Category Archives: Planning

That was one HECK of a show.

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We are overwhelmed with appreciation for the spectacular day on Sunday.  This year, our fourth, we showcased just under 200 makers and hosted 7,000 people on the combined venue of Park Day School and Studio One Art Center.  The weather was spectacular, the depth and variety of content superlative, the community feeling strong.  And we had the first-ever, full-scale crate stacking show very likely in the history of the planet!

Thanks go first to our makers, those creative, generous people.  There is no Maker Faire without you.  You are problem-solvers and you are by and large easy.  You collaborate.  You are curious and happy.  Thank you for sharing your talent and your process and your prowess.

Then there’s our partnersStudio One Art Center, a fantastic arts facility owned and operated by the City of Oakland—and MAKE magazine, the entity behind Maker Faire.  And our sponsors (just look to the right rail), those companies and institutions that understand the value of maker culture and how important it is to foster and encourage.

Finally there’s the community of Park Day School How many of you reading this realize that the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is produced and organized entirely by the parents and staff of this progressive Oakland K-8 school?  It’s a staggering accomplishment, even for a group of professionals, let alone volunteers.  Thank you parents and staff!

Some nice news / posts came out about the fair:

We’ve been collecting images and loading them into a Flickr feed Please please share your images and videos—there were so many unique experiences at the fair that we’re just plain curious to see what you saw! Let us know via comments here, on Facebook or Twitter or G+, or email us at info@ebmakerfaire.com.

So *phew* we’re done for this year.  But before you forget all of this, we’ve got a survey for makers and a survey for attendees that we would so appreciate if you would take a moment to complete.  Your brilliant ideas, constructive critiques, and words of adoration are all very much desired and appreciated, and will help us be bigger, better, stronger, and more fun in 2014.  See you then.

Photos by Stephen Jacobson, Ben Smith, John Orbon, Sabrina Merlo, Karen Marcelo and Jeffrey Braverman/MAKE.  See the full Flickr gallery and attribution info here.

6 Reasons Why Our 2013 Call for Makers KickOff *Rocked*

This will be year #4 for the East Bay Mini Maker Faire, and for the first time we held a Town Hall to kick off the Call for Makers. Turnout was amazing—over 100 people attended and yes, THE CALL FOR MAKERS IS NOW OPEN. But so much else happened!

1.  The Mayor Spoke.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan came by to give us her well-wishes and to announce that the City of Oakland has been chosen to host the 2nd annual Urban Manufacturing Alliance conference. The UMA is a national association working “to grow manufacturing businesses, create living wage jobs and catalyze sustainable localized economies.” Meaning it’s an organization created to promote maker businesses.  The conference will be in early October, just before the fair.

2. The Makers mingled.

So many connections made last night!  I personally witnessed The Crucible meeting the Lawrence Hall of Science for the first time.  WikiSeat met Claremont Middle School.  Makers with scrap plywood met makers with a need for scrap plywood.  And on and on!

3. Oakland Makers launched.

A stellar lineup of some of Oakland’s most influential makers (Karen Cusolito/American Steel,  Hiroko Kurihara/25th Street Collective, Leslie Pritchett/AmSteel&Crucible, Steven Young/The Crucible, Margot Prado/City of Oakland Economic Development Dept., Michael Snook/NIMBY makerspace) introduced Oakland Makers, a new organization meant to better position and articulate the value-add of Makers specializing in the industrial arts, applied technology, artisan production, custom manufacturing and education. The have galvanized as a group to:
• increase the visibility of Oakland’s manufacturing and industrial arts,
• sustain the ability of these sectors to operate and thrive,
• grow Oakland’s diverse creative economy.
Sign up on their mailing list to get involved and learn more.

4. The Makers took the mic.

We also had an opportunity for everyone to come up and introduce themselves. Folks lined up and shared their name, their organization, and what they make. So cool to hear the diversity of the makers in the room, the numbers of new people finding a place interested in participating, and the continuing support and presence of the superstars of the East Bay maker scene.

5. American Steel Studios inspired.

It’s hard to express the scale of both the facility and operation of American Steel Studios. It is SIX ACRES in size, and at least a hundred makers call it their home away from home. Founder Karen Cusolito gave two tours of the facility. If you missed it, check this New York Times article—and watch for a profile piece about to come out in Metropolis magazine.

6. Tacos and fine beer were had.

Many thanks to the City of Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development Department for providing delicious sustenance. And to Line 51 brewing company for flowing some delicious beer. Quality, local food and beverages really do make for quality mingling.

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR COMING OUT!  Thanks especially to Karen and American Steel for hosting. Thanks to the strong showing by Park Day School volunteers (Park Day School is the organizing entity behind the volunteer-run East Bay Mini Maker Faire, if you didn’t know). And to our venue partners, the City of Oakland’s Studio One Art Center.

Don’t forget to get your maker, performer and presenter applications in early—and please share the Call with your extended community.

If last night is any indication, year four is going to be fantastic. 

Save the Date: October 14, 2012

Yep.  We’re gearing up for the 2012 East Bay Mini Maker Faire. Mark your calendars now for Sunday, October 14th!  Makers, please note our Call for Makers will go live in June.

Believe it or not, the planning crew is already busy getting things in order for the 3rd annual event.  We’re connecting with sponsors and media partners, getting a volunteer team ready to hit Maker Faire Bay Area May 19 & 20 for ideas, developing our presenter and workshop schedule, and figuring out how to make this year’s Faire the best yet.

