The Troost Market Collective (TMC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create equitable economic opportunity for creative entrepreneurs, inspiring future generations through innovative partnerships and programming.
Crissy Dastrup, founder and Board Chair of TMC, has actively provided small locally-owned businesses with the opportunities to grow in the Troost area.
“The Troost Market Collective is a grassroots arts non-profit collective,” Dastrup said. “We work to upscale and provide a stage to upscale your craft. We have an annual Troostapalooza event, it’s a really good place to showcase upcoming makers, and helps people perfect their trade. We were founded in 2007, and we are an all volunteer-run organization for all five years. We are looking at how we can make a greater impact for the people we serve.”
Jaymie Collins, Director of Development and Corporate Engagement believes that giving entrepreneurs the connections and voices to organize, create and thrive are essential for the community.
“Throughout the community we want to be a hub for creators, for people to have resources, to help and guide them in the right direction,” Collins said.
Troost is a primarily African American community. Throughout recent years, African Americans on Troost have been pushed out of their homes and businesses they have had for generations.
“We realized Troost has been a target for gentrification for about 14 years,” Dastrup said. “We work with developers and try to connect them with Black-owned businesses, so then Troost doesn’t turn into something unrecognizable.”
TMC teamed up with The Urban League of Greater Kansas City and KC Art on the Block to create the “Black Lives Matter” project.
“After the murder of George Floyd, everybody was shaken by police brutality,” Dastrup said. “We decided to work with other organizations to display six Black Lives Matter murals around Kansas City. It was a healing process through the arts.”
With the recent political outrage about police brutality and racial theory, Dastrup knew the African American community was hurting. She made it the collective’s goal to help the community through their own creative arts.
“We bring communities together that have been divided by the redlining, but these communities have not spent time together for a decade,” Dastrup said. “Feeling like you have a voice in the future of your community, the creative industry is definitely a sector that has specific needs, and it’s our goal to help these people become successful business owners.”
Collins began her own business in 2017 called ScatterBrain. Her creative passion encouraged her to not only start her own business, but support others in entrepreneurship.
“It’s like me helping myself, my young self,” Collins said. “I’ve always wanted to have a mentor, and I never had one. When I came across the Troost Market Collective I realized this is what I needed back then. This is what people need now.”
The Troost Market Collective won many awards over the course of their foundation including the KC Chamber’s “Champion of Diversity” in 2021 and being named a THRIVE honoree in 2021 by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Dastrup was awarded the “Equity and Action” by Nonprofit Connect, as well as being featured in USA Today. Troostapalooza is an annual event held each fall for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, crafts and the arts. Visit troostmarketcollective.org for more information.