Inclusiveness and Culture

From the the very start of conversations regarding the Madison Public Market, achieving equity and inclusiveness within the Market has been a primary objective. The Madison Public Market Development Team held several discussions with leaders and other community members from a variety of cultures to gain ideas and insight. The Public Market is being developed according to these four goals to create a place that is welcoming to all people.

  1. Launch a Market Ready Program prioritizing service to populations facing historic barriers to entrepreneurship including: women, people of color, immigrants, low income populations, veterans, displaced workers, and LGBTQ individuals. Funded by the City of Madison, the Market Ready Program prepares new entrepreneurs who have dreamed of starting a food-based or craft-based business for success in the new Market through business training, mentorship, and/or start-up capital. Over 60 new or growing entrepreneurs, mostly from our diverse communities, have applied to the program.
  2. The physical building design and interior aesthetics should be culturally aware, welcoming, and familiar to diverse cultures. In May of 2017, the Public Market Development team hosted an equity discussion with 20 diverse community leaders and our architects to discuss how to make the building design welcoming to everyone. One idea is is to create interpretive displays describing the important role Madison’s communities of color, tribal communities, immigrant communities, etc., have in our City’s development, both past and present.
  3. Create diverse programming that appeals to a wide variety of cultures once the Market is open. Using Dane Dances as a model, the Public Market will strive to include entertainment, events, and pop-up markets that encourage a diverse presence among the artists/entertainers selected and as well as among those attending.
  4. Ensure that Market leadership is diverse. The strongest opportunity for ensuring diversity within the Market is by choosing Public Market staff and Board members from diverse communities.

The greatest success of the Madison Public Market will be realized only when it becomes a place that is truly inclusive. If you would like more information on the Market’s equity goals or have ideas to share, we’d love to hear from you! Contact

“Madison needs this Public Market. It’s an important opportunity for our children of color to have a place where they can go and see many other people of color owning businesses and finding success in our city. I’m excited to welcome our kids to the Market where we can teach them about business ownership. The Public Market is a place we’ll all be proud of.” - Judy Cooper, owner of QB's Magnetic Creations, a MarketReady participant

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