About the author: Antonio Alonzo is a community builder and social entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Fyzis, Executive Director of Dig Easy, Curator of the Global Shapers New Orleans hub, and Communications Manager at IDIYA makerspace.
New Orleans Mini Maker Faire will launch their Call for Makers at their Maker Happy Hour on October 6 from 6-8pm at Urban South Brewery. Local makers, creatives, artisans, and inventors are invited join this networking and social event, where they can enjoy a complimentary beer* and apply to showcase their creations, inventions, and artifacts at the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire. Makers from around the city and across the region will gather for the big event at Delgado’s Student Life Center, April 22, 2017 from 10AM-5PM.
Mini Maker Faires are independently organized Maker Faire-licensed events that occur in over 100 cities every year. Maker Faire is a maker movement-inspired festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness that started in the Bay Area in 2006 and has since spread across the globe.
The New Orleans Mini Maker Faire has grown exponentially since its first year in 2014, which featured 35 makers and was attended by 1,000 people, to over 90 featured makers and 3,000 attendees in 2016.
“New Orleans has a proud maker tradition. Mardi Gras Indians have been creating amazing costumes from scratch for over 100 years. Cajuns have been making pirogues from cypress logs,” says New Orleans Mini Maker Faire Co-Founder Scott Thomas.
Thomas’ motivation for starting Mini Maker Faire in New Orleans stems from a desire to bring the maker community together. Kevin Blank, a member of the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire marketing team, echoes this sentiment.
“I was a sculpture major in college and had a huge room to do metal casting, welding, and woodworking. Leaving college, I didn’t have a space to do anything,” says Blank.
Fortunately, New Orleans does have makerspaces and a maker community that makers can access.
“There are four major makerspaces in New Orleans. There’s IDIYA, Makers of NO, Krewe of Chewbacchus, and the Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball,” says Thomas. A makerspace is a collaborative workspace with an emphasis on making, DIY, hacking, and tinkering. Their components can range from high-tech 3D printers and programmable microcontrollers, to lower-tech woodworking tools and sewing machines.
If you are a maker or maker enthusiast, be sure to RSVP and attend New Orleans Mini Maker Faire’s Maker Happy Hour on October 6 to mingle with the New Orleans maker community and learn more about how you can be featured in the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire. Other opportunities to engage in the New Orleans maker movement include the Maker Bayou radio show Wednesdays 4-5PM on 102.3 WHIV FM and Makers of NO’s weekly Wednesday meetups 7-10PM at ArtEgg Studios.
* Until the tab runs out.