PhillyMakerFaire makers Yashas, 15, and Akshat, 13 are the founders of Rising Makers – a forum for young makers where they evaluate all product ideas from members and try to commercialize the most promising ones. It’s a blend of a hobby club, maker club, shark tank and business consulting.
After their Maker Faire debut in Philly, Rising Makers went on to the New York Faire and the EcoSoap received the prestigious Maker Faire Blue Ribbon and Yashas’ Ecosoap invention was prominently mentioned in the NY Times.
Akshat was interviewed by a reporter at the NY World Maker Faire.
We make anything that makes everyday life a bit better. We have made 3 things so far, and they are: the Eco Soap where we insert a reusable or recyclable core during the making of the soap, which prevents soap wastage because now there is no need to throw away the unused leftover bar soap, Safe Handle for trash cans which makes it easy and hygienic to open the trash can lids, Domino Trax which is a 3D template which allows players to quickly and easily setup dominos for toppling games. And we are working on many other ideas.
We make things for ourselves and for members of our Rising Makers club. Goal is to use our collaborative approach and collective knowledge develop ideas and to solve a problem or invent something that improves the user experience in some meaningful way. We believe that many everyday items we use can be improved or reimagined and made better and we usually start a group discussion in our meetings by asking members to identify things that they think don’t work properly or are inadequate. Then we collect ideas and discuss the merits of each idea and pursue promising ones.
We live in Garnet Valley, PA and go the Garnet Valley HS and Garnet Valley MS. I, Yashas, am in 10th grade and my brother Akshat is in 8th grade.
We started making things about 2 years ago. But we are avid Shark Tank fans and have been watching it with our father for as long as we can remember. We always came up with ideas for making things better but Shark Tank has motivated us to make things and commercialize our inventions so that more people can have better experiences.
We have been discussing ideas and tinkering for about 3 years but got serious about 2 years ago.
Shark Tank and our Dad, who is an entrepreneur and an inventor – he holds 2 US patents.
Our Dad and all the kids who appeared on Shark Tank. We also like Mr. Wonderful and Mark Cuban of Shark Tank as they appear to be good businessmen because we think that all entrepreneurs and businessmen are makers too in a way. That’s why really we admire Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma and Elon Musk.
Hope to commercialize our 3 products (EcoSoap, Safe Handle and DominoTrax) and be on Shark Tank.
Some smaller events every few months so that there is more opportunity for kids like us to participate. Smaller events will also encourage more kids to become makers. These could be just events at an university or a library, but they would provide us with an opportunity to showcase and interact and get feedback.
We think that our Rising Makers club is a great incubator of ideas and products and we would like to have some investors come and meet with us for a mini-Shark Tank type session. Our funding needs are not much, but we are looking for advice, feedback and connections. Getting some investors to back our ideas will truly validate our ideas, make it real, and give us a boost of confidence.
We’ve finalized the date! We have the Pennovation Center once again lined up for this great event. We’re moving it to the fall so the weather will be cooler but still nice, and we’ll have better availability of university participation and K-12 students.
If you’re a maker and interested in exhibiting, or if you are a performer or presenter, please sign up for our newsletter so we can notify you when the registration form is set up on this site. We are still finalizing the details, but here is what we are targeting. Our plans are to double the number of exhibitors and triple the number of attendees!
We are looking for sponsors and are assembling the sponsor levels and perks. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in sponsoring the event at some level. Makers and attendees please hold off contacting us until we have finalized the registration web site. We’ll let you know of the registration opening through the email newsletter if you sign up here. Lastly if you are interested in serving as a volunteer, please sign up on this site from the top menu by selecting Participate –> Volunteer.
My art career officially started with an MA in film and photography, Ohio State University, 1983. I liked documentary work, but it didn’t pay. Commercial work paid really well, but I really didn’t like it. I was working a job building scaffolding for bricklayers—always loved building things—when I heard about arts residencies.
