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The Maker Market brings dozens of local creatives together at Alterra in Bay View this summer.

Maker Market brings local artists and makers into the light

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."

Find ongoing details and info on Maker Market at its Facebook page. There is also an event page for the May kick-off.


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