As the weather warms, Milwaukee’s farmers markets will come out into the light again. But Cortney Heimerl has organized an event that will also shine some light on great Milwaukee crafters, too.
The Maker Market will take place the first Sunday of every month from May to September in the parking lot behind the Alterra on Kinnickinnic and Lincoln in Bay View.
The first installment is Sunday, May 5 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Every month the market will feature a rotating cast of 30-plus artists, crafters, makers and designers from Milwaukee and the surrounding area," says Heimerl.
Among the initial group are Bureau of Print Research and Design, Night Light Comics, Orange Pops, My Mish Mosh, Girls Rock MKE, Vulture Woman Press, Helium Massage, The T-shirt Exchange, Vision Gear, Sparrow Collective and many more.
Heimerl says she continues to accept vendors "on a rolling basis for all dates," but that spots are filling up fast.
The summer event is the latest in a string of shows that feature local artists, artisans and crafters in which Heimerl has been key, including Fasten and Hover Craft.
"Because of Fasten, I learned the benefits of a strong creative community and since moving back to Milwaukee in 2007 have worked on ways to support it, reach out and encourage it.
"One example of this is Hover Craft, which is a holiday season show founded three years ago by myself, Alyssa Schulte, Vanessa Andrew and Ashley Chapman. Our entire vision for the show revolved around supporting our local community."
Those events taught Heimerl what was possible and the relationships she forged through them continue to bear fruit.
"Years later I still work with the people I connected with through Fasten and through the (East Side Green) Market," she says. "These people have continued to be the people that I count on when I have an idea. These are the people I turn to to work out a plan, ask for advice and partner with. Singly we have all accomplished careers based on our creative skills and together we support each other as well as count on each other."
Heimerl says the continuously growing success of Hover Craft is proof that demand far exceeds supply, and Maker Market aims to help satisfy Milwaukee’s thirst for home-grown art.
"The huge number of applicants Hover Craft receives every year indicated that there is a large community of makers that exists within Milwaukee," says Heimerl. "A lot of them sell through wholesale accounts, consignment, through Etsy or through their own websites, but the positives that exist with interacting within your own community face to face cannot be measured.
"I want to bring more opportunities for creative people in Milwaukee. I want to advocate for a strong local creative community and make a regular event to foster relationships between fellow makers as well as vendors and shoppers. I also want to help people pay their rent – Maker Market is an event that connects artists to the local population and by doing this encourages creativity of all kinds to contribute to the vibrant culture that exists in Milwaukee."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.