My first residency was with K-5th grade kids at a school in North Ridgeville, Ohio, 1984. The art teacher had a Super-8 camera, and an idea for an animated movie about the history of their town, stop motion animation using construction paper cut-outs. There are only a few simple rules for photographing flatwork, but they are hard to follow if you don’t have the right tools. So I built them a simple animation stand that made all that automatic. Another problem would be making sure the kids could shape their freely imagined ideas into actual pieces of cut paper, so I spent most of my two weeks with them planning doable vignettes—the kids could always elaborate later, but they had to start with something that I knew would work. Finally, we cut out rough drafts of a few vignettes, and practiced the production process with no film in the camera. I assigned three production jobs: movers (responsible for incrementally moving the cut-outs during filming); clickers (responsible for pushing the shutter button between moves); and monitors (responsible for keeping track of the moving and clicking). The art teacher spent the rest of the year talking about history, overseeing the drawing and cutting, and finally producing a twenty-minute, action packed animated movie. It worked, and it was wonderful and beautiful.
I built my first zoetrope in 1985. Back then, most people were using either Super-8 or flip-books to teach animation. Super-8 has serious drawbacks as a teaching medium: There are lots of ways to make mistakes; you have to send the film out for processing, putting too much time between mistakes made and mistakes learned from; and even if nothing goes wrong, experimentation is expensive, both in money and time. Flip-books are cheap enough but, for me at least, an awful lot of work on a tiny little format for a quick little blip of animation. Some people did try using zoetropes to teach, but traditional zoetropes have all the animation on a single strip of paper, so tracing is impossible. I solved all these problems with a slot-paneled zoetrope that fit 4”x6” sheets of scratch paper.
That zoetrope let kids make a handful of comfortably-sized drawings, slip them into the slotted panels, and immediately study what they’d done, spinning it fast or slow, forwards or backwards, for as long as they wanted. I’d walk into a kindergarten class and hand out pre-numbered pads of scratch-paper. Then I’d tell the kids to turn to the bottom sheet and write their name; trace most of it on the second last sheet; a little less on the third last sheet; etc., etc., so that there’d be nothing left to trace by sheet number one. Five minutes later, kids would be lining up to check out their work. After their first success—and practically everyone had success—I’d suggest they add a pencil where their name ended on each sheet, or maybe a paint brush, or try whatever else they could think of. I’ve seen kindergarten kids complete three or four loops of animation during the very first hour they tried their hand at it.
I came to love sharing ways to play with loops of animation. Here’s one: Imagine a juggler with three dissimilar objects—most zoetropes don’t have enough frames to make that work. But if the three objects are identical, and follow identical paths, it effectively triples the number of frames you can use, e.g., after one spin, object #1 just has to be in position to replace object #2 in the cycle. That gives you forty-two frames of animation to play with in a fourteen-frame zoetrope. Here’s another: Trace the filmed image of a running cat such that there is one image of the cat for each frame of the zoetrope. Then add evenly spaced pumpkins in the background, one fewer pumpkin than there are frames in the zoetrope. Spin it, and it looks like the cat is running past a field full of pumpkins. There are lots of ways to play with loops. I’ve seen high-school kids work for weeks, lovingly perfecting elaborately detailed zoetrope animations.
When I was doing residencies, I liked to try something different each time. One of me favorite variations was the Giant Zoetrope Animation Project (1993). Kids, aged 5-12, attending summer programs in eight Philadelphia neighborhoods, made animated imagery addressing the theme, “things we like to do”. The animations were poster-sized, designed to fit a really big slot-paneled zoetrope. At 8’ in diameter, weighing over ½ a ton, with each panel lit from its edges by 40 watt fluorescent tubes, it was the least portable zoetrope I ever built, breaking down into twenty pieces (not counting hardware) for transport. At summer’s end, it toured all eight sites, and we had parties where the kids could check out the techniques/ideas of their peers living in other neighborhoods in the city.
