Summer means market season: No matter where you are in the South Sound on a weekend, you’re likely to find a market featuring music, handmade goods, and food throughout the day and night.
This Saturday, July 27, a new market in Tacoma is opening its doors for the first time. The Community Market, founded by Krista Perez and Alicia Mathurin, aims to empower communities of color by offering a space to showcase entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and businesses of color.
“It goes back to thinking of where we feel safe — like we can be ourselves and listen to the kind of music we want to, and embrace our culture,” said Krista Perez, who also recently founded the Tacoma Women of Color Collective to lift up and empower local women of color in their business ventures and beyond. “Markets are popular right now and there aren’t very many that center people of color or that have us in mind. So, we’re like, why don’t we do that?”
The Community Market will be at the Union Club this Saturday, July 27, from 7 to 10 p.m., utilizing the first floor of the historic building as well as its Sound-facing balcony. The market will feature mostly vendors of color, as well as food, wine, beer, live music, a DJ, and some performances. Perez said she and Mathurin hope to host the market at least four times a year, if not more.
The purpose of putting on a market specifically focusing on and celebrating people of color is to foster growth, sustainability, diversity, and equity within businesses and communities of color, according to the market’s mission and vision statement.
It also touches on the fact that markets have long been a part of the cultures of many people of color.
“We’ve always had markets as a core part of our traditions,” Perez said. “Being in the U.S., we’ve come away from those traditions. But it’s still a part of who we are.”
General admission tickets to The Community Market are $5 and can be purchased in advance via Eventbrite. Tickets are free to POC students, POC military, and EBT cardholders. For more info, donations, and volunteer opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.