(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — A food and craft fair featuring items handmade by beneficiaries with intellectual or developmental disabilities returns to downtown Little Rock this Friday.
More than 20 vendors and six food trucks will line the street at 7th and Main for the 7th Annual Fall Food & Craft Fair sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Items available for purchase at the fair are handmade by beneficiaries served by DHS’s Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) across the state. These items include rugs, magnets, artwork, wreaths, and more. All proceeds go to the artists who made the items.
A flyer for the event is below and also available by clicking here.
DDS Director Melissa Weatherton said the artists who create the items take pride in selling them, and especially enjoy meeting the buyers in person at the fair.
“Our beneficiaries spend a lot of time and effort making these items, and they are proud of the work that they do,” Weatherton said. “To see the smiles on their faces when you purchase something is incredibly rewarding.”
The Division provides funding and oversight for community, clinic, and residential based services to approximately 70,000 Arkansans. It also operates five Intermediate Care Facilities called Human Development Centers (HDCs) in Arkadelphia, Booneville, Conway, Jonesboro, and Warren. The HDCs are home to nearly 1,000 beneficiaries. The Division’s mission is to work with beneficiaries so they can be as independent as possible and have a high quality of life, Weatherton said.
Many of the products are also available year-round in DHS’s in-house store, The Blue Umbrella. Learn more about The Blue Umbrella here: https://www.blueumbrellaar.org/
Due to the fair, 7th and Main streets will be closed starting at 9 a.m. and will reopen at 2:30 p.m.