Arts & Craft Beverage Crawl celebrates Evanston arts and businesses


Kate Walter/Daily Senior Staffer

The Evanston Arts & Craft Beverage Crawl encouraged participants to support local businesses and art along the Main-Dempster Mile.

Kate Walter, Assistant City Editor

With live music playing in the background and spring temperatures in the mid-60s, people strolled up and down the Main-Dempster Mile on Thursday for the second annual Evanston Arts & Craft Beverage Crawl. 

Co-hosted by local art nonprofit Evanston Made and the Main-Dempster Mile, the event celebrated Evanston businesses, serving locally brewed craft drinks and displaying work from artists in the community. 

Evanston resident Traci Ottenfeld said she and her sister attended the event to enjoy her birthday (early) and to show support for the Evanston community.

“I just thought it was really fun, cool way to interact with the community and patronize the local shops and see some of the local artists,” Ottenfeld said. 

More than 15 businesses on the Main Chicago and Dempster Chicago routes set up pop-up galleries and a DJ dance party. Profits from the ticket sales went to Evanston Made. 

Lisa Degliantoni, the founder and co-director of Evanston Made, said the Arts & Craft Crawl intended to highlight the city’s creative community. 

“I think it’s really important that collaborations like this happen in Evanston because it gives business owners the chance to meet new customers,” Degliantoni said. “But then it also gives artists who don’t have their own unique spaces (the chance) to meet new people.”

Several new businesses in Evanston participated in Thursday’s festivities, including boutique Maison Du Prince and Ahimsa Yoga Studio. 

Ramsey Prince, the owner of Maison du Prince, said he wanted to get to know the community throughout the evening. His store showcased Chicago pop surrealist artist Zak Blatt’s work and partnered with the bar Buzzed by ZEA to provide drinks. 

“I really wanted to participate in something in the community here in Evanston and get our feet wet and introduce ourselves to the community,” Price said. 

Kombucha Brava offered beverage tastings at the event, along with Sketchbook Brewing Company and FEW Spirits.

Rebecca Sanchez, master brewer and owner of Kombucha Brava, said the store sold Orange Cardamom Old-Fashioneds and Pineapple Cherry Vodka Spritzers at the Crawl. 

“It really supports Evanston,” Sanchez said. “It’s so fun to see the community out having fun and enjoying the nice weather and supporting the local shops.”

Illustrator Matthew LaFleur, who has illustrated children’s books like “The Toothless Fairy,” teamed up with jewelry and gift shop Stumble & Relish on Chicago Ave. for a sidewalk sale.  

“As an illustrator, it tends to be kind of a quiet solo career,” LaFleur said. “It’s nice to get out and see people’s faces and show them my work and hopefully, they pick up a book.”

Artist Socorro Mucino, who partnered with Ahimsa Yoga Studio to display her handmade prints, said she loved “letting our art be a part of the community.”

Longtime Evanston resident Janis Ward, said she now hopes to check out these new businesses along the Main-Dempster stretch.

“I was born in Evanston, so I’ve been here for a long time,” Ward said. “But we love to see what’s new.”

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Twitter: @katewalter03

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