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Good-bye to the Holiday Market

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Alice Kreiman wasn't happy manning Down Home, the handicraft shop she owned in Evanston for a few years in the mid-1970s. "I felt like a prisoner," she says of her short tenure as a shopkeeper. Running the Evanston Art Center's annual Holiday Market was another matter. In the 17 years she's served as its volunteer chairperson, the market grew from a modest adjunct to the center's gift counter to a three-and-a-half-week extravaganza that takes over all four galleries in the lakefront mansion, involves 150 volunteers, offers work by 200 artists, and grosses $200,000. "It takes three weeks to set this up," says Kreiman. "It's not like setting up booths in a gymnasium. We do all the mounting and all the sales." The atmosphere is one part of the market's appeal; the variety of one-of-a-kind handmade gifts is the other. But the event has reached its apex. Kreiman's 65th birthday present to herself was her resignation as the market's majordomo, effective at the end of this year. No one at the center seems to think this full-time community volunteer (who also serves on the boards of four other Evanston nonprofits) can be replaced; staffers announced that the Holiday Market will open its doors on November 18 for the last time. It runs from 10 to 5 Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 Sundays through December 10 at the art center, 2603 Sheridan in Evanston. Admission is free. Call 847-475-5300 for more information.

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