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Mini Maker Faire calls for makers

July 22, 2014
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Mini Maker Faire calls for makers
The Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire is a “family friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness.” Photo via fb.com

An informational session will take place tomorrow for an event this summer that will showcase West Michigan’s do-it-yourself makers.

Applications

The Geek Group, a nonprofit providing people access to science and technology, is hosting a Maker Information Session on Wednesday in Grand Rapids, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., at 902 Leonard St. NW.

The event is intended for people interested in participating in the inaugural Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire, which is scheduled for Aug. 30-31.

The informational session is designed to explain the Mini Maker Faire and encourage people to submit an application to exhibit their work.

Applications are being accepted online until Aug. 1, and participation is open to makers of all ages and types: crafters, educators, artists, students, hobbyists, engineers and more.

The event

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting the inaugural event celebrating the makers in the Grand Rapids community on Aug. 30, from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and Aug. 31, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The two-day event will feature pieces both inside and outside the downtown museum and is designed as an interactive experience with hands-on activities and live demonstrations.

Incorporating aspects of a science fair and a county fair, the Grand Rapids event is designed to showcase the invention and creativity of those in the area.

“We saw the Maker Faire as a key opportunity. We are hoping this will broaden our audience,” said Kate Moore, vice president of marketing and public relations, Grand Rapids Public Museum. “This is something new for us — new program, new audience — and it gave us a chance to work with the community and bring something to the community.”

With two large maker groups in the community and other people creating projects in the spirit of invention, science and innovation, Moore said the museum not only is looking to provide a venue for those in the maker community, but also saw the opportunity to create new programs to connect with the movement.

Organizers

The inaugural event was organized by the open community lab GR Makers, The Geek Group, Grand Rapids Community College, Genesis and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Maker Faire model

The event is modeled after the Maker Faire Bay Area, which hosts more than 130,000 visitors in San Mateo, Calif. in the month of May.

Originally launched in 2006, the larger Maker Faire features projects and ideas often not seen at a traditional art, science or craft event.

Since the first event in the Bay Area, similar events have taken place in Detroit, Austin and New York, while Mini Maker Faires have appeared in Ann Arbor, Boston, Kansas City, Mo., Aspen, Colo. and Paris.  

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