President Bendapudi tells a crowd that the Belknap Campus will host a two-day Maker Faire Festival in September.
President Bendapudi tells a crowd that the Belknap Campus will host a two-day Maker Faire Festival in September.

Thousands of makers, inventors, students, engineers and artists are expected to converge on the Belknap Campus this fall as FirstBuild and UofL host a two-day Maker Faire Festival Sept. 28-29.

The upcoming event was announced today. 

The Louisville Maker Faire will be a free, family-friendly event that includes spectacle acts, exhibitions, competitions, hands-on workshops, speakers, musical performances and more.

“We look forward to bringing the community together on our campus to create, discover and be inspired,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “This event will show the incredible power of partnership between our university and local industry.”

“Hosting our city’s first full-feature Maker Faire is an example of how businesses and organizations are working together to drive innovation, and a reflection of the budding tech sector and thriving art scene that have gained momentum in Louisville and across the region,” said Larry Portaro, president of FirstBuild.

Rob Keynton, UofL’s interim executive vice president for research and innovation, said the university is a “hotbed for innovation,” adding that his office is dedicated to working with community partners to do even more. 

“This September, thousands of makers, artists and entrepreneurs from across the U.S. will see, first hand, what our students and faculty can do when they attend Maker Faire on our campus,” he said.

GE Appliances, one of the event’s flagship sponsors, backs FirstBuild and is a Louisville-based maker that has been inventing and manufacturing home appliances for more than 100 years. 

“This Maker Faire will be the largest gathering of inventors, creators and makers that this city has ever seen,” said Kevin Nolan, president and chief executive officer of GE Appliances. “Hosting this event in the hometown of GE Appliances showcases the brain power and creativity of our community.”

Similar Faires have been held in cities across the globe since 2006. Louisville has hosted a smaller-scale, single-day mini maker faire for the past six years.

“From my first day as the city’s mayor, innovation and lifelong learning have been among my core pillars to help our community thrive and grow,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Maker Faire will help us continue to advance that vision.”

Organizers are seeking makers, sponsors and volunteers to contribute to the success of the event. Makers can sign up to provide an exhibit, presentation, performance, workshop or demo. More information is available online

See more photos here.

Check out video from today’s press conference: 

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Cindy Hess
Communications Director Cindy Hess has oversight for day-to-day operations in media relations and covers prestigious scholars, the College of Education and Human Development and Brandeis School of Law. She reports to the Media Relations Director, has a heckuva good resume, and faithfully eats kale for lunch every day. Cindy has more than 25 years of experience in media relations, investor relations, marketing and corporate communications and is the unit’s only employee entrusted to buy tickets for lottery pools.