Southwest Maker Fest, now in its 7th year, returns to Downtown Mesa Feb. 15.
The seventh annual Southwest Maker Fest (SWMF) will bring a variety of exhibitors to downtown Mesa on February 15! The FREE festival engages visitors in exploring hands-on creation, from robotics to rocketry to weaving, from 10 am to 4 pm, on Pepper Street between Robson and Macdonald Streets in Mesa. The i.d.e.a. Museum will be open free to the public that day as part of the festival experience, featuring their new exhibition: Art of the Story. SWMF exhibitors in 2020 will include a wide variety of creative activities, including fiber arts, comedy and improv, robotics, metalworking, glass flame-working, tear-apart electronics, t-shirt printing and much more. Festival information and opportunities to volunteer can be found at SouthwestMakerFest.com.
For the third year, Southwest Maker Fest is happy to be partnering with the Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts, a successful bi-monthly “made by me” arts festival. The two events will happen adjacent to each other, creating a contiguous experience of 100 exhibitors and presenters that combine a vibrant marketplace of original hand-made art, craft and food on Macdonald Street (at Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts) with a variety of fun and engaging activities on Pepper Street, including art, science and technology, sustainability, and fun hands-on learning (at SWMF). Both events will feature musical performances, and food will be available for purchase. Southwest Maker Fest celebrates the uniquely human power of creativity and invention and the entrepreneurial spirit. Visit the combined SWMF and Downtown Festival of the Arts to experience, learn, play and shop.
A special opportunity during SWMF 2020 will be storytelling throughout the event inside the i.d.e.a. Museum, courtesy of the South Mountain Storytelling Institute at South Mountain Community College, expanding the experience of the museum’s Art of the Story exhibition. Festival visitors will also be able to experience the forthcoming ASU @ Mesa City Center building through virtual and augmented reality and provide input to ASU about the new facility’s features, programs, and amenities available to the public. A special SWMF Pub Crawl of downtown Mesa’s microbreweries and taprooms is being planned, and Oro Brewing Company will demonstrate the fermentation process used to create craft beers at its festival booth.
This collaborative one-day festival and community of makers seeking to achieve Southwest Maker Fest’s vision of a connected community, empowered by creativity. SWMF’s mission is to celebrate, engage, and inspire the maker in each of us. The seventh annual festival is easily reachable from the Center Street or Country Club stops on Valley Metro Light Rail, and there is plenty of free parking nearby. Last year’s Southwest Maker Fest welcomed approximately 7,000 visitors.
The “maker” movement is booming in the U.S., with very large events held annually in New York, the Bay Area, and numerous other major metropolitan areas. Southwest Maker Fest celebrates makers, innovation and creativity, and builds upon the growing Do-It-Yourself movement and a thirst for active experiences. Organizers have developed SWMF to build on our state’s strength as a fertile location for new ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.
Southwest Maker Fest is once again a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival and is presented in partnership with the Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts. The event is held under the auspices of Ultimate Imagination Inc., the 501(c)3 non-profit arm of the Downtown Mesa Association. Event sponsors include HeatSync Labs, The Collaboratory, i.d.e.a. Museum, Mesa Arts Center, National Comedy Theater, Oro Brewing Company, and Downtown Mesa Association.
Event details and volunteer sign-up are available at the event website at SouthwestMakerFest.com.
Laurel Way is a writer for film, television, websites, and blogs. She is based in Phoenix, Arizona in the U.S., and has two fat cats and a loving husband. Laurel is a geek to her core and loves all things within horror, sci-fi/fantasy, and more. When she is not writing films, she is watching them, and her go-to movie snack is popcorn and Milkduds.