THIS WEEKEND: The Scranton Mini Maker Faire at Johnson College!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
It’s an exciting time to live, create and be an artist or maker in Scranton!  We’ve been counting down the days until the Scranton Mini Maker Faire taking place this Saturday October 4th at Johnson College. Maker Faire has been described as “The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth.” Check out our interview with the Scranton Maker Faire team to hear all about this fun & innovative experience they have in store for you this weekend!

What is a Maker Faire and why is now the right time for Johnson College to bring it to Scranton? 

A few individuals at the College started to hear about the maker movement two years ago and thought it would a great event for the College to host since our missions so closely align.  We are all about the process of innovation and celebrating the creative spirit and what better way to do that then host a Maker Faire on the Johnson College campus.  When you think about it, Scranton was founded on innovation and the whole idea of making things.  So it is the perfect event to bring to the Scranton community and Johnson College is a natural host based on our history and strong ties to industry and greater Scranton community. 

We love seeing great ideas come to life and know the Scranton Maker Faire team put a lot of hard work into this.  What did it take to get this endeavor off the ground.

From the beginning the administration of the College has been extremely supportive of bringing this event to life!  Dr. Ann Pipinski, President and CEO and Katie Leonard, Sr. Vice President of College Advancement began talking about this event two years ago.  Katie’s dynamic advancement developed the event.  Kathryn Wynn, Development Associate, Janine Tomaszewski, Associate Director of College Advancement and Sean Ann Kelly, Advancement Specialist have been instrumental in every aspect of the event.  An event like this has so many moving parts and each staff member used their skills to play a role.  From talking with donors about sponsorship opportunities and the exposure this type of event would bring their business, Scranton, and the College, to getting the word out in multiple ways, to making sure the fine details were addressed, staff have dedicated themselves to making the event successful and enjoyable for everyone that attends.  We also had a great community committee in place.  Members include Kristina Galati, Jam Works LLC, Anthony T. Marasco, University of Scranton, Elizabeth Davis, Scranton Public Library, Andrew Monroy, Penn3D, and Christine Medley, The Workshop.  The group met monthly since May to build community involvement and help us connect with businesses and individuals who align with the Maker Movement.

Maker Faire is described as “The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth.”  Can you tell us more about what we will be happening at the Faire.

Maker Faire is all about grassroots innovation and fostering that creativity and resourcefulness in the community.  It is a family-friendly event that offers hands-on experiences that you can grab hold of.  Our exhibiting Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers.  They are of all ages and backgrounds. Just some of the types of projects you will see at the Scranton Mini Maker Faire include: robotics, drones, 3D printing, arduino, arts & crafts, homemade instruments, Makerspaces, “learn to solder” workshops, KitRex paper dinosaur puzzle-crafts, 3D holograms, automobiles, fire & ice, interactive kid’s projects, pen turning, operating model engines, product innovations, microcontroller boards, print designers, mead making, woodworking, student projects, monogramming, sustainable energy, tesla coils, letterpress printing, wine making, handmade jewelry, laughter yoga, photography, and so much more!

All funds raised from this event are going to the Johnson College’s Innovation and Opportunity Fund. Can you tell us a little more about this organization?

The Innovation & Opportunity Fund is an internal granting fund that supports technology, innovation, and advancement initiatives at Johnson College. For instance – 3D Printing, Advanced Manufacturing, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Curriculum, Sustainability, and much more. The goal of the Innovation & Opportunity Fund is to spur innovation and creativity on campus and to supply seed money for startup resources in order to implement those campus-wide innovations. Students and/or faculty must submit proposals to receive this funding.  Applications will be evaluated based on the value that the initiatives bring to Johnson College and the community at large.

Find out more about Scranton Mini Maker Faire:

Find out more about Maker Faire: 
Twitter: @makerfaire
Instagram: @makerfaire

Save the Date for the 2nd Annual Holiday on the Square!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

It's almost that time again.... the holidays will be here before we know it.  Applications are now open to apply to be part of the 2nd Annual Holiday on the Square. We're so excited to make this year's event even more fun than last year!!!

Campfire Coverage: An Interview with Mike & Steve of The Indobox

Thursday, September 4, 2014

WHAT A WEEKEND!!! Campfire Outdoor Adventure & Music Festival, held this past weekend, was filled with friends, great music and lots of memories made.  The venue, located in Lakewood, PA,  is beyond perfect.  Waterslides, kayaks, comfy cabins, a hot tub, fire pit, rock wall, all nestled in a natural & nostalgic “summer camp” setting.  I've been to many festivals, but this was my favorite venue by far!

Saturday evening I sat down with long time friends Mike and Steve Learson of The Indobox in their cabin to chat about music and life. Indobox is based out of Boston, but Mike Carter and Joey Zarick are originally from NEPA.  I grew up with these guys so they hold a special place in my heart.

Indobox was formed in 2006 for the love of music, they said.  They hit the road hard playing and writing as much music as possible. They didn’t know where it would take them, but just knew they had to play- leading the band on a wonderful adventure.

The adventure has taken them up and down the east coast and west to Colorado.  Bars, clubs, large venues, parties and festivals.

SM: What do you enjoy most about playing festivals?
“Playing outdoors is a perk” - Steve says… “The natural elements really come into play.”

Mike adds, “I love starting the show in the evening and watching the sunset.  Ending when it’s dark, creates a whole new energy.  The natural elements create that energy and the crowd feeds off it and we experience it all together.  Festivals are like a huge party.  We get to hang with our friends, other bands and check out new music.”

I was really delighted by their second set of the day at The Acoustic Stage.  Familiar covers like, Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard”  and original tunes such as “Lollipops and Chapstick”.  It was nice seeing them sitting and playing, a really relaxed vibe, opposite of their usual high energy, jamming sets.  They said their last record was actually written acoustically but then recorded electrically.  The band has been tossing around the idea of coming out with an acoustic album. Mike says “its an interesting experience, taking the songs and peeling away the layers, breaking them down.”

I asked Mike a True or False: You can take a man out of Scranton, but not Scranton out of a man…
TRUE, he answered.   “Scranton is a place where people hold a bond, they are supportive, especially when you’re doing something outside of the box, they really stand behind it”.  Steve adds in that Scranton natives have Scranton pride and it goes a long way.

Steve, does music define you? - “Yes.  I wake up and to some point, even obsess about music.  It’s such an endeavour to be a songwriter, and when you break it down, it’s sort of selfish.  Songwriting is all about you and your life.”

Mike, why is music important in life?   “Music is an emotional outlet, I don’t think about it, it just feels goods.  Just like any art, it’s an expression of life.  You have complete control, and when you’re writing you’re in the moment.   I write at times of disarray and when life hits you with something heavy, it’s a way to process your thoughts.”

What is your dream gig?
Steve: Red Rocks
Mike: Perfect synergy from beginning to end, to be on fire, reading each other’s minds, make magic.

The fellas mentioned a little rumor that there’s a remix album in the works!! Can’t wait to hear what that’s all about.  Their FALL TOUR which includes a Thanksgiving Eve show at River Street Jazz Cafe (you heard it here first, kids) should be announced any day!!!  If you're looking to dance your feet off to great music, we highly recommend seeing a Box show near you.

Find out more about The Indobox:

Learn more about Campfire Outdoor Adventure and Music Festival:
Twitter: @campfirefestpa
Instagram: @campfirefestival