It wasn’t very long after the Giant Zoetrope project that it started getting more and more difficult do the kind of work I wanted to do, in public, at least. (I think it had something to do with the freedom I’d gotten used to feeling being vocal about the kind of work I didn’t want to do.) So I left that part of my life behind for a while, turning my attention to an idea I’d been toying with for almost as long as I’d been making zoetropes, and I patented my most portable design, the SEND IT AS A GREETING CARD, SAVE IT AS A BOOKMARK™ Collapsible Zoetrope. I’m more of a dreamer than an entrepreneur but, with the patent expiring this August 31st, I’m determined to do something public with my zoetrope, hopefully sooner rather than later.
The Mini Maker Faire, my official reintroduction as an artist, felt great…such wonderful feedback, so many good ideas. It confirmed for me the potential in this project, but I know I’ll need help in a few areas: 1) I’ve never been a natural business person, just the opposite, in fact—I shudder whenever I think about what’s involved in starting/running a business. 2) Though I appreciate the value of digital technology, I know next to nothing about using it, probably less than the average second grader. 3) Related to that problem, I’ve never used any modern social media other than email and texting. When an IP lawyer told me I should register a name that would work across several platforms, I had only the vaguest idea of what he was talking about. 4) A few other things, e.g., I’ve been working with people at NextFab, refining collapsible zoetrope prototypes on a laser cutter. When it comes to making lots of them, I think die-cutting would be best—quicker, cheaper, better score lines—but that’s about all I know about die cutting. Also, I’m sure there’s plenty yet to learn about things like paper stocks, printing, etc., and plenty I could learn about things I haven’t even thought of yet.
I just retired with a pension. I don’t have to look to get rich off of this project. Money’s nice, but what I’m really hungry for is seeing my ideas made real. E.g.: People seem to like the wooden zoetrope with the yellow wooden gears that was set up in the viewing station at Maker Faire. I’m working on a design for a similar zoetrope, one that would assemble from a kit, something like TinkerToys, and I’d love to see kids putting it together and playing with it. Another e.g.: I love finding connections between all kinds of subjects, from science to philosophy to history to math…Imagine a book full of little essays about motion, each essay approaching the subject from a different angle, each essay illustrated by an animation torn from the page edges and viewed in a blank collapsible zoetrope, included with the book. Also included with the book is a packet of cardboard drafting tools—things like squares, grids, stencils and rules—for working animation exercises on the flip sides of the animated illustration strips.
I’m interesting in digital fabrication in all forms, and have spent the last 9 years playing with 3D printers and CNC routers off and on.
Generally for myself, for my family, and just for fun. This isn’t what I do for a living, but I enjoy teaching and showing people what’s possible.
I live in Glen Mills, PA.
Depends on how you define it, but I’ve been building 3D printers since 2009.
I’m interested to see how I can use modern tools to look at some more traditional works – especially those that I would normally not be good at: woodworking, carving, etc.
The Carvey CNC that I’m demonstrating at Philly Maker Faire is being donated to the Easttown Library in Berwyn. Thanks to Inventables for the gracious helping hand with getting their Maker Space started.
I organized and ran the first ever 3D Printer Village for World Maker Faire for the first 5 or 6 years, growing it from a group of 10 people in a few small tents to about 185 people in 80 tents by the time I stepped aside. Along the way I probably brought 15 different printers to World Maker Faire, won a few ribbons, and eventually ended up teaching 3D printer assembly workshops in Philly and Wilmington circa 2013. I had the opportunity to write for Make for a few years and have met some of my best friends through the connections I’ve made at various Maker Faire events. I’m excited to see what the city thinks of the first ever Philly Maker Faire.
I create 3D printed fabrications, interactive designs and art, and much more. My art and designs incorporate drawing, coding, painting, robotics, and bio design, to say the least. I use many materials and media, and I like to cross pollinate different ideas and techniques for the final outcome.
