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New Grant Allows Expansion to Include South Side Markets at the Villager and Madison Labor Temple.

Madison – Mayor Dave Cieslewicz today announced a new $21,226 grant from the Project for Public Spaces that will bring a farmers’ market to the Villager this year. The funds will be used to expand the South Madison Farmers’ Market that is already operating at the Madison Labor Temple on South Park Street.

A meeting for potential market vendors will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 15, at the Labor Temple, 1602 South Park Street. For additional information on the vendors’ meeting, visit or contact Market Manager Robert Pierce at (608) 358-5834 or

“Farmers’ markets help bring local, fresh, quality food to families in our community,” said Mayor Cieslewicz. “These new resources will significantly increase the scope of the farmers’ market program on Madison’s South Side, while contributing to our ongoing revitalization of the Villager Mall property.”

The South Madison Farmers’ Market, in partnership with Park Street Partners, won the grant through a highly competitive national process. The Project for Public Spaces received 262 applications from 46 states, and awarded grants to only 12 projects nationwide. The three-year, $3 million grant program is a partnership with the Farmers’ Market Coalition, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

“The UW-Madison and its campus and community partnerships project view the farmers’ market expansion as a significant contribution to the development of sustainable partnerships between the University and the neighborhoods of the South Side,” said Lori Kay, Director of Community Partnerships for UW-Madison, which assisted in developing the grant request.

“Expansion of the South Madison Farmers’ Market is a positive development that brings us one step closer to turning the Villager Mall into a commercial and retail destination for visitors and residents alike,” said Ald. Tim Bruer.

The grant will be used to establish a market board, develop a marketing campaign, purchase an EBT machine for electronic payments and other equipment such as tents, tables, and chairs, develop a full program of events and activities, and develop a youth mentoring program.

The grant will also allow for an expansion of service on Madison’s South Side that will include:

o Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. - Madison Labor Temple
(May 9 – Oct. 31)
o Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. - Villager Mall
(June 1 – Oct. 26)
o Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. - Madison Labor Temple
(Apr. 29 – Oct. 28)

The mission of the South Madison Farmers’ Market is to provide the residents of South Madison with access to fresh, locally grown produce, help educate residents on healthy eating, and to create a lively and welcoming community gathering place for all Madison residents.

“Expansion of the farmers’ market enhances the availability of fresh, healthy produce for the South Side community, and offers an opportunity for neighbors to meet and enjoy the quality of life in this great part of the city,” said Ald. Isadore Knox.

“The market is one of the South Side’s hidden treasures,” said market volunteer Margaret J. Nellis. “People come to the market not only for the fresh, local produce but also to visit with friends and neighbors, enjoy local artists, musicians and other cultural activities, and to sample the diversity of the people and produce that the market has to offer.”


  • George Twigg, 608-266-4611