization, adopted an Issue Based Community Impact model in 2014 in order to better strengthen the skills of members and create more community impact. Since establishing “food insecurity” as their focus area, JLS has committed over 200 hours of service toward this issue.

The Old Capitol Farmers Market has been chosen as the avenue for Junior League to partner to combat food insecurity over the next several years. Citing the Market’s successful use of SNAP benefit matches totaling more than $16-thousand in 2017 alone, Lindsay Bentivegna, President of JLS, said, “Partnering with the Old Capitol Farmers Market and its SNAP Match Program will allow Junior League members to interact with those coming to the farmer’s market and help influence the positive outcomes of the SNAP Match program.”

Junior League members will be actively involved with data collection, fundraising and event planning, and program implementation with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, specifically related to their day-to-day management of the Market.

ISA secured the largest SNAP grant match in the Market’s history this year, totaling $11,000 from Link Up Illinois, a program of non-profit Experimental Station. The money has increased for our Market because it has so successfully found an audience who can use Link benefits for purchases of  locally grown fruits and vegetables from our vendors.

Look For the “Signature Ingredients!”

This season it will be easier than ever to find the freshest local ingredients at the food trucks and prepared food vendors at the Old Capitol Farmers Market, thanks to the new “Signature Ingredient” chalkboard signs.

Each food vendor has committed to purchasing and highlighting at least one Market ingredient on their menu each week– the “signature ingredient.” It could be anything from local eggs in your breakfast tacos, to farm-fresh blueberries in your muffins, to perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes tucked into your burrito.

The signature ingredient program helps build connections between small farms and local businesses, keeps money local, and gives patrons the choice to eat local and try out the freshest seasonal ingredients.

New Options on Adams Street

The economic benefits for both the local farmer and artisan community, as well as the businesses in the vicinity of the Old Capitol Farmers Market, are clear and have led to many of the Adams Street vacancies filling in with new brick-and-mortar businesses that Market patrons should check out this season. Itty Bitty Fashion Truck started as a Market vendor and has been open in their “permanent home” since November at 403 E Adams. They will be hosting special summer hours all Market season, opening at 8 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

New brewery Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. opened earlier this year at 406 E Adams Street to rave reviews and will have special Saturday hours, opening at 10 am, during the Market. Kiddos by Urban Sassafras, a second venture from Cassandra Pence Ostermeier, has weekend-only hours at 407 E Adams, offering free interactive art activities for kids of all ages and Take-and-Make kits for sale. “The Market is where Urban Sassafras really took off, and I’m happy to have an outpost there again,” said Ostermeier.

Look For Local Businesses at the Commercial Tent

You may also find some new local businesses whom you hadn’t heard about at DSI’s new “Commercial Tent,” located at the northwest corner of 4th and Adams on various Saturdays throughout the Market. Based on the Logan Square Farmers Market in the Chicagoland area, the Commercial Tent provides locally-owned Springfield businesses an opportunity to inform market goers about their products and services.

Stay in Touch with Market News

Follow the Market on Facebook>

What products are available at the next market?

What vendors are at the next market?

Learn about DSI’s Market partners>

DSI Seeks Program & Event Manager

JOB TITLE: PROGRAM & EVENTS MANAGER
Download this information as a document>
Applications close: April 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
Responsible to: Executive Director
Status: Full Time (40 hours per week)
Hours: Regular full-time, with occasional evenings and weekends
Benefits: Package to be negotiated
Compensation: $35,000 – 45,000, depending on experience

ABOUT DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD INC
Downtown Springfield, Inc. (“DSI”) is a 501(c)6 business association and Main Street organization working to increase economic and cultural vitality in historic downtown Springfield. DSI is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. Our current issue areas are Vitality, Vacancies, Volume and Vision.

SUMMARY OF POSITION
The Program and Events Manager develops and implements fundable programs and events that increase foot traffic in the downtown district. S/he should bring a strong existing network of relationships to DSI and be fearless in seeking partnerships and support for revitalization efforts. The Manager is a leadership position that requires savvy and creativity to work with our many stakeholders and help increase our district’s brand recognition as a cutting edge, entrepreneurial, fun and fabulous, growing district.

DESIRED CHARACTERISTICS
• Experience in the non-profit sector
• Track record of developing and building financial and moral support for new programs
• Experience in event management
• Understanding of neighborhood business districts
• Skilled in public speaking, community outreach and effective networking
• Entrepreneurial spirit and love for urban revitalization

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES
• Program and Service Delivery — Designs, markets, promotes, and delivers high quality programs that help to revitalize downtown. Finds and secures funding for programs.
• Council Guidance & Support — Provides staff support to various committees assisting with program delivery.
• Event Management — Effectively produces DSI events and activities utilizing our volunteer network.
• Community and Public Relations — Works alongside Executive Director to effectively communicate on behalf of the organization and the downtown district.
• Other Duties as Assigned — Other specific administrative and promotion-related duties as defined by the Executive Director.