I make these items for myself, but also to share with other people and for them to enjoy. If I just kept them to myself, or they were in an art gallery with a limited audience, what fun would that be? I like my projects to be interactive, for groups to work on them, to cross boundaries and genres.
As far as the fabrication side (non-fine art), I started when I attended National Art Education Association National Conference in San Diego in 2014 and learned from fellow art educators about 3D printing,MakeyMakey, and other maker technologies. I bought a 3D printer soon after that, and the rest is history.
I have been an artist all of my life, but I did not start making until 4 years ago.
For myself, my curiosity into all avenues of learning from art, design, science, and technology and more, and the interconnections they make in life. For my latest projects in involving 3D printing molds to use with mycelium, I really enjoy using bio design as an environmental tool to reduce waste, and using high tech with low tech is really intriguing and interesting.
Corinne Takara (@CorinneTakar), Erin Riley(@eeriley99), Josh Burker (@joshburker), Nettrice Gaskins (@nettieb), Erik Nauman (@openblackboard), Colleen Graves (@gravescolleen),Dr.Ji Qi (@qijie) and so many more artists, designers, and makers I hope I am not forgetting.
I plan on continuing to teach, learn, explore, and do more workshops for educators, as well as with the public, especially the local community. I am really happy to work with awesome companies that I am an ambassador for such as Chibitronics, Ultimaker, MakeyMakey and Morphi. They are super supportive of my work and my teaching at Charter High School of Architecture and Design here in Philadelphia, as well as my studio work, and other places I teach. I am currently working with the Smithsonian this summer. This lessons will be for the Smithsonian Learning Lab collection, and I will be creating this summer curricula that will hopefully be incorporating items from the Penn Museum here in Philadelphia, as well last the Cooper Hewitt museum in NYC.
I would like to ask the maker community how can we include others from the art, art education, and design community into the folds of the maker movement, and involve them further? Also, how can we help make a makerspace more economical to those who do not have the means to buy and/or use the maker technology such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC machines?
I want to thank the organizers of this great event, it has been a long time coming to Philadelphia to showcase out talent in this great city of ours.
I make robots that explore extraterrestrial worlds in the solar system.
NASA, and by extension, for humanity’s understanding of the cosmos.
I am originally from Hockessin, DE. and I now work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA.
I have been making things since I got my first K’nex set as a young kid, and I have turned my focus to space robots over the past five years.
I have always been inspired by the cosmos and all its many strange and exotic environments. The small objects in our solar system such as comets and asteroids hold many interesting possibilities for scientific research and resource mining, but they have extremely weak gravity which poses a serious challenge for traditional wheeled rovers that rely on surface traction forces to move. In order to enable future surface exploration missions on small bodies, our team from Stanford University and NASA JPL have developed a hopping robot that can more efficiently negotiate these extreme environments.
I am inspired by all makers who turn simple ideas into creative and unique products which may be functional or purely artistic.
I will be working with a fantastic group of engineers at NASA to develop the next generation of robotic systems to explore the far reaches of the solar system.
Joining Hedgehog and Hockman will be Michael LaPointe and Katherine Reilly from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program (NIAC) who funded the project.
Without NextFab’s workshops and sponsorship, the Faire would not be a reality! Puzzles, planes, soldering, and more hands-on activities can be found in the following, fun-for-all-ages workshops.
Learn the basics of cross stitching by making a laser cut, wooden cross stitched necklace or key-chain.
Use glue, sanding tools, and colorful wood scraps to create a unique drink coaster.
Love puzzles? See if you can assemble a laser cut model without directions. Choose either a working car, or insect.
Learn about electricity while trying your hand at soldering your own light up PCB kit.
Compete for prizes and see who can fly their 3D printed glider the farthest in these short distance races.
Make your own unique necklace or key-chain out of 3D printed and laser cut beads
Our amazing sponsors over at NextFab will be leading the workshops.
I specialize in making projects using Arduino – from control systems to displays to prototypes to low-power wireless sensors and data collection devices. I handle everything start to finish – from specifying and ordering the necessary components, designing printed circuit boards, assembling everything, and all the programming.
