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Technology festival coming to Macon | News

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Technology festival coming to Macon
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Technology festival coming to Macon

A two-day festival is coming to Central Georgia next spring, and it's the first of its kind in the area. It's called a Maker Festival where the focus is largely on technology and innovation.

When Nadia Osman, director of revitalization and business initiatives at College Hill Alliance, went to New York's "Maker Faire," she knew she'd have to bring it to Macon. "And when I went there my mind was blown. It was an explosion of creativity. Everything from rockets to children interacting with robots," said Osman.

It's not your typical arts and crafts festival. "Because the emphasis is on innovation and technology. We want to see kids and adults interacting with robots, creating things with 3-D printers," she said.

Cities around the globe put on the fair, and it's coming to Macon with the help of a $125,000 grant from an arts organization, even though College Hill Alliance only requested $58,500.

"We were contacted by ArtPlace America to let us know that they wanted us to create an impactful event that could be repeated," said Osman. "So they doubled our funding to ensure that we can consult with those who have created Maker festivals around the country," she said.

Osman said the concept grew out of the maker movement. "Tinkerers, people who create in their garages, that's how some of our largest companies started," she said. That includes people like artisans and computer programmers.

The results of a Macon Maker study backed up the need for the festival. "And the survey received an overwhelming response of makers who wanted to be connected to one another, and who wanted to connect to the community. And this is our first opportunity to really allow them to do that," she said.

Although it will be on a smaller scale than in some bigger cities, like New York, Osman said it will have a big impact. "We want companies to start and entrepreneurs to grow in the area and we don't want them to be afraid of taking a risk," says Osman.

For the festival, considered to officially be a "Maker Faire," College Hill Alliance has to submit an application. Osman said they plan on doing that next week. They are considering holding the festival at Tattnall Square Park.

A panel will decide who gets to be a vendor. If you're interested you can e-mail maconmade@gmail.com

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