UW-Eau Claire College Feminists hosts first ever ‘Palentine’s Day’ Market

Last Saturday, Eau Claire College Feminists collaborated with Midwest Feminists to produce an event promoting inclusivity in the Eau Claire community

More stories from Madeline Peterson


Photo by Kar Wei Cheng

Market attendees enjoyed a variety of local art, merchandise and entertainment from various artists and vendors in the Eau Claire area.

Last Saturday, the first ever Palentine’s Day Market was held at Kgam Studio on Wisconsin Street in Eau Claire. The event, which was hosted by the Midwest Feminists and UW-Eau Claire College Feminists, featured many vendors and artists from the area and offered a selection of authentic Korean cuisine for market visitors.

Mary Shaw, the UW-Eau Claire College Feminists’ co-president, said the idea for the market came up while she was interning for the local poetry publication “Twig.” “Twig” leaders Serena Wagner and Elle McGhee are also involved with the Midwest Feminists and collaborated with Shaw to create and produce the event.

“(Serena, Ellie and I) made it up over coffee … we wanted a space where we could blend Eau Claire’s artistic vibes and create an inclusive event for everybody,” Shaw said.        

The event featured tarot card readings, a photo booth, spoken word performances and an artist’s market, offering art, books, personalized love poems and handmade goods. Although many of the items were available for purchase, there were also plenty of free samples available to attendees.      

Some of the vendors and artists present at the event included Cede Clothing, Merfolk Katie, Odd Humyns and Lunatique among others.

Elizabeth De Cleyre and Margaret Leonard are two of the three founders of Dotter’s Books, which offered new and used books for purchase at the market. Wagner and McGhee initially asked them to participate and said they enjoyed the energy of the event and the community involvement displayed.

“Everyone is excited and happy; so many people turned out for this event … the Midwest Feminists are so supportive of (Dotter’s Books), and we love supporting them as well,” De Cleyre said.

The word “Palentine” was chosen as the title for the market because of its inclusivity, Shaw said.

“Valentine’s Day has romantic implications, and Galentine’s Day is geared toward cis-women, so we wanted to use a name that promoted friendship among everyone,” Shaw said.

The event space, known as Kgam Studio, is a Korean cross-cultural dance studio, according to Eau Claire’s Volume One Magazine. Owned by Brooke Newmaster, the studio has been open since early 2017. Being able to check out a new location in the Eau Claire community was an aspect of the event that appealed to Taylor Limberg, a junior environmental geography student.

“It looked like a good, fun time and a cool way to learn more about the studio,” said Limberg, who also said her favorite part of the event was the free tarot card readings.     

The night wrapped up with poetry performances by four local poets. The poetry covered a variety of content regarding politics, gender, family and personal experiences. With the festivities of the first Palentine’s Day having concluded, Shaw said she would advise anyone who is interested to keep an eye out for a similar event in the future.      

“It was overall a really successful event, and we were happy to have so many members of the community show up … it’s an event for everyone and we hope people will keep it on their radar for next year,” Shaw said.