(BLOOMINGTON) – As the City of Bloomington works to reopen the Saturday Farmers’ Market at Showers Common, it is continuing to turn to the community for input into creating a safe, inclusive, welcoming, and enjoyable experience in this popular Bloomington venue. The City on July 29 announced the suspension of the market on August 3 and 10 out of concern for public safety.
During the market’s temporary suspension, members of the public are encouraged to share ideas about the market in any of several ways:
- Complete a brief online comment form, which may be submitted anonymously.
- Fill out a comment card at the front desk inside the City Hall atrium.
- Contact the Office of the Mayor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (812) 349-3406.
Submissions will be reviewed by the Office of the Mayor and the Parks and Recreation Department, and considered in the process of formulating solutions.
Additionally, the community is invited to engage City officials on the matter during a conversation to be streamed live on the City’s Facebook page Monday, August 12 from 12 to 1 p.m. Questions and concerns about the market’s suspension and plans for its reopening may be submitted before or during the event within the event post’s discussion section. Beverly Calender-Anderson, director of the Community and Family Resources Department, will receive and pose viewers’ questions to Mayor John Hamilton and Paula McDevitt, administrator of the Department of Parks and Recreation, which operates the market.
On August 27, Bloomington United will convene a “Community Gathering of Solidarity,” featuring a performance by singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Courthouse Square. Additional events, resources, and programming supporting the community’s cultural diversity and combating race-based discrimination are listed at the City’s Building Bridges website, which includes a link to the online form for reporting a hate incident.
Since allegations of a vendor’s affiliation with white supremacy surfaced in June, the City has vigorously involved the community in forging solutions that protect public safety while respecting free speech and our community’s values of inclusion and justice. Six public meetings thus far have addressed the issues that led to the market’s temporary suspension, including two meetings of the Farmers Market Advisory Council, two meetings of the Parks Board of Commissioners, a moderated panel discussion of the legal issues at stake, and the mayor’s press conference explaining the decision to suspend the market. Additional information about the temporary market suspension and attendant issues is available at the Frequently Asked Questions page, where video footage of the aforementioned meetings is archived.
On Tuesday, August 13, Mayor Hamilton will share plans for how the market will reopen.