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Gateway City Arts launches weekly bazaar and salon on Thursdays

Date: 2/5/2015

HOLYOKE – Vitak Kruta has a vision of building community in Holyoke and he’s doing it through food, vendors and conversation.   

Kruta, the co-owner of Gateway City Arts at 92-144 Race St., kicked off a Thursday market on Jan. 29 as a part of a on-going series of events.

The building houses the winter headquarters of the Holyoke Hummus Company, which is serving food on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  John Grossman, the owner of the company, said the response has been “terrific” and noted the tables were filled with patrons for lunch.

Grossman is serving falafel plates and sandwiches, among other items.

Kruta said his plan is to offer artisans, entrepreneurs and business owners table space every Thursday to sell their products. Tables are $20 per day and a 10’ by 10’ space for a booth is available at $40 a day. There is no fee for the public to come to what Kruta called a “bazaar,” and he emphasized the event is not a flea market.

Although only one vendor was one hand on the opening day – Dr. Meagan Hudson of Brain Balance –  Kruta believes it will grow. He said other people have expressed interest in being vendors.

“People need to find the courage to come and create,” he said. 

Later on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Kruta will present a salon for conversation and performance. He explained that on the first Thursday of the month, the salon would focus on performance. On the second Thursday, theater and media will be the focus. On the third, the subject will be business and on the fourth Thursday it will be an open forum on community.

People will sign up at the door for 10 minutes of time during the salon with 10 spots open each week. The time will be allotted on a first come first serve basis, Kruta said.

“I want it to keep it simple and grow organically,” he said.

Like the bazaar, admission to the salon will be free.

The space has a sound system, a digital projector with screen and Wi-Fi. “It’s the percent space created in the last two years,” Kruta said.

Programming events is the “more fun part,” he added.

On Feb. 15, Gateway City Arts will host a Post Valentine’s Day Brunch and Concert. Food by chefs John Peter Wentworth and Tara Tulley will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu will feature Shakshuka, a Middle Eastern breakfast dish of eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce; Red Flannel Hash, roasted beets, onions and potatoes with rich duck confit; Eggs Benedict on a homemade whole grain English muffin; Zeppelin Pancakes with fruit and syrup; and Parsnip Potato Latkes with smoked trout horseradish cream and caramelized pear butter.

The concert begins at noon with highly acclaimed musicians, Mary Hubbell, soprano, and Judith Gordon, pianist performing French classical music.

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