ART Around Town: Young Makers & Entrepreneurs Market @ Esma's Alley


NCLAC is so happy to see the cultural growth in historic downtown Ruston. One exciting new endeavor is the versatile Esma’s Alley space next door to Sundown Tavern on Park Avenue. Esma’s Alley is a collaborative effort between property owner Esma Smith, the City of Ruston, and a group of creatives: Mashall Smith, Dorene Kordal, and Bonnie Ferguson. From small scale gestures to large scale events, Esma’s Alley seeks to foster a more inclusive civic life. Their hope is to offer the community a place of art, music, excitement and delight for all ages, and to provide enjoyment for all citizens and visitors. 

The space is utilized once a month for free-admission events, with the next event happening tomorrow, August 4 from 8-noon. 

Tomorrow’s event is especially unique: a Young Makers & Entrepreneurs Market! 

The public is invited to come support our young makers, featuring creations from many realms. The Esma’s Alley team is excited to host an event to encourage young makers and facilitate opportunities to inspire enthusiasm in their businesses. Each vendor is 18 or younger. There will be painters and illustrators, notecards and cardboard costumes, tshirts, bath salts and bread! It sounds like all of us will be able to arrive empty-handed and certainly go home with something special. With 14 young entrepreneurs on site, I am anxious to see the items they’ve created. 

One of the things I love about Ruston is the strong support of local merchants. There are many towns our size around the country that have vacant downtowns, and whose citizens drive elsewhere to shop. However, here we have a beautiful downtown, merchants with thriving businesses who give back to the community, and customers who are committed to supporting local. One of my favorite quotes I’ve seen floating around on social media says “When you buy from a small business, you’re not helping a CEO buy a third holiday home. You’re helping kids get lessons and school supplies, and moms and dads put food on the table.” The young entrepreneurs who’ll have booths set up at Esma’s Alley are tomorrow’s business owners. Let’s be certain to come out and show them our support. Let’s show them we appreciate their hard work and dedication, their problem-solving and creativity. See you there!  

Article by NCLAC Executive Director, Jessica Slaughter