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Community members flocked to Main and Dempster streets on a week night to sip craft beverages while perusing the work of local artists at the Evanston Arts & Craft Beverage Crawl.
“Many people were eager to see and buy art, and the stores being able to share their space made a great way to bring new people in,” said Katherine Gotsick, Executive Director at the Main-Dempster Mile, the community organization that hosted the crawl along with Evanston Made, an arts nonprofit.
More than 250 people registered for the May 19 evening crawl, at which artists set up small-pop up galleries within local businesses, providing a space to shop, drink and eat.
Those attending got a map with the participating businesses as well as a goody bag. More than 30 businesses, including Sketchbook Brewing, Dave’s Rock Shop and Kombucha Brava hosted artists including ceramic artist Michelle Stroud and painters Ailisa Qualkinbush and Nikki Dessecker Householder.
In 2019, the Main-Dempster Mile hosted a similar crawl without Evanston Made, said Lisa Degliantoni, founder and Executive Director of Evanston Made. It was a “huge success,” she said, but then came the pandemic and a two-year hiatus.
Upon the return to in-person, the community organization decided to partner with Evanston Made to help support local artists. Tickets for the crawl cost $30 online and all proceeds went to Evanston Made. But the benefits also went to local businesses, who hosted new customers.
Both organizations were pleased.
“Partnering with Evanston Made no doubt made our event more successful,” said Gotsick. Said Degliantoni, “Katherine Gotsick created an event that provides the boost our community needs right now.”