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Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire logo


In January 2005, a publisher named Dale Dougherty started a magazine called Make. Dale had a passion for seeing ordinary people materialize their ideas. Through Make magazine he hoped to inspire and support “curious and creative people” and with it he defined a movement.

In 2006, Dale launched the first Maker Faire in the Bay Area. The Maker Faire was a way to coalesce the growing Maker community and provide an outlet for a sharing of creations and ideas. Since 2006, Maker Faires have sprung up all over the world.

This summer, the Maker Faire comes to Philadelphia.

NextFab maker bot project

Philadelphia has deep roots in creativity and making. In the 1700’s, Ben Franklin was busy working to found a nation but also laying the groundwork for an American tradition of invention.

“The Maker movement began with Ben Franklin,” states Marvin Weinberger. Marvin is a long time NextFab member, founder of the Maker Meetup and Co-Organizer of the Philly Mini Maker Faire. “[Franklin] was the model for the American inventor/tinkerer. Accordingly, you could say that the Maker movement in this country began in Philadelphia.”

NextFab Brings it Home

Philadelphia’s rich history of innovation and production certainly had an influence on Dr. Evan Malone. In an effort to bring manufacturing back to Philadelphia and foster the ideals of the maker movement, Evan opened NextFab in 2009. The goal was to provide the city with access to advanced tools and training. As an engineer, a maker, and a 3D printing expert, he’d seen what was being done with the MIT Fab Labs and was inspired by the possibilities.

Maker Bot at NextFab Maker Faire

“NextFab has been essential to the growth of the Maker movement in Philly,” says Marvin, “As evidence, most of the top crowdfunded Philadelphia projects have a nexus with NextFab.”

Connecting the Dots

Last Fall, Dale  came to Philadelphia. He visited NextFab, spoke to the City Council and gave a wonderful presentation to the Maker Meetup at the Franklin Institute. Dale’s visit was hugely inspiring and prompted a conversation that lead to the Mini Maker Faire in Philly.

Dale Dougherty at NextFab RAPID

Evan explains, “The first Philadelphia mini-Maker Faire will be held at Pennovation Works this June 24th. It’s a large scale public event that intersects with Philadelphia’s workforce development, STEM education, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem issues. It’s a major milestone in the growth of Philadelphia’s maker community.”

Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects. We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Glimpse the future and get inspired!

Evan continues, “It will be a showcase of inventions, spectacular creations, crafts, new technology, and local tech startups. The goal is to inspire citizens of all ages to take innovation into their own hands and to connect with and learn from each other.”

“We hope that the Faire will be fun and entertaining. More importantly – we hope to educate and inspire kids (of all ages) to embracing the Maker ‘I can do it’ ethos!” Marvin adds.

The Mini Maker Faire will take place on Sunday, June 24th, from 10am to 6pm at Pennovation Works in Philadelphia.