Danbury, Connecticut’s first “Mini Maker Faire” is making its way to the CityCenter Green this weekend. This rain or shine event is being held under a pop-up tent, and for $10, the Faire boasts many up and coming attractions in technology, myriad creations from do-it-yourself (DIY) makers, music from local artists, a “Mad Hackers” social media conference in the surrounding downtown area, and an after-party on the Green featuring Roberto Morbioli Band. Faire coordinators Mike Kaltschnee and Jon Gatrell are also co-founders of the Danbury Innovation Center & Hackerspace–a creative working space for makers of all kinds– which is set to open next to the Danbury Library this coming August.
Kaltschnee spoke highly about Danbury’s inaugural Faire in a phone interview.
“This is a place for anyone to go down and see the creativity of our community and get involved,” he said.
What’s now known as “the Maker movement” starting gaining momentum in 2005 with the launch of the popular tech and DIY magazine MAKE. The MAKE folks held the first Maker Faire one year later in the San Francisco Bay area; in 2012, Faires in San Francisco and New York were attended by over 165,000 people. Danbury’s Mini Maker Faire is just one of over 60 community-driven faires taking place all over the world this year.
Think science fair meets country fair meets music festival–an aggregation of any and all things that can be made and a community of people wanting to teach, learn, and inspire others.
These faires provide an outlet for people who make things (ideas, food, arts, crafts, technology, et cetera) and want a way not to just showcase their makings but to also teach others how to do it themselves. Think science fair meets country fair meets music festival–an aggregation of any and all things that can be made and a community of people wanting to teach, learn, and inspire others.
“It’s a scope of ancient art to the most modern technology of today,” Kaltschnee explained.
The Danbury Mini Maker Faire has some amazing attractions on its bill: 3D printer demonstrations, a blacksmith or two, a DIY baby food maker, hackers, robotics, origami, jewelry, screen-printers, and more. And there’s no need to worry about people hacking into your phone or computer and stealing your identity at the Faire – Kaltschnee says the word “hacker” has been warped by the media and needs to be reclaimed by the true hackers: people like Kaltschnee, and great inventors and scientists like Henry Ford, Marie Curie, and Steve Jobs.
“The movie and media stole the term, and we (hackers) want it back. I write programs, build computers, and tinker in my house. I think great inventors like Nicola Tesla and Henry Ford are people who pushed the envelope and tinkered until they invented something new, they are hackers too.”
“This is a great environment for people to meet makers who are friendly people who love to explain what they are doing and show people the old and the new,” Kaltschnee said.
“The revolution is just starting,” he continued. ” Everybody has a printer in their home, printer technology is expanding. We are now able to print food, body parts, anything you can design – now you can print it out. Plastic molds for new things used to be so expensive and now you can print ideas from pennies or dollars instead of the giant investment you used to need.”
The Danbury Mini Maker Faire will be held on Saturday, June 8 from 10am to 5pm at the CityCenter Green on Ives Street. The Mad Hackers Social Media Conference will be held at the Danbury Library, The Palace Danbury, and The Danbury Women’s Center.