QUALIFICATIONS
• Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
• Experience in non-profit or government sector
• Technology savvy
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a variety of constituents and personality types

PREFERRED
• Experience in community development organization, chamber or retailers organization
• Previous events management experience
• Previous membership organization experience

CANDIDATE SUBMISSION PROCESS
Prior to April 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m., qualified and interested candidates are invited to mail or email your resume and a cover letter addressing why this position aligns with your experiences, skills, professional goals and personal passions, with “Program and Event Manager Search” as the Subject, to: Lisa Clemmons Stott, Executive Director, Downtown Springfield, Inc., 3 W Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 15, Springfield, IL 62701 or lisa@downtownspringfield.org. Our timetable is to have the selected candidate start on May 1.

Some Shops with V-Day On Their Minds

2018 Vintage Love Tour at 9 Locations
Self-guided tour of girlfriends and glorious finds on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10 am – 4 pm

Studio on Sixth at 215 S Sixth
The first 35 customers get an adorable metal heart magnet for free on Saturday, February 10.

Yoga7even at 605 E Washington
February We❤U Sale – Enjoy 1 week unlimited Yoga $15 for the month of February!

Incredibly Delicious at 925 S 7th
February 13 Mardi Gras menu, King Cake, and Lemon Shake Up Cake
February 13 Attending Secret Recipes’ tasting event at the Governors Ballroom at the State House Inn with cake samples
February 14 “Love in Paris” Lunch giveaway for 2 plus brunch items with a featured menu with special valentine desserts
February 17-18th Paired desserts with Danenberger Family Vineyards for National Wine Day

Springfield Clock Shop at 629 E Washington
These beautiful clocks are on sale

The Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus headquartered in the Hoogland
The Chorus is once again offering their singing valentines! Order a singing valentine or get more information

Recycled Records at 625 E Adams
The entire month of February is their 38th annual Record Riot. Everything in the store is on sale up to 50% off. $2.00 LP’s are $1.00, used CD’s and DVD’s are buy two get one free, video games and systems, stereo equipment, beer signs, antiques, jewelry ALL on sale

Willow & Birch Salon at 521 E Washington
Check out their Who Do You Love? Facebook Contest, where you can tag those you love to be entered to win in weekly giveaways happening every Friday and then be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to our boutique on Valentine’s Day.

You can also stop by and kiss a card to be entered to win a gift set of their fave lip products! Simply stop in, try on a lip, and then give your best smooch (to paper) to be entered to win.

Itty Bitty Fashion Trunk at 403 E Adams
Grab your best gals and head down to the shop on Feb. 10 from 10a-5p, as they celebrate Galentines Day! Enjoy 10% off the entire store, refreshments and enter to win a $50 IBFT gift card.

VELE at 524 E Monroe
February 14 – A Night Under the Nordic Lights delectable 7-course Nordic-inspired tasting menu complete with complimentary sparkling wine and a little gift to take home. Seating at 5:45pm or 8:00pm. $85 per person (gratuity not included). Reservations

Restaurant Installs Technology to Help Visually Impaired

Maldaner’s Restaurant is the first downtown business — but likely not the last — to install technology to help visually impaired individuals access the business, thanks to a partnership with Sensible Innovations, also a DSI member and an Innovate Springfield member. Sensible Innovations is a Springfield-based technology company whose Aware audible way-finding app for visually impaired people was recently named Consumer Electronics Show 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree.

Aware works with iBeacons, to provide indoors and outdoors turn-by-turn navigational directions, and location descriptions, designed with a focus on visually impaired people, and plays in real time where and when it matters.

“Our visually impaired customers can now order from the menu, without asking a sighted person for help, because it is listed in the app. They can also easily navigate the restaurant without assistance allowing them the independence they deserve,’ said Chef Higgins. “For us, installing the iBeacons was a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to make your business accessible for all?”

To download the app, search “Aware Wayfinding Sensible Innovations” in your app store.

As Chef Higgins is the first proprietor in downtown Springfield to install the technology required for Aware, Sensible Innovations founder and CEO Rasha Said is championing Chef Higgins’ commitment to his patrons.

“Michael and I collaborated on this project to encourage other local businesses, especially those downtown, to install the iBeacon technology to allow people who are visually impaired the same opportunities, when dining, as those who are sighted,” said Rasha.

Sensible Innovations is a member of Innovate Springfield, a social innovation and business incubator situated in downtown Springfield. Katie Davison, the organization’s executive director said, “We think this is only the beginning for the Aware app to penetrate the Springfield market. The opportunities for the app to provide way-finding assistance to the Springfield community are endless.”

