Delgado Welcomes the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire

4th Annual Faire features work from Fab Lab

By Mary Achary and Leonard “Lenny” Vasbinder

Springtime in New Orleans means warm weather, shorts and tank tops, sandals, and most of all, fairs and festivals! During the month of April alone, there is an abundance of festivals with celebrations of bountiful crops, music, and culture. But perhaps the least famous but most significant festival of all could be the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire (NOMMF), this year hosted by Delgado Community College (DCC).

Since its inaugural event in 2014, the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire has grown in size in the number of participants, speakers, and fan attendance. What started out as the first faire with 35 inventors, attended by 1,000 people grew to 95 makers, performers, and speakers, with over 3,000 in attendance in 2016.

You may wonder who these makers are. Although some of them are tech enthusiasts, crafters, and scientists, the majority of makers are average people who love to spend their free time tinkering around in their garages and home workshops. For the NOMMF, they are local metropolitan area folks and their families. But they also are arriving from coast-to-coast and border-to-border with one of the keynote speakers from Australia.

“This is New Orleans Mini Maker Faire’s fourth year, and this year is shaping up to be pretty exciting,” Producer Amy Marquis said. “For the first time, we’ll have a Drone Zone with races taking place throughout the day. Plus we’re hosting talks from two prominent people in the tech industry. Our keynote speaker is Lawrence Crumpton, who’s a Technology Evangelist with Microsoft Australia. He’ll be talking about “Hacking Human Potential.” Also, television host and Future Engineers CEO Deanne Bell will be joining us. She’s going to help makers take their inventions to the next level.”

The NOMMF will be held at the DCC Student Life Center (SLC) in the Michael L. Williamson Complex, 916 Navarre Ave. Marquis says the NOMMF will have makers and exhibits throughout the SLC, including the upstairs conference rooms for the Young Maker Zone and the adjacent gymnasium for Adult Makers. They will also be using the Fab Lab down the hall in Building 22 as well as the Dolphin Den and Faculty Dining Room for presentations and classroom workshops. Outside, in the soccer field area and courtyard, will be home to the Artist Zone and the first Drone Zone with drone-racing exhibitions throughout the day. You can find out more about exhibits at http://neworleans.makerfaire.com/makers-exhibits-3/

The event is one day only, Saturday April 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult tickets are $10, children under 18 and students with ID are free but must register for their free tickets on the tickets website (link below). DCC faculty and staff can get free advance tickets by going to the tickets website and entering the code word available at The Dolphin Newspaper office, Bldg. 11, Room 104. There is also the optional Maker Faire VIP ticket for $65, which includes a limited-edition New Orleans Mini Maker Faire Badge, early access to the Faire, meet-and-greets with keynote speakers, reserved seats at talks, and other perks. For advance tickets, go to http://neworleans.makerfaire.com/tickets/

For more information, contact Amy Marquis, Design-Thinking Coordinator/Producer, New Orleans Mini Maker Faire at (504) 250-4148 or visit their website at http://neworleans.makerfaire.com/tag/delgado/ and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nolamakerfaire/

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