World Bazaar & Phoenix Community Market to Showcase Rich Culture of the Phoenix Area

16wb_facebook A new event is heading to northwest Phoenix thanks to a partnership between the City of Phoenix, Local First Arizona, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Valley Metro. The World Bazaar & Phoenix Community Market will take place on Saturday, May 7, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the 19th Avenue and Camelback Road Park and Ride. The event will feature over thirty unique vendors from the community to offer a local shopping experience with a global feel.

Vendors and items available include African beadwork, dresses, scarves, jewelry, baskets, and gifts; Middle Eastern women’s fashion and jewelry; craft goods made by refugee women; and more. A “KidsZone” will feature face painting, hair braiding, and other fun activities. Attendees will also be able to sample a diverse array of foods and beverages like Ethiopian coffee, Iraqi bread, Middle Eastern candy, and bakalava, and can pick up locally grown foods at the farmer's market area.

The idea for the World Bazaar came about when Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona and Sara Scoville-Weaver of IRC met to discuss the possibility of working together. Their visions of supporting local entrepreneurs and celebrating diverse communities aligned perfectly, and an event like the World Bazaar appeared to be a great opportunity for collaboration. "The International Rescue Committee is thrilled to support the numerous refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs who call the Valley home at this first annual World Bazaar,” said Sara Scoville-Weaver, Microenterprise Program Coordinator for IRC. “For over 12 years the IRC in Phoenix has helped hundreds of refugee entrepreneurs start businesses that positively impact the Phoenix community. This ethnic market represents a culmination of much of that work and will aid in the long-term development of healthy, strong communities for all families along the Camelback corridor."

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Institutions like the City of Phoenix and Valley Metro were quick to sign on in support of the World Bazaar. “I can think of no better way to empower and celebrate the diversity of Phoenix’s small businesses than with a World Bazaar,”  said Councilwoman Laura Pastor, who represents District 4, where the market will be held. “These vendors are artisans and entrepreneurs who not only generate income for their families but also help revitalize local neighborhoods and provide goods and services to their community.”

As local neighborhoods go through revitalization efforts thanks in part to the rise of diverse entrepreneurs, the entire central Phoenix area is seeing a surge in new luxury development projects. Local First Arizona Director Kimber Lanning believes that events like the World Bazaar can shine a light on the area’s “sense of place,” and that these identifying characteristics should guide future development. “Local First Arizona has a distinct interest in making sure that our new developments across the city take into account the neighborhoods where they are being built,” said Lanning. “This neighborhood needs to have new development reflect the diversity that is so wonderfully present in this community.”

The World Bazaar & Phoenix Community Market is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to use the Light Rail to get to and from the event. Attendees who show their light rail pass at the event will be entered to win prizes.

More information on the World Bazaar & Phoenix Community Market can be found at This event is made possible through generous support from SRP, LISC Phoenix, and Vitalyst Health Foundation AZ.