Aware is making a positive impact on the lives of visually impaired people across the city and further afield.

Downtown Springfield, Inc. executive director Lisa Clemmons Stott said she was extremely excited about the launch of Aware at Maldaner’s, which is a member of DSI, “As the ‘front door’ of Springfield, downtown businesses welcome people from around the world. Chef Higgins is leading the way to even more inclusivity by utilizing this technology. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if downtown Springfield was the first neighborhood in the nation to support visually-impaired individuals in this way?”

Rasha and her team have placed iBeacons at Glenwood High School in Chatham and Mary Bryant Home for the Blind in Springfield, the Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center in New York and at The Chicago Lighthouse.

Aware has a US utility patent and was coded by Springfield-based Levi, Ray & Shoup Web Solutions.

For more information visit sensible-innovations.com.

2017 Best of Downtown Awards

On January 25, DSI celebrated its 25th anniversary as a business organization representing the interests and vision of a strong downtown neighborhood. That included 18 years of annual awards celebrating the most buzzworthy people and places of the year.

The 25th Annual Dinner was supported by premier sponsors Hanson Professional Services and President Abraham Lincoln Hotel a Doubletree by Hilton. It was the first time in DSI’s history that the dinner was held at the BOS Center. More than 550 guests were in attendance.

Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures from the evening>

Thanks to WSEC Public Television for taping the evening for broadcast:

Congrats to all of our 2017 recipients! 

2017 Best Signage
Tacology 101

2017 Impactful Public/Private Partnership
Artistic Parklet at 6th and Washington: Urban Sassafras and Capitol Area Realtors

2017 Best Event
The Parent Place’s Halloween Parade

2017 Best Retail
Springfield Vintage

2017 Best Restaurant
Long Nine Junction

2017 Best Nightlife
The Legacy Theater

2017 Best Creative Promotion
Willow & Birch’s Social Media Campaign “Countdown to Downtown”

2017 Innovative Business Concept
Hair of the Dog Bar/Bershop

2017 Best Not-for-Profit Initiative
District 186 Public School Foundation Bookfair Pop-up

Best Renovation
Loukinens’ on 4th

Best Holiday Window Display
Wild Rose

Green Leadership
Chris Nickell & Partners/Rooftop Solar Installations

Downtown Advocate
Erin Svendsen

DSI Volunteer of the Year
Dana Saal

Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement
The Late Al Eck, Jr.

Guests were treated to aerial performances by Divas in the Air, and national recording act Fleekbass serving as the evening’s house band. Mayor Jim Langfelder gave the annual State of the Downtown address, focusing many of his remarks on his plans for the Y Block, including green space, areas for interactive experiences, and potentially – hopefully – a downtown higher education/innovation hub.

DSI Outgoing President Tony Comerio of Hanson Information Services passed the gavel to 2018 President Kevin Kuhn of Kuhn & Trello Consulting. The new 2018 Board of Directors was formally recognized for the first time.

For the 2017 awards, the public made nominations for every category except DSI Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement, which were selected by DSI Leadership. The nominations were all vetted by a DSI committee consisting of current members and Past Presidents of the organization.

 

DSI Seeks Marketing Support

Downtown Springfield, Inc. (DSI) has initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to identify a vendor, agency, consortium or contract employee (Agent) who is/are qualified to provide day-to-day marketing services showcasing Downtown Springfield as a growing, vibrant neighborhood & business district.
The duties require an Agent who has demonstrated experience in multimedia content creation and distribution. Agent will work closely with the DSI Executive Director and Promotions Committee to plan and execute marketing activities for the association.

Download the Request for Proposals for Marketing Services 2018

Timeline
Request for Proposal Released – January 11, 2018
Questions Due – January 29, 2018
Proposals Due – Friday, February 2, 2018 by 5 pm
Interview Period – February 7-9, 2018
Planned Contract Award Date – February 12, 2018

Nominees for Downtown’s Best of 2017

Ace Sign and SAA shared an award for the Art Benches project for 2016. Who will win for 2017?

On January 25, Downtown Springfield Inc. will hold its 25th Annual Dinner–including awards recognizing the most buzzworthy people and places in downtown over the past year.

After a public nomination period which ended in November, the Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the 2017 nominees in each of the following categories. Award Committee Chair Jane Mosey-Nicoletta is a Past President and past Volunteer of the Year winner at DSI. “Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the nominees this year — we have a great mix of new and old favorites who people really root for,” said Mosey-Nicoletta.

The 2017 winners, along with Green Leadership Award winner, Downtown Advocate, DSI Volunteer of the Year and Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced during the Dinner.

