Originally conceived in 2013 by Pat Strong, Bob Ryan, and Joe Deegan to help rent vacant spaces in Midtown, Made in Kingston is now in its 8th year, highlighting the creative economy in a city where empty spaces are hard to come by. For seven years, Made In Kingston produced a free event open to the public and featuring more than 60 local artists, businesses, and organizations, plus fine artists representing the Kingston Midtown Arts District (MAD), delicious food and beverages from Kingston eateries, bakeries, and breweries, and live acoustic music. In 2020, under pandemic circumstances, Made in Kingston is continuing to highlight Kingston’s creative economy by shifting to an online marketplace.
A wonderful tradition of Made in Kingston is a $1000 scholarship given to a Kingston High School graduating senior majoring in arts or technology. The scholarship is funded by raffles, vendor fees, and sponsors. Since 2018, the event has also focused on sustainability, including a partnership with Zero To Go to help separate waste into compostables, recyclables, and trash in order to reduce landfill waste and educate the public about continuing these efforts in their homes and businesses.
Made in Kingston is overseen by the Business Alliance of Kingston and run by a committee of local artists and business owners. It has been funded by generous donations from local businesses (listed on the Made in Kingston website), vendor fees, and grants from the City of Kingston and Arts Mid-Hudson’s Ulster County Promotional Fund in 2018 and 2019. “Made in Kingston is a fantastic event that brings together neighbors, showcases our talented local artisans, and offers attendees a wide variety of goods made right here in our city,” said Mayor Steve Noble in 2019. “From the food, drinks and wares to the commitment to sustainability, this community event highlights just how unique and special the people and businesses of Kingston are.”