SUNY System Administration Partners with Make It Up State Marketplace to Welcome People Back to Downtown Albany at H. Carl McCall SUNY Building

June 24, 2021

Midday Market Featuring Live Music and Local Vendors Selling Food, Fine Art, and Jewelry

Part of SUNY System's Commitment to the Albany Community and to Help the Local Economy

Photos From Opening Day Available Online

Albany, NY –
With summer underway, COVID-19 restrictions lifted, and employees returning to downtown Albany, SUNY System Administration is partnering with the Make It Up State Marketplace to bring live music and local vendors selling food, fine art, jewelry, and goods with a focus on health and wellbeing to downtown Albany. The Marketplace is open to anyone and it debuted today on the front lawn of the historic H. Carl McCall SUNY Building at 353 Broadway in Albany. The Make It Up State Marketplace will be open Thursdays throughout the summer from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Its opening coincides with the launching of the Bites Camera Action outdoor movie series at SUNY System Administration. Kicking off last Friday and continuing every Friday for the next five weeks, Bites Camera Action transforms the front lawn of the H. Carl McCall SUNY building into an open air movie theater and entertainment venue. The film series encourages attendees to grab a ‘bite' to eat from a downtown restaurant before taking their place on the lawn. The lawn opens for seating at 7:30 p.m. with movies beginning around 8:30 p.m.

The series debuted Friday with a screening of Black Panther—presented in conjunction with Albany's Juneteenth Festival, which was held Saturday. SUNY is organizing the series in partnership with the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID). The film screening equipment was donated by Christ's Church Albany and the Albany Police Department.

"SUNY is committed to the Albany community and we're thrilled to bring the Make it Up State Marketplace to our historic SUNY Building in beautiful downtown Albany. Together, we will help rejuvenate our local economy hit hard by the pandemic," said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. "With so much time spent apart, the outdoor Marketplace and our ‘Bites Camera Action' movie series are both terrific opportunities to reconnect with one another, to feed our souls with great food and art, and to support downtown businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic."

Erin Pihlaja, Owner and Founder of Make It Up State, said, "The Make It Up State Midday Marketplace at SUNY Plaza celebrates the creativity and ingenuity of local makers who are lifelong learners and creative entrepreneurs. We are excited to work with SUNY System Administration to bring this weekly market to a space and culture that inspires and encourages community and collaboration."

Georgette Steffens, Executive Director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District, said, "Make It Up State is a wonderful addition to our Capital City, creating economic opportunities for our small businesses and regional makers at the new Midday Marketplace at SUNY Plaza. Thank you to cofounder Erin Pihlaja for selected downtown Albany as the second location and to Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras for playing such a significant role in creating a sense of place in our community. It is events like this that make our BID District the top choice for offices, residents, and visitors alike."

Peter Gannon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, said, "With our office recently locating to downtown Albany, and launching our new coworking community, The Blake Annex, United Way of the Greater Capital Region and our fellow non-profits who have moved with us are excited to utilize all that downtown Albany has to offer. The Make It Up State Marketplace is a great opportunity for us all to take a break, walk around Albany, and take advantage of the new and exciting activity happening downtown, and we're looking forward to attending future Maker's Markets hosted at the beautiful SUNY Plaza."

Bites Camera Action Schedule:

  • June 25: The Greatest Showman 
  • July 2: Independence Day (25th anniversary of theatrical release)
  • July 9: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (celebrating co-star Tom Hanks' birthday)
  • July 16: A League of Their Own
  • July 23: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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Holly Liapis
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