This is DSI’s biggest fundraiser and party of the year to support our work to increase Volume (ie foot traffic), fill Vacancies, increase Vitality and create a shared Vision for downtown’s future. Get your tickets before the early bird deadline of January 16 to support our work in 2018 and to celebrate a year of growth and change in Springfield’s downtown district in 2017>

Look back at DSI Award History 2008-2016

Best Signage
The Roost
Springfield Vintage
Tacology 101

Impactful Public/Private Partnership
Sangamon CEO Program
SAA’s Paint the Street
Urban Sassafras Parklet with IL Realtors/CAR & City of Springfield

Best Downtown Event
DSI’s Friends of the Market Street Dinner
Fat Ass 5K
The Parent Place’s Halloween Parade

Best Retail
The Roost
Springfield Vintage
Urban Sassafras

Best Restaurant
Long Nine Junction
Maldaner’s
Tacology 101

Best Nightlife
Floyd’s Thirst Parlor
The Legacy Theater
Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery

Innovative Business Concept
Hair of the Dog Bar/bershop
Urban Sassafras Take & Make Kits

People’s Choice Holiday Walks Window
Augie’s Front Burner
Murphy’s Loft
Wild Rose

Best Advocate
Brent Boesdorfer
Linda Renehan
Erin Svendsen

Best Renovation
Loukinen’s on Fourth
St. George Building

Best NFP Initiative
100+ Who Care
186 Foundation Pop-Up Bookstore
Central Baptist Feast of Plenty Thanksgiving Meal

Best Creative Promotion
Incredibly Delicious‘ Social Media Cake Campaigns
Urban Sassafras Girls’ Night Out
Willow & Birch‘s Countdown to Downtown

Spotlight: Youngest Holiday Pop-Up Proprietor

As part of its focus on economic vitality, DSI facilitated a number of pop-up stores for the Holiday Walks again this year, to launch new entrepreneurs and highlight great downtown first-floor commercial spaces that deserve a permanent tenant. The pop-ups are possible because of generous property owners who worked with DSI to provide no-cost, low-cost or utilities-only leases for the five weeks of the Walks.

Read more about the other six downtown Holiday Walk pop-ups>

Proprietor Aaliyah Kissick meets the Lincolns during Small Business Saturday. Her pop up is open thru the Walks.

The youngest “proprietor” of our 2017 pop-up program is a 17-year-old senior at Athens High School, who is building on the legacy of the Myers Brothers Department Store at Washington & Fifth by trying out a brick-and-mortar experience in the former Mens Department.

Aaliyah Kissick started AK Boutique, an online retail outlet featuring modern, trendy clothes in June 2017 with support from friends and family. “The Boutique combines two of my great loves: deals and fashion,” says the former Miss Jr.  Teen Illinois and in-demand model (including at the Dare to be Different Fashion Show in August which highlighted twelve downtown stores with women’s clothing). “My motto is ‘We take the work out of thrifting for you’ so you don’t have to be overwhelmed or worried you won’t find something perfect for you,” she says. The clothes she hand-picks for sale are all popular within the last three years, with most items under $15.

Aaliyah has been drawn to the retail world as early as she can remember. She says that since she was about three feet tall, she always made a beeline toward the clearance sections of clothing stores with the natural inclination to organize the jungle of disorganized, packed racks.

After a brief stint working at a local clothing store, she knew she could put her own personal stamp and style on a retail venture. Her emphasis is on making every “body” look beautiful and taking the guesswork out of thrifting for her customers.

Her personal goal with AK Boutique has been to save as much as she can to attend college for a business degree. The opportunity to branch out as a brick-and-mortar for the holidays was an opportunity she just couldn’t pass up, both for the experience and the potential to increase her sales.

AK Boutique offers:
-Sizes XXS to 5X
-Long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, sweaters, jackets, coats, holiday dresses, casual dresses, jeans, dress pants, leggings, skirts, shoes, and purses
-Friendly, helpful staff

Her goal after college? To open a permanent retail boutique in Springfield, of course!

Fashion Show on December 9

On Saturday, December 9, AK Boutique will be hosting a fashion show at 2 pm in the pop-up located at 101 S 5th Street (Washington Street Entrance) and everyone is encouraged to come and check out the available clothing and styled looks. “The models will be local girls with natural beauty to celebrate body positivity,” says Aaliyah.

About the Space

This is the second year that the Myers Brothers Building has hosted a pop-up in the first floor space. It has a beautiful interior and a great history. After decades as one of the city’s top shopping destinations, Myers Brothers Department Store sold out to Bergner’s in 1979, which operated in that location until it moved out to the mall in 1986. AG Edwards had their offices there from 1987-97, and then the non-profit Illinois Assistive Technology Program moved to Spring Street in 2015. To inquire about leasing the space, contact Myers Commercial Realty.

 

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