Indoor Farmer's Market to be Part of Iowa's First Creative Economy Unconference

For Immediate Release February 26, 2003

DES MOINES, IowaThe atrium of the State Historical Building in downtown Des Moines will be transformed into a bustling cityscape as area Farmer’s Market vendors set up booths for participants in the Creative Economy Unconference March 5.

The assortment of vendors will provide food and drinks at no charge for those who are registered for the Unconference. A list of food and non-food vendors is attached.

The Creative Economy Unconference, presented by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, opens at 10 a.m. The special guest and keynote speaker will be Richard Florida, author of the national bestseller "The Rise of the Creative Class and How it’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life."

In addition to the Farmer’s Market, there will also be a variety of music provided by locals Jennifer McAbee and Willie Shay, Julius Brooks and John Albaugh, and entertainment including Downtown School students jumping rope, a juggler and two visual artists in the act of creating.

"This isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill conference—that’s why we’re calling it the ‘Unconference’," said Anita Walker, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs. "We want participants to forget about suits and ties for the day and come to experience Iowa’s potential as a leader in the Creative Economy. We’re changing the rules on conferences, so instead of a formal sit down lunch, we invite participants to pick and choose from the many food vendors at the Farmer’s Market and eat in a casual atmosphere."

The Creative Economy Unconference is a day of thinking differently—to engage community leaders in a discussion of how their city or town fits in the creative economy; to explore creative economy strategies to revitalize communities and attract workforce; to make the connection between the cultural environment and technology and more.

The Farmer’s Market is sponsored by the Downtown Community Alliance. Other conference partners include the Iowa Finance Authority and the Temple for the Performing Arts. Cost to register for the Creative Economy Unconference is $115 and can be completed online at or by calling 515-281-7471.


March 5 Food Vendors

Chuck VanVeen - Van Veen Chocolates, Pella
Demonstrating and serving chocolate dipped strawberries. Sample his caramels, and various types of chocolate.

Steve Swanson - Brandy Wine House, Des Moines
Varieties of specialty soups, and samples of cheese balls served with crackers, and dips with pretzels.

Estee Walter - The Farm Boys, Prescott
Breakfast Burritos - They will serve a variety of breakfast juices and breakfast burritos from 8-11 a.m.; and soft shell tacos for lunch.

Rhonda Minnich, St. Charles
Ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies and ice cream

Janean Denhart Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure, Des Moines
Locally roasted and freshly brewed coffees and specialty coffee beverages.

Patricia PetersonTea & Other Comforts, Des Moines
Specialty teas

Regi Donaldson - Regi's Cranberries, Des Moines
Samples of Cranberry jams, jellies, salsa, mustard and sauce.

Amy SheelerSeaside Smoothies, Des Moines
3 different types of smoothies

Kathy LarsonNorthern Prairie Chevre, Woodward
Baked potato bar

Virginia Noble Beggar’s Banquet, Des Moines
Quiche, muffins, and lemon poppyseed bread for breakfast; Potato salad and Dill Vegetarian sandwich for lunch.

Barb & Bob JohnsonAtlantean, Des Moines
Bagged popcorn

March 5 Non-Food Vendors

Ken Bose, Skeeter Creek Fabricators; Bagley
One of a kind Barn board bird houses made to replicate Iowa barns.

Kim Weaver, Algona
Rug weaving demonstration.

Mainstreet Fashions, Des Moines
Display of specialty dresses and women’s clothing

Julie Goldsmith, Des Moines
Handcrafted jewelry using semi-precious stones, Venetian glass, Swarovski crystal, Pearls, Czech crystal, Bali and Sterling Silver.

Rosemary Fee, Carlisle
Display of her hand painted windows and other similar artwork

March 5 Entertainment, 9-10 a.m., Atrium

Jennifer McAbee and Willie Shay, flute and guitar
This duo plays instrumental jazz standards on flute and guitar. McAbee is a well-respected local musician, who began her music career 10 years ago in Lake Tahoe in the area of performance art with original music. Now in Iowa, McAbee plays with Pat Boddy in Door #3, an all-original band comprised of professionals from around the state. Willie Shay moved to Iowa nine years ago from New York. His reputation reflects excelling on the guitar and always pushing himself to try new things.

Julius Brooks and John Albaugh, sax and guitar
Julius Brooks is a Des Moines favorite with a famous past. He has played the sax with Ray Charles, James Brown and Little Richard. He will be accompanied by John Albaugh on the guitar to produce a sensational sound.

Chris Vance, painter
Chris is quickly becoming a well-known and respected painter in the Des Moines area. Recently, he exhibited in the Two Rivers Art Expo with his action paintings, selling nearly all of his work during the two-day event.

Jim Engler, caricaturist
Jim Engler has been creating his fabulous caricatures all around the Des Moines area. He has captured the likes of Walter Peyton, Iowa Governors Terry Branstad and Robert Ray. Recently he completed the cover for the Business Publication Corporation’s Book of Lists. Engler is a noted watercolorist with his paintings in a number of public and private collections, including 10 watercolors on display at John Deere Credit to highlight their international image. Jim is recently retired after 34 years at Grand View College.

Downtown School students jump rope
Girls and boys from Des Moines’ Downtown School will be jumping rope and reciting rhymes.









Mary Cownie, Director