I have clients all over the country ranging from lone inventors to Fortune 500 companies in many different industries. Some examples include a control system for an ampule sealer, control boards for rental storage lockers, monitoring of groundwater levels, monitoring tension on conveyor belts, and a display board that’s used in aircraft.
The Arduino is really much more robust than many people initially assume and it makes a great replacement for expensive PLCs. It makes putting a controller in a low-volume product incredibly viable.
Macungie, PA – (Allentown area). Macungie means “Bear Swamp.” I haven’t seen any bears here though.
I’ve been specializing with the Arduino for about 7 years now, but I’ve been programming and building things since before high school – over 20 years ago.
Robotics is a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering and programming, all of which I have experience in. I had been working for one of my clients redesigning an ampule sealer for them, which originally relied on mechanical arms and linkages for motion and timing. Before the Arduino came along there were a variety of microprocessors, each with high prices, low market share, and a limited community. Back in about 2011 I saw that the Arduino was taking over in terms of market share, the price was low, and it had huge support in terms of the availability of sensors and libraries. At that point I decided that it made sense to use the Arduino for the re-engineering of the ampule sealer for the cost savings and capabilities we’d get from it. My client had no idea what an Arduino was – they just know that they pull one off the shelf and load the program onto it and it works. Prior to this I was focusing my business on database development, but I had one line on my website that said that I worked with Arduino. I got a call from a prospective client in Boston, who told me “I’m looking for someone who specializes in Arduino. The next closest guy I can find to you is in India. I was about ready to give up and at the 11th hour decided to do one more search and found you.” And I thought to myself “You’re 20 minutes from MIT, which has one of the best robotics programs in the nation, and you’re calling me down here in Pennsylvania… there’s definitely a need for an Arduino consultant.” So I decided it would be easier to focus on being the best Arduino consultant instead of competing amongst thousands of database developers.
Elon Musk. He may not be as “hands on” in the traditional sense as a lot of makers, but he’s responsible for the development of reusable rockets lowering the cost of launching into space and bringing affordable electric cars to the masses and disrupting the auto industry in the process. I have a special place in my heart for disruptive people who make things happen even when everyone else tells them “no.” There’s absolutely no reason a major automaker couldn’t have brought a viable electric car to market first. GM probably spends more on office supplies than Tesla spent to build the Supercharging network.
I’m coinventor of a product called the SeeSaw that can be retrofit to any existing power tool in about 30 seconds to indicate when blades on for example a table saw or a band saw are still moving. Many people injure themselves because they try to remove the scrap from the last cut and don’t realize the machine hasn’t come to a complete stop yet. There are other devices out there to mitigate injuries from spinning blades on table saws, so this is definitely a problem in search of solutions. We’re working on bringing the SeeSaw to market.
My question is “What have you done to improve your corner of the world lately?”
Just because there are many people out there with more money and resources than you that have been doing something a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean that they’re right. They’re often so entrenched in their ways that they’re blind to new possibilities.
And never be afraid of standing up for what’s right. The entrenched interests will often try to bully you into keeping your mouth shut. If they threaten to fire you and follow through with it, they’re doing you a favor. Sunshine is the best disinfectant and word gets around much more quickly these days.
We produce the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show which highlights the very best in contemporary craft and design.
We’re here to promote the Show, to make people aware of this great event right here in Philadelphia. We want as many guests as possible to attend and support the artists.
This year we have 195 artists from across the country plus 26 guest artists from Germany exhibiting. What’s great about our show is that you get to meet the artists and build a relationship by learning more about what inspires them to create and purchase their work. Media categories are baskets, clay, fiber, metal, mixed media, furniture, glass, wood and jewelry.
