Last year there was a grass roots effort to keep Walmart and other big-box stores from coming in to Watertown and changing the quality of life for the worse. Some of the reasons given included that many of the items they sell are made in China and other countries with poor labor practices, using often dangerous and un-recyclable materials, that Walmart themselves had poor hiring practices that discriminated against women, and practices that did little to improve or build the local economy.
I am urging all those citizens who stood up to Big Bad Corporate America to take some time on Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, and visit Watertown Open Studios. You will be supporting local artists, shopping local, buying locally made goods that greatly support the local economy. Many women artists are exhibiting and selling their fine artwork, gifts and jewelry, and essentially each of the artists exhibiting is a small business owner that can use your support in these economic times!
When you buy from one of us, we are spending our profits locally at locally owned stores employing local people. I promise that you will not leave with a cheaply made, tasteless gift that someone will just place in a landfill or re-gift. You will be leaving with a handmade treasure that shows you cared to think about your gift recipient, cared enough to buy them something hand-made that expresses the creativity and talent of the artist, and you, the giver!
Watertown is small enough that you can likely walk or bicycle to a number of Open Studios. Forget all about Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, come and spend a pleasant day or two visiting with artists as we welcome you into our creative spaces, and I promise you will find it a time well spent. You can find a map online at www.watertown-open-studios.org, or follow The Watertown Patch for more details.
Dawn Evans Scaltreto
Fine Artist and Arts Educator
Arsenal Center for the Arts Resident Artist