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Streetfood Artisty Festival Promotes Cultural Entrepreneurs

By Casey Cora | August 9, 2013 8:05am
 Organizers of the 2013 Streetfood Artistry Festival say all of the food truck offerings cost $5 or less.
Organizers of the 2013 Streetfood Artistry Festival say all of the food truck offerings cost $5 or less.
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Facebook/Streetfood Artistry

BRIDGEPORT — More than a food truck and art fair, the Street Food Artistry Festival is designed to raise awareness about the issues faced by small cultural businesses looking to launch.

“The primary issue is finances,” said Patrice Perkins, a Bronzeville attorney who founded the Streetfood Artistry nonprofit group and co-founded the festival of the same name.

The nonprofit, she said, guides new small businesses through the process of how to hire attorneys, negotiate contracts and spend wisely, all while preserving copyrights and intellectual property.

“If [entrepreneurs] do have some know-how, most of what they have is gleaned from the Internet. There’s a big counseling piece to it. My goal is to alleviate those distractions, create a structure on keep them on their long-term goals…A lot of these creatives have huge long-term potential,” said Perkins, who also runs the Lifestyle Zen law firm.

The Streetfood Artistry Festival, the nonprofit group’s biggest fundraiser, takes places 1-7 p.m. Sunday at Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th St. in Bridgeport. 

Rolling up to the festival’s food pavilion will be food trucks hauling something for all palates: sweet, savory, spicy and everything in between. Scheduled to serve are Baby Cakes, Curried, Getta Polpetta, Puffs of Doom, Jerk, The Fat Shallot, Gelato D’oro, HerbyPop and Dia De Los Tamales.

All of the trucks offer food for under $5.

The event will also feature an “Indie Market” showcasing artists, clothiers, publishers, jewelers, beauty products and more. A complete list is available at the festival website.

Live performances include headliner Meisha Herron, singer Dacia, DJ Alvin Black III, DJ Violin, the tap dance collective M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Soul People and hip-hop poster Pmartt, plus cameos from E’a, a roaming belly dancing troupe.

Last year, a portion of the festival proceeds went directly to organizations like Chicago Street Musicians, and some of the pro bono legal work helped the tap dance collective M.A.D.D. Rhythms establish its own nonprofit status and run its board of directors.

This year, organizers will help secure grant money and offer free legal help to the business that wins the festival’s “Standout Creative” contest,  comprised of all of Sunday’s food trucks and businesses inside the “Indie Market.”

The winner will be determined through on-site votes by attendees, a panel of judges and evaluation of a personal statement submitted by the business.

The winning business will be announced later this year.

Tickets for the event cost $10 and are available by visiting this website. Kids 6 and under are free.