The Little Penang Street Market started in July 2006, and has established itself as the premier monthly street market event and a key cultural performance venue in Penang. This has been done despite the shoe-string budgets on which the monthly markets run, and is testament to the efforts of the small organising committee and the response of stallholders and the public.
The market’s main mission is the nurturing and showcasing of Penang’s creativity in traditional and contemporary crafts and culture.
It does this through
- providing a low-cost venue whereby local artists, artisans and cultural entrepreneurs can sell directly to the public;
- upgrading local arts, crafts and culture by providing design and marketing support to local artists, artisans and cultural entrepreneurs;
- providing a venue whereby local Penang charities can showcase and sell their work, under Community Works;
- providing a space for visual artists to display and sell their work;
- providing a space for performance artists and groups to showcase their talents. Stress is given to showcasing traditional cultural performances from the different Penang communities, as well as presenting contemporary performances from performers old and young;
- hosting regular book readings and other literary discussion activities, to promote and nurture local writers and writing;
- organising a variety of children’s activities, both to nurture talent and to enhance understanding of the cultural heritage of Penang.
The Little Penang Street Market comes under the Penang Arts Council, is endorsed by Tourism Penang and supported by a number of local businesses. But one huge strength of the Market is that it is grounded in Penang’s community. The joy of Little Penang Street Market stalls, performances and exhibitions is that people of all ages and talents participate: established professionals take their place alongside producers and artistes who are new to selling, performing or displaying.
In facilitating this, Little Penang Street Market now occupies a strong position not just to play an important role in enhancing Penang’s creative capacity, but in a way which reaches out to a significant local and foreign audience. With its stress on sustainable and cultural tourism, and its commitment to community and talent, Little Penang Street Market is a unique asset helping drive Penang forward in the 21stCentury.