As an an all-volunteer run event we’re always looking for people with energy and time to help out. So send an email to info AT ebmakerfaire.com if you want to get involved.

We’ll keep posting with details about the 2012 experience as they develop. Watch for our Call for Makers in June.  Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest news. Stay tuned and spread the word!

Peeking Back / Gearing Up


Local filmmaker George Spies recently pulled together his footage from last year’s East Bay Mini Maker Faire  So nice to remember the crazy, wonderful, myriad of things going on simultaneously during year no. 1—all in absolute and  gleeful defiance of the rain.

There’s a bit of writer Michael Chabon and Howtoons illustrator Nick Dragotta teaching their “How to Make a Super Hero” workshop (so wished I had made that!). There’s proof about 2/3rd of the way through that thinker+tech publisher  Tim O’Reilly indeed taught jam making. Nice to see Cyclecide‘s Laird Rickard having fun on his own Dizzy Toy.

Music from EBMMF’s 2010 lineup carries the mood:  the music of El Cerrito from Daniel Popsicle orchestra, lady-toy-hackers Toychestra, and one-man band Hungry Hungry Ghost.  Vintage bicycle maker Slimm Buick makes tunes in a corner with a SPAM mouth harp, and Tin Can Banjo project generates jig with a homemade fiddle.

Makers, take a peek—Flaming Lotus Girls, Alameda County 4-H Club, Poetry Store, Ice Brain, Ace Monster Toys, Bucepheless, The Crucible, Nightside Studios, Paul’s Rides, Church of Craft—so many of you in there, doing your thing and making people very happy.

East Bay Mini Maker Faire No. 2. is just two months away now. The Call for Makers closes at the end of the month—but please don’t wait to let us know you want to participate.  And watch for news and updates of makers, performers, and workshops.  It’s all coming very soon!

Calling all Makers, Performers, Crafters!

So it’s the lazy days of summer.  But fall is just around the corner—including the second annual East Bay Mini Maker Faire on Sunday, October 16th.

Makers, performers, crafters, workshop leaders, and food vendors wishing to participate in this year’s faire should fill out our simple online form and apply today!   We ask you a few questions about what you’d like to show at the Faire, your production needs, your contact info, etc.  Deadline for applications is September 1. 

Calling all Makers, Performers, Crafters!

What are we looking for?  Pretty much whatever you make or do that you’re passionate about, as long as it’s something you can share with others.  Maker Faire features a huge range of things:  robots and electronics projects, homesteading arts, animal husbandry, kooky inventions, poetry writing, screen printing, music making, crafts and hacks of all kind…  Anything Do-It-Yourself, and especially anything Do-It-Together.

Your Mini Maker Faire submission can be a display of something you’ve done, an activity or workshop you offer, a performance, or for a space to sell your finished work.  Take the leap, set yourself a deadline, and apply today!

And shout it from the highest rooftops!  Send smoke signals, tweets, morse code, carrier pigeons, and paper airplanes…   http://bit.ly/ebmmf2011call4makers

Wait, Before you go…one more thing

One last thing before school is out for summer:  The Park-only, early bird Call for Makers for East Bay Mini Maker Faire 2011 is now open!

This year the Park Day School official maker booths will not necessarily be tied to any particular grade.  We’re trying a slightly different way, with individual or partnership entries from teachers, students and parents.  Any and all Park Day School community members who have ideas perkolating for fun, interactive maker booths should step forward now and fill out an Early Bird Call for Makers application.

What were the Park booths last year?  Well, there was:

  • butter making
  • circus arts and juggle-ball making
  • Bruiser the Re-user (the DIY recycled truck Pre-K project)
  • the sand golfball “luge”
  • rocket making and launching
  • cobb bench building (rained-out, unfortunately)
  • Atomic Art (jewelery and art of favorite elements)

They were all a great success, interactive, educational, fun, and demonstrated Park’s collective maker spirit.

So apply today Replicate one of these and/or submit new ideas.  Multiple applications by one maker is fine.  Later this summer we’ll pick a number of the best booth applications and have those leaders shepherd the pre-planning through the summer and into the start of school.  Then we will incorporate your day-of staffing needs into the overall call for volunteers that will go out to the school in early fall.  (You can seed those slots with friends and partners in crime, sure!)

The official Call for Makers / Performers / Crafters / Food Vendors will go out later this month.  But we thought why wait for Park’s own booths?  We have a few more days of community togetherness  until we get blown into a zillion disparate directions.  Here’s to the next year of fun and curiosity at Park Day—especially on Sunday, October 16th!

Kicked Off!

Big turnout at East Bay Mini Maker Faire BOOZE, BITES and BIZ party.  Don’t know if it was the oatmeal stout, the fresh chevre, or the fat-washed rye—but we got a lot done.  Welcome to the EBMMF Team!

P.S.  See you in San Mateo!

Toronto’s Mini Maker Faire Video

From our Mini Maker Faire brethren in Toronto!

We’d love to make something this beautiful with interviews etc for East Bay Mini Maker Faire 2011.  We’ve got so much to show off!  Anyone in?  Come to the kickoff meeting for Booze, Bites & Bizness…  this Wednesday, May 18th, at Park Day School!

Makers: Mini Maker Faire Toronto from Ryan Varga on Vimeo.