The Maker Faire:
The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth

World Maker Faire NYC @ The Hall of Science

The Bay Area Maker Faire @ The San Mateo Event Center

SUMMARY: BOCCE-– that is my Maker radio handle and became my Maker Faire avatar. Many on the crew have no idea my birth name or any of the other nicknames I’ve picked up over the years…. “Bocce, bocce, go for twenty”

The two flagship Maker Faires were bacchanals of art, technology and community– there was a mayhem, a chaotic bustle of an extraordinary converging point for so many unique pursuits united under the banner of the Maker Spirit and values of creativity and collaboration. Each attracted upwards of 100,000 attendees over five days with over 1000 makers presenting amid a carnivale atmosphere of art, food and music. The Maker Faires and the Maker ethos reached far beyond the events to a deep caring activation around education, community, creativity, ecology, problem-solving, the responsibilities of science, empowerment of girls and women, STEAM– the A for Arts in STEM– and the kind of transition towns and communities we will need in order to grow into a sustainable, thriving 21st century. The pictures below give a taste (my favorite being the last!)…

MY ROLES: Core Event Production Team & NYC-point for Maker Relations & Arts. For five years I served on the Core Production Team as Area Manager for the World Maker Faire NYC and the Bay Area Maker Faire. In 2018, I served on the Maker Relations and Art Curation team as the point person in NYC. With the main Make: and Maker Faire team based in or near SF, this NYC role had wide latitude to explore new partnerships, new sponsors, to bring in new artists, makers, presenters and visions for new chapters of the festival and this maker era. I reveled in this role. We both laid significant foundations for the future and brought in some great talent that year– from the mural art on trucks to new circus performers, an expanded eco-village,¬† parading bands, immersive sound art and myriad diverse makers. We made strong connections with Girl Scouts US, Pioneer¬† Works, Socrates Sculpture Park, Parsons School of Design among many others for future participation. It was a great year. Sadly, it was also the last! As if aware that covid-19 was on the horizon, the founders of Maker Faire decided to cease — or pause, we hoped — the flagship events. Then Covid-19 arrived and the world of events, especially these diverse, multi-generational, cross-sectional of society, grassroots intensive events, were deeply impacted in ways we still cannot measure. Here’s hoping new forms arise that bring this spirit to the challenges and opportunities many generations forward and may the seed planted bear great fruit up ahead.

The Maker Faire Team: These teams were the best I’ve worked on led by master facilitators, planners , team builders with hearts as big as their capacity to get these enormous events done and an ability to let it all go on the dance floor when the day is done. This was an extraordinary mentorship for me, who already had a great deal of experience. The questions: “How can I be a part of the solution?” and “How can I serve this situation for all parties?” If ever a book about events were written, the stewards and deep crew of the maker faires would be a good place to start.