Seattle Magazine’s List of “125 People who have Shaped the City” names Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance head Chris Curtis in its Influential Hall of Fame
from the NFMA newsletter announcement, sentiments very much echoed by the WSFMA
“Dear Friends of Local Farmers and Local Food,
We would like to acknowledge how proud we are of Chris Curtis. The founder and Executive Director of our non-profit, Neighborhood Farmers Markets, was included in a list of local movers and shakers who “have transformed the town in extraordinary ways over the past 50 years…a cross section of talented visionaries, big thinkers and risk takers who have shaped our city into the remarkable place it is.”
This list highlights leaders involved not only in food, but in music, art, books, sports, media, philanthropy, business, development, and the environment. Chris feels honored to be included, she says, “If anyone had told me at the beginning of our fledgling neighborhood farmers market efforts 24 years ago that I would someday be on a list with Ken Griffey, Nancy Pearl and Jim Whittaker, I would have said “you’re hallucinating.”
A pioneer in the local food movement, Chris created the first non-profit neighborhood farmers market that devoted itself exclusively to local farms selling directly to the local community here in Seattle. “I was inspired by the Santa Monica Farmers Market where farmers are prioritized above all else. We started out in the U-District neighborhood in 1993 with only 17 farmers and 800 shoppers our first day. We now have 120 farmers every week who sell at seven neighborhood markets and it’s typical to see over 500,000 shoppers a year at NFM markets. It’s been so gratifying to see the growth for shoppers and local farmers.”
Chris understands the deep connections that can occur at a neighborhood Farmers Market; these weekly, safe, family-friendly events that allow shoppers to meet the folks who grow our food and neighbors to interact as a community. “A good urban Farmers Market is an amazing social catalyst where magic happens every week,” says Curtis. As is evident, Seattle agrees and its residents have continued to flock to these hubs of food, families, and farms. Though there is always room to grow, and we know that Chris is still working tirelessly to continue to transform this city in farm-friendly ways.
So cheers to you, Chris! Thank you for your hard work and influence on Seattle–you have certainly shaped our town and people have noticed.”