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Ethnic Markets Initiative

Strengthening food systems through culturally-specific food retailers

A pilot program ignited by local food policy and research to support equitable food systems via culture sharing and the arts.

Participating culture-specific food retailers in Lawrence, Kansas are paired with artists to create Public Artwork at each retailer location. This program highlights diverse Culinary Arts through prerecorded cooking demonstrations using ingredients found at these retailers. With the support of the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative, retail owners are provided with economic development training and marketing assistance to further build towards food systems equity.

Partners

  • Lawrence Douglas County Sustainability Office
  • Kansas Healthy Food Initiative
  • KU Small Business Development Center
  • Kansas Department of Commerce, Office of Minority and Women Business
  • Director of Equity and Inclusion for the City of Lawrence, Dr. Farris Muhammad, Ph.D

LOCATIONS

F-MART

Artists

Emmi Murao (Lead Artist) is a Japanese-American designer and illustrator based in Kansas. She is passionate about creating visuals that tell stories fueled by nostalgia and cute characters while experimenting with juxtapositions: Eastern and Western, organic and graphic. She has been lucky enough to have worked with brands such as Disney, Target, and Walmart through her jobs. In her free time, she likes to bake, visit antique shops, and finally make her way through the craft supplies she bought five years ago
Artist Website

Juna Murao (Lead Artist) is a young designer born in Aomori, Japan. She brings a unique perspective coming from multiple cultures, and her designs bring both Western and Eastern design influences. She experiments with her design conceptually and visually, specializing in branding, type design, and typography. She has studied typography at the London Royal College and will graduate from the University of Kansas with a BFA in graphic design, May 2022.
Artist Website

AFRICAN CARIBBEAN GROCERY

Artists

Kamela Eaton (Lead Artist) earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Wichita State University. She has spent many years working as an illustrator and is now a contemporary painter. Currently, Eaton’s practice is focused on figurative paintings that explore all aspects of identity. Her African American, working-class, Midwestern upbringing is reflected in her bold, colorful, straightforward, no-frills perspective on emotional spaces and experiences. Unapologetically and beautifully rendered, her paintings address many difficult issues from mental health, racism, sexism, gender, heterosexism and classism to ancestral memory, homeland terrorism and cultural appropriation.
Artist Website


MEDITERRANEAN MARKET & CAFE

Artists

Dania Shoaib (Lead Artist) I am a Pakistani-American self-taught painter, digital artist, and Arabic calligraphist based in the Kansas City. 

I started doing Arabic calligraphy when I was 14 through painting. I take inspiration from my culture, Islamic architecture, and the Word of Allah. I started digital art on Procreate (best $10 I’ve ever spent!) last year after the pandemic started and opened my Redbubble store in May 2020. Since then, I have sold hundreds of stickers and other items through my Redbubble store and have participated in philanthropic projects as well. My latest artwork is exploring the different styles of art and architecture around the world coupled with the scripts of their respective regions. My portfolio can be found on Instagram (@harfco.)

I also had the honor of collaborating with ZUDO, and Islamic inspired brand based in the United States, to create canvas pieces for their ZUDO Home collection in 2021. 
Artist Website

LA ESTRELLA TIENDA MEXICANA

Artists

Javy Ortiz (Lead Artist) is an interdisciplinary artist born in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. Javy currently lives and works in Lawrence, KS. Javy is self taught and gathers inspiration from personal experiences, pop culture, and contemporary social issues. He prolifically works to evoke his own mood and personality through his art while engaging the viewer through vibrant colors and mixed media.
Artist Website

Connie Fiorella Fitzpatrick (Lead Artist) is a community-based public art organizer, artist, designer, muralist based in Lawrence, KS. Her work reflects her Peruvian heritage where she lived until age ten and focuses on projects that build racial and cultural equity. Some of her murals include “Compartiendo Culturas”; “Sharing Cultures” with the help of the Carver Dual Language School the grade class; and “Justicia Para Las Madres Inmigrantes” with Horizontes Project in Wichita, KS. She is a National Association of Latino Arts & Culture ALI Fellow alumi
Artist Website

Sydney Ruiz Krehbiel (Artist Assistant) I am a mixed Mexican, German, and Spanish queer-woman living on unceded Kaw, Osage, and Kickapoo lands otherwise known as Lawrence, Kansas. I am a colorful and inspired planter, maker, cook, and caregiver taking action to heal ancestral trauma, fight eco devastation, and dismantle hierarchical structures in small and big ways with my friends. I currently work with clay, yarn, and seasonal produce.

COSMOS INDIAN STORE & CAFE

Artists

Padma – Lead Artist

Headshot and Bio coming soon
Artist Website

Mona Cliff (Aniiih) (Lead Artist) is a Multidisciplinary visual artist. She explores the subject of contemporary Native American identity and culture through her use of traditional Native crafting methods such as seed bead embroidery and fabric applique. Beadwork & sewing applique have been a primary foundation of her artist practice. Honoring native culture, She has continued to work on her art combining contemporary subject matters with indigenous methods of crafting. Her art also focuses on how traditional arts are passed down between generations of women. Mona pursues the concepts of generational knowledge while exploring other topics such as native futurism and identity. Mona Cliff is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribe (A’aninin/Nakota Nations) she is Frozen Clan(Aniiih) and of the Medicine Bear Clan(Nakota) of Ft. Belknap, MT
Artist Website

PROJECT PERSONNEL
Project Coordinator

Connie Fiorella Fitzpatrick is a community-based public art organizer, artist, designer, muralist based in Lawrence, KS. Her work reflects her Peruvian heritage where she lived until age ten and focuses on projects that build racial and cultural equity. Some of her murals include “Compartiendo Culturas”; “Sharing Cultures” with the help of the Carver Dual Language School the grade class; and “Justicia Para Las Madres Inmigrantes” with Horizontes Project in Wichita, KS. She is a National Association of Latino Arts & Culture ALI Fellow alumi
Artist Website

Photographer

Robert Hicks Jr. is a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Trive of Nixon Nevada. He is a musician, filmmaker, painter, and audio engineer..He has won multiple awards for his films at the AIHEC film festival and is looking to enter multiple film festivals around the world. The stories he likes to tell are based on real life and Native American lore. With his film studio NOKWSI FILMS, he plans on creating a creative outlet for everyone interested in film. Robert approaches every project with a community health aspect in mind, with an emphasis on suiside prevention. He believes small acts of kindness can heal a person and in the process heal the community. He is currently enrolled at the University of Kansas in the Indegenous Studies program and the Applied Behavioral Science Behavioral Psychology PhD program.
Artist Website

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CONTACT

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CONTACT

Kate Van Steenhuyse, Interim Director

(785) 379-1608

Kate.VanSteenhuyse@ks.gov

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