Crowd Favorites Meet New Makers at Maker Faire Detroit 2013

Maker Faire Detroit returns to The Henry Ford later this month! Lish Dorset, social media manager for The Henry Ford, fills us in on what you can expect this year at the popular event.

It feels like 2013 has been flying by so far, especially when you think that Maker Faire Detroit is right around the corner. For our fourth installment of the popular DIY festival, we’re mixing a bit of the old with a lot of the new for our guests to enjoy July 27-28.

We received some truly fantastic applications this year from makers both from Michigan and across the country. More than 400 creative individuals will take to Henry Ford Museum and our specially-constructed outdoor midway for two days of hands-on fun and learning. Crowd favorites, like EepyBird (the Coke and Mentos guys) and Life-Size Mousetrap (a 25-ton Rube Goldberg machine) will return along with Gon KiRin, a 64- by 26-foot fire breathing dragon for one final appearance at Maker Faire Detroit. It’s always exciting to see fans ask for some of their favorite makers and exhibits year after year.

Joining our tried-and-true favorites are a crop of new-to-us Maker Faire Detroit participants. We’re pleased to have makers from all corners of the state come to The Henry Ford this month for Maker Faire. Cities, such as Lansing and Grand Rapids, will have representation as they show off their projects to a whole new audience.

Inside, the area’s best computer thinkers will be trying to “hack” Henry Ford Museum thanks to Compuware’s programming-themed “Hack the Museum” hackathon going on both days. Keep up to date with Maker Faire Detroit news and scheduling information with Compuware’s app, too. (Visit iTunes and search for Maker Faire Detroit 2013 to download this free app to start planning your visit.)

This year’s event will also honor our institution’s founder, Henry Ford, as we celebrate what would have been his 150th birthday just a few days after the big event.

As Maker Faires, both big and mini, continue to gain popularity and draw bigger and bigger crowds, it’s important to us to see groups recognize the power of the making movement. Recently the Michigan House and Senate passed a resolution recognizing the contributions Maker Faire Detroit has made to the state of Michigan. We’re honored to say that July 27-28, 2013 is officially recognized as Maker Faire Detroit Weekend in Michigan. It’s a wonderful honor and once again reinforces that the maker movement is hear to stay.

If you come to The Henry Ford for Maker Faire Detroit, make sure to share your experiences with us by tagging your posts, tweets, and photos with #MakerFaireDetroit. We can’t wait to see what inspires you.

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak with her family. When she’s not sharing some of her favorite artifacts from the collections of The Henry Ford with fans on Facebook, she’s at home crafting and thinking of new project ideas for Maker Faire Detroit.

Birthday Celebrations at The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford in Dearborn is geared up to celebrate what would have been Henry Ford himself’s 150th birthday this summer. Today, Lish Dorset of The Henry Ford fills us in on what’s happening.

Summer is always a busy time at The Henry Ford, from families enjoying a visit together at Greenfield Village to kids enjoying a mid-day, school’s-out-for-summer matinee at our IMAX Theatre. This summer is shaping up to be especially busy thanks to a packed schedule as we celebrate what would have been the 150th birthday of our institution’s founder, Henry Ford.

We’re celebrating Henry’s legacy all year at The Henry Ford, whose birthday is July 30. Starting in June and running through August, pay a visit to Miller School in Greenfield Village and step back in time to the days of Henry’s youth as he experiments with clock parts, machines and principles that challenged him.

You can also visit Henry’s T, a 15-minute dramatic play and hear how this ultimate maker was inspired to build his universal car. Follow up the play with a visit to Henry Ford Museum and learn how to build a Model T yourself.

Both Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are offering guided tours to guests with an emphasis on Henry’s work. Join our master presenters and learn more about his great body of work.

As one of the partners for this year’s celebration of Henry, we’re proud to be among such great Michigan organizations, like the Ford Motor Company, celebrating one of Michigan’s own. Follow the latest Henry Ford 150th news here.

