Third Annual Lansing Maker Week: A Win for Metro Lansing
Week-long event celebrates Lansing’s manufacturing history while embracing future innovation
LANSING, Mich. – Lansing Maker Week has become an annual tradition in the region. It’s more than an event, it has become a vital resource where local makers can showcase the latest technologies, products and artwork in an effort to shine a light on all the reasons why metro Lansing is an attractive place to live, work and play.
“Maker Week is a celebration of the innovation and entrepreneurship that is taking root across metro Lansing,” said Mayor Virg Bernero. “Building a resilient and sustainable economy for the future depends on our ability to support the extraordinary talents of everyday people who are creating exciting new products and businesses that will continue to drive job creation and prosperity.”
Makers from across metro Lansing explored their inner-maker by taking part in a full week of hands-on activities at the third annual Lansing Maker Week, hosted by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), held Oct 1-9.
“People are aware of our history of manufacturing, so Maker Week is a way to celebrate that history while also embracing opportunities for the future,” said Joe Carr, startup innovation manager at LEAP. “We are living in an age of the entrepreneurial spirit. For instance, this week Kimberly Lavon is taking what is almost a lost art – print making – and making a living at it. We have a lot of talented people in our community that can use Maker Week as a stage to shine a light on their skills, while inspiring others to develop these skills as well.”
Lansing Maker Week was stacked with a lineup of demonstrations and hands-on projects in areas that included print making, food and drink, textiles and apparel, robotics, 3D printing, manufacturing and the intersection of 21st century jobs and maker skills. Local business incubators, museums, libraries and maker spaces opened their doors to the public by hosting interactive activities, workshops and projects. Here are some of the highlights from the week:
- On Saturday, Oct. 1, Meridian Mall in Okemos was home to the second annual Mini Maker Madness. Over 2,000 parents and children attended this day-long event where local, state and national makers introduced kids to 3D printing, robotics, making, hacking, crafting and building.
- On Sunday, Oct. 2, The Fledge, an incubator for art, music and technology in Grand Ledge, hosted Ink, Ideas and Incubation where artist Kimberly Lavon, walked attendees through the print making process; while co-founder Jerry Norris talked about how to turn your art into a business.
- On Monday, Oct. 3, Barnes & Noble in the Lansing Mall hosted a maker space. As part of a nationwide initiative, Barnes & Noble has broadened its appeal from soley a traditional bookstore to offering the latest technology products. It is also engaging the community more through events like this as well as being a vendor at Mini Maker Madness.
- On Friday, Oct. 7, more than 1,100 high school students from the tri-county area toured 20 local manufacturing facilities as part of National Manufacturing Day. Students were exposed to high paying careers in the manufacturing field.
- On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Lansing Makers Network (LMN) (2400 W St Joseph St, Ste. F, Lansing, MI 48917) is hosting a Fall Open House from 1-4 p.m. to showcase its new location, tools, gizmos, gadgets and to celebrate the fall with seasonal make-and-takes. Demonstrations will include 3D printers, laser cutters, blacksmithing, wood working, crafts and electronics.
“We are so excited to show the community our new space. The new location provides the right environment for the kinds of equipment, both big and small, that our makers use to complete their creations,” said Brian Adam, board president, Lansing Makers Network. “Plus, everything is on one floor making it easier for our members to collaborate on projects and discover random opportunities to learn from each other that weren’t always possible before.”
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.
About Lansing Maker Week
Lansing Maker Week is a choose-your-own-adventure event stacked with a lineup of tours, hands-on projects and guest speakers. Local business incubators, museums, schools, maker spaces and more open their doors to the public to host interactive activities, workshops, lectures and projects. Built with activities for families, college students and children of all ages, this week will help give Lansing DIY-ers, foodies, artisans, programmers and inventors access to the action and opportunity here in their own backyard. Learn more at lansingmaker.com.