The Show is the largest single fundraiser for the Museum. When someone purchases a ticket to the Show, they are directly supporting the Museum. This is our 42nd Annual Show. Over $12 million has been raised in the last 41 years. Proceeds support the acquisition of contemporary craft, funds special exhibitions and a variety of programs and projects. We support many of the Museum’s Education Department’s initiatives and especially, Art Splash Family Programs. That opens on June 30 at the Museum.
Our office is at the Museum but the Show is held at the PA Convention Center in November. This year’s dates are November 2-4. For more information, our website address is www.pmacraftshow.org
The Parade happens ideally two Saturdays prior to Christmas, in Liberty Lands Park, which is around Third and Poplar Streets in Philadelphia.
When we started doing Parade, there was only one other city in the US that did a Krampus event, and that was Portland, Oregon. I had watched what they were doing from afar (on Facebook) and although what I wanted to do was more kid-friendly, the Portland organizer (Arun Once-Was-Zygoat) and I got along so well and meshed in so many other ways that I felt we were planning sister events on opposite sides of the country. That was in 2011, and at that time we were “just” a Krampus event, at a time where you had to explain to pretty much anybody who and what Krampus was — that’s hardly the case now! It seems that every big city has a Krampus event, and there is merchandise in stores like Target… he’s just everywhere.
I knew that just from the creativity of the original crowd we were working with, there wasn’t anything productive or fun in telling people that dressing as Krampus or anything related to Krampus was a “rule” of the event — people were going to come up with their own ideas — and when we decided to officially change the name of the event to Parade of Spirits, it made it even easier for people to do that. Regardless of the trendiness of Krampus, I don’t think anyone involved in Parade of Spirits feels affected by it, since anyone involved could be thinking of some different folklore entirely — whether it is something from their own heritage (we have a steady Pennsylvania Dutch contingent) or something that they were interested in and wanted to anthropomorphize (my daughter was an amethyst geode this last year).
Overall, I think we give people something to look forward to and concentrate on outside of the commercialism and emotional pressure of secular Christmas. I have spoken to so many people who take Parade of Spirits on for themselves as a personal ritual and are processing very private issues. That said, the only rules we have ever enforced is that the event is not an “entertainment” event and that anyone who comes is responsible for their own fun and some of someone else’s; this does not mean you have to perform or do anything uncomfortable to you, but it also means there’s not much you can expect by coming and standing with your arms folded waiting for someone to put on a show for you. And, because we have so many monsters — Krampus still figures heavily into the event, he’s always there in a number of forms — we insist that any child giving a clear signal that they do not want to be scared, be respected. Back off and go play with somebody else. There are always plenty of kids who do enjoy taunting and running from Krampus, or just approaching him. It’s easy enough to steer clear of the ones who want nothing to do with him. (I’ve personally never seen a crying child at our event — although I see crying children in the Santa line every year at Macy’s.)
I am a good sheepdog and a good project manager. When it comes to workshops, group building projects — I am good at nudging people. I’m also good at helping connect people who will enjoy working together and often my favorite things about Parade are the things I had no idea were coming — the costume I never saw or had any part in the planning of. But I don’t have any goals for anyone else to meet when it comes to Parade — I don’t need it to be a certain size or the “best one ever” or the “biggest one ever” — in fact, I’d be pretty happy to think we’d already passed our biggest one ever, as there was a year we hit what was possibly close to 500 people and that was too much — but I do tend to look at it as data collection. Whatever happens at Parade from year to year tells me something about the people that are there and what they are getting out of it, and since it’s not a commercial experience, it’s a community experience, there’s only so much I can do to guide that. It takes care of itself.
It is still baffling to me when I see a post on social media from someone who says they have been coming to Parade for years and it is one of their favorite Philly things and this turns out to be no one involved with the park, or the fire dancers, and someone we’ve not met at all! The only social media we use is Facebook, and we print fifty posters, most of which go around to neighborhood businesses or get saved for friends who want them as souvenirs; we don’t do much in the way of promotion. Word of mouth, I suppose.