Probably one of the best celebrations of Henry’s vision is Driving America. It’s been more than a year since our revamped automobile exhibit opened back up to the public and we couldn’t be prouder of it. Make sure to visit one of our interactive kiosks located within our Driving America timeline to access our online collections as well as games and fast facts.

It’s more than perfect timing that our fourth (can you believe it!) installment of Maker Faire Detroit happens just a few days before Henry’s birthday. Expect to see some of your favorite makers, like Lifesize Mousetrap and Eepy Bird (AKA “The Coke and Mentos) guys mixed in with new makers and tinkerers July 27-28. We’ll also be celebrating Henry’s birthday by showcasing a few of our own artifacts along with special programming.

While there’s a lot going on this summer, we’d love to hear from you. During your next visit, make sure to share one of your favorite Henry Ford quotes or innovations with us.

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak with her husband and cat, Ronnie. When she’s not sharing some of her favorite artifacts from the collections of The Henry Ford with fans on Facebook, she’s at home crafting. You can learn more about upcoming summer activities by checking out The Henry Ford’s blog.

Enjoying Holiday Nights as an Insider

Holiday Nights return to The Henry Ford this season! Today, Lish Dorset, social media manager for The Henry Ford, fills us in on what makes this celebration special to her and what she’s looking forward to seeing from her behind-the-scenes view this year.

Posing for a family photo in Henry Ford Museum, 1986

If you live in metro Detroit, chances are you’ve been to Holiday Nights here at The Henry Ford at some point. While Greenfield Village closes down for the season in about a week, we open back up at night during the weekends to celebrate the holiday season. This year’s Holiday Nights will be a very special visit for me – it’s my first time as an employee of The Henry Ford and my first chance to see all of the hard work that happens behind the scenes.

Skaters take to the ice rink

Growing up in Birmingham, my family’s Christmas tradition has been to spend Christmas Eve morning at Henry Ford Museum. Year after year we took our family portrait of the small cousins in front of the gigantic Christmas tree housed in the museum plaza. When Holiday Nights started more than 10 years ago, our family, with us cousins now looking more like grown-ups, added that to our must-do holiday activity list. We spent hours ice skating, touring the homes, and enjoying some mulled cider as we awaited the holidays.

Warming station help keep guests and presenters warm during Holiday Nights

I had the chance to take my fiance and best friend to Holiday Nights last year for their first visits. We watched the Liberty Craftworks glass artists pull beautiful candy canes, a favorite among THF members, as we learned more about glass blowing and all the crafts they produce for the holidays. December in Michigan tends to be fairly cold, so a visit to the glass shop and their hot furnaces was a welcomed stop from my group. A visit to the Guild Beer Hall didn’t hurt, either!

Holiday Nights preparation is officially underway, even though it seems like we just put away the last of the Hallowe’en scarecrows and pumpkins! As I drive down Village Road past Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum, I’m always excited to see which decoration was put up that morning. It’s not unusual to see rows upon rows of dark green wreaths being prepared for hanging or our grounds crew surveying the best location to add more accessories.

Singing the night away...

And it’s beginning to look a lot more like the holidays inside the museum, too. The model trains have been getting a holiday makeover over by the Allegheny Locomotive, and the gift shop is packed with ornaments, brand-new toys, and the latest handmade offerings from Greenfield Village’s artisans for holiday gift giving.

While I’m lucky enough to see some of the hard work that goes into another exciting year of Holiday Nights, you can bet I’ll be out wandering Greenfield Village in just a few short weeks with my fiance and friends, celebrating the holidays and starting another round of festive traditions.

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak with her fiance and fat cat, Ronnie. When she’s not sharing some of her favorite artifacts from the collections of The Henry Ford with fans on Facebook, she’s at home crafting. You can learn more about Holiday Nights by check out The Henry Ford’s blog.