Corner of Caffin and St. Claude (Historic Lower 9th Ward), New Orleans, LA
The Sankofa Marketplace of the Lower 9th Ward is a free, open-air event, held every 2nd Saturday in the parking lot of the All Souls Episcopal Church at the intersection of St Claude and Caffin Avenues. This monthly community event was created to help spur restoration, development and economic growth in the Lower 9th Ward. The event features children’s activities, a farmers market with fresh produce and wild caught Louisiana shrimp, local entertainment, community resources, health screenings, and health resources.
Sankofa Marketplace thanks the Milagro Foundation for funding the Ujamaa Project to encourage children to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables through arts education. Sankofa Marketplace is in partnership with Home, New Orleans, a project of National Performance Network with funding support by the Ford Foundation.
The Sankofa Marketplace was created by a coalition of artists, community groups, churches,and small business based in the Lower 9th Ward to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. This market features a farmers market, health resources, live New Orleans music, access to community resources, a crafts market, and an exhibition of L9 history and culture on every second Saturday.
We arrived at the Sankofa Marketplace a few minutes after 1pm on Saturday, May 8th. After viewing their website and evidently not paying enough attention to the headline (which gave the appearance that a bunch of events were going on…on April 10th) we were surprised to see little activity. Perhaps a dozen or so booths, tents, and concession trailers were setup, some unmanned. We visited the mobile library van, a photographer’s booth and wandered by the BBQ (which smelled great), recycling and health information stands and past the snow cone trailer. I was looking forward to the farmer’s market, but no veggies or fruits were in sight. A few kids and young adults were playing basketball, but otherwise the organizers outnumbered the attendees. This is really too bad, as the Market could really serve as a cultural hub of the surrounding Lower 9th Ward. Maybe it does? But, just not today. We’ll be back in two weeks.