I have to presume most people come from at least NEAR Philly, although I have a friend who has driven through the night from Athens, Georgia, twice to come to Parade, and friends who have come twice from Pittsburgh.
At Parade we see more costuming than we do large puppets, although we never know when that could change. I really do love large puppets and would welcome anybody who wanted to start building them out of anything into my living room immediately. A lot of “big puppet groups”, however, look very similar to me; a few that don’t, which I really admire, are Paperhand Puppet Intervention, and Snuff Puppets (definitely, nothing looks like Snuff puppets.) When it comes to inspiration and how really hard just *wearing a costume* can BE — there is a beautiful TED talk that I watch again and again, by Adam Savage called “My Love Letter to Cosplay” that talks about the real physical discomfort that comes from, well, being a magical thing, even temporarily.
I don’t think I make this decision. At the end of last year’s Parade — which was really beautiful, and had all kinds of special personal moments to me, because my daughter gave a beautiful invocation in Latin, and my son was part of the fire dance routine — I was also pretty sure that the whole thing could have gone on without me, and at least 80% of the people there would not necessarily have noticed my absence. Every year I get something specific in my own mind that keeps me interested in continuing — something that I think other people will find beautiful, and be able to interact with — and I try to bring as much of it to the event as is possible. Sometimes this manifests as someone else building something that I barely have anything to do with, but might have just suggested. I’m thrilled that photographers like Neil Kohl and Rich Wexler have been able to do such interesting work at Parade — it’s not hard to take a good picture of an event that gives you a setting and models for free, but both of them have done much more with it than just that and done work that other photographers could not have duplicated.
In 2016 I spoke at a conference about Winter Festivals and Traditions at Oxford University, specifically on the topic of processional arts and neurodiversity — specifically, what made events like Parade of Spirits (or, specifically Parade of Spirits) tolerable or intolerable for people on the autism spectrum. Because accommodation for neuro divergence is one representation of the future for me — and in a really, REALLY broad list of things that represent the future, so are improved LEDs and wireless musical instruments — these things started to blend together in my mind. What makes “participation” in events like a parade a zero-sum game — where you have go be in attendance to be part of it? What if there’s another way to be part of it, if the sensory issues of the actual travel, parking, crowds, etc., would make it too difficult to do otherwise? And what about things that light up, things that make music? Even in Parade of Spirits, some of our light comes from actual flame. But we are always scouring the web for new and better LEDs for our lanterns, and that aesthetic isn’t at odds with the folk-revival feel that Parade of Spirits has. And the term “Folkfuturism” keeps appearing in my head. But it’s not a thing I can make happen — it’s just a direction I see things moving, or a direction I would happily follow, if things looked like they were moving that way. Folkfuturism sounds exciting!
I’ve always felt there would be something important to the history of Parade that it take place once or twice under really reduced or altered conditions. We have done it in a raging blizzard, literally, and that didn’t seem to slow down anyone. we had belly dancers breathing fire in a blizzard. I have a fantasy though, of it happening and there only being maybe five people present. It’s not that I want it ruined for anyone! Or that I want people to drive long distances and be disappointed… I feel like it is part of the journey of Parade to have one incarnation of tininess. I don’t know if this is a hope, or a prediction. I just see it in my mind. I feel like it’s coming and that it will not be a disappointment. I also recognize that while Liberty Lands is a lovely park it is a trek for many and not very wheelchair accessible. When we talk about remote participation for those who have a hard time traveling at all, I realize that remote participation does not just mean one physical location plus virtual locations, or live streaming — it can mean more than one physical location. It can mean surprise locations! I don’t know. Someone else’s enthusiasm will motivate me — that’s almost always what does it.
I am particularly excited to be part of Maker Faire because I am hoping to meet more people interested in costuming and puppet-making and processional arts who know more about circuits and stuff than we do. I don’t think those kinds of advancements need to look “high tech” to bring a greater facility to the costuming, lighting, even the safety of the types of pieces we use now for Parade.