Thursday, March 4, 2010
Make-ing the most of it!
Have you ever heard of a Maker Faire?
I hadn't until about a year ago. Lots of folks I know didn't either, until I told them what I'd learned about it.
So, for those of you who have never encountered this phenomenon (and trust me, it IS a phenomenon)....A Maker Faire is a festival of, by and for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things. Making and Maker Faires are now a global movement. In fact, if you Google "Maker Faire 2010," in four tenths of a second, you'll get 1,640,000 results.
Where are they held? Everywhere! From San Francisco to Detroit and New York City (well Queens, but hey, it's one of the 5 boroughs) to the UK to Africa.
Oh, and at the Hudson Valley 40th Anniversary Earth Day Celebration on April 24th and 25th.
Okay, so we're not doing a whole Maker Faire. At the HV 40th, we're having what is known as a Maker Square, or a Mini Maker.
But whatever you call it, it's going to be loads of fun...
Run by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County's 4-H program, our Maker Square and Swappapalooza (yeah, Swappapalooza...say that 5 times fast!) is in keeping with our environmental theme. That is, working with our 4-H and community volunteers, kids and grownups will recycle old clothes, blankets, construction and other materials to make their own fantastical creations.
Wanna make a tee shirt into a reusable shopping bag? Pick out a tee, sit down with a volunteer and a sewing machine, and make away! A hat out of a pair of pants? Do it! A soft sculpture or a puppet or a....a....thingamabobber? You can! It won't cost you a dime. We'll help you. And you can take it home!
Now, for those of you who are not textile-minded or who have a deep aversion to sewing machines, glue guns, buttons and glitter, all you D-I-Yers can get with construction materials, hammers and nails, plastic dohickies, maybe even--if we can get 'em--teeny engines to make things go (and sorry...glue guns...we love glue guns) and make sculpture, castles...whatever you want. For nothing, and take it home to keep.
Oh, did I mention you also can get your creation judged, and maybe win a Big Blue Ribbon at the end of the day?
How can we provide all this cool stuff? With a little help from our friends at Westchester Modular, who are donating construction materials galore, and the Hudson Valley Materials Exchange, which tells us it is donating all sorts of cool stuff, including textiles and tissue and more. There are other companies and organizations that will also be donating, and we'll let you know who they are when they decide what they want to give.