Maker Walk: Behind-the-scenes look at locally-made brands and factories around LA
We’re expanding Maker Walk around the city—and partnering with Artisanal LA & LA Food Fest—to raise awareness for local brands and manufacturers, and mobilize the creative community to MAKE IT IN LA!
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
Our first Maker Walk attracted 500+ attendees for a choose-your-own-adventure of businesses and factories in the Arts District. They begged for more, so we will sustain and replicate the experience in maker hotspots around the region (DTLA, El Segundo, Long Beach, Vernon). So doing, we’ll raise consumer awareness of locally-made brands, identify and cultivate champions for manufacturing, and encourage creators to partner with local factories to fully unleash the creative potential of the city.
Which of the CREATE metrics will your activation impact?
Employment in the creative industries
Minority- and women-owned firms
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
LA is the best place to LEARN
LA is the best place to PLAY
LA is the best place to CONNECT
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
San Fernando Valley
City of Los Angeles
Long Beach, Pasadena, and other neighborhoods TBD
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
Digital organizing or activism
Encourage businesses to change practices
Influence individual behavior
Encourage creators to partner with local manufacturers. Identify and inspire champions to advocate for local manufacturing. Inspire consumers to change their buying behavior and share content about LA-made brands. Activate the local (and national) media to highlight and celebrate local manufacturing.
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to CREATE?
Los Angeles is the largest center for manufacturing in the country, with half a million jobs—that’s nearly four times as many jobs as film and television—yet most Angelenos don’t fully appreciate its importance to our economy. More important than jobs, manufacturing is a critical piece of innovation infrastructure that, if activated, could better unleash Los Angeles’ creative potential.
Maker walk engages thought leaders and the creative public for a unique look behind manufacturing in the city. Our pilot run attracted more than 500 participants. They checked in for this free event at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and received a map for a self-guided walking tour of the Arts District neighborhood. Participants enjoyed visits to a dozen different factories and businesses, including Hyperloop, Angel City Brewery, La La Land Production and Design, HIVE lighting, the LADWP substation, the Advanced Prototyping Center, Blue Bottle, Greenbar Distillery, and Oblong Industries. It ended with an after party, featuring mini maker workshops and locally crafted cocktails at locally made shoe brand, COMUNITY. You can watch a video here: http://makeitinla.org/makerwalkvideo
Our attendees were impressed and surprised by the diversity of industries that are manufacturing in LA and they asked us for more. To build on Maker Walk’s success and expand its impact, we want to engage new neighborhoods and manufacturers and become a monthly event. We have yet to finalize the neighborhoods, but we have begun to scout venues in El Segundo, Pasadena, Vernon, in DTLA, and Long Beach.
We have partnered with Artisanal LA and the LA Food Fest to bring a pop-up market aspect to enhance the event. The markets will raise awareness of consumers and inspire them to purchase locally made goods.
Because the tours are so visual, we expect many attendees to share on social media and we will add playful encouragements for sharing like photo stations. We will highlight many of the makers and manufacturers on social media and on our website to drive traffic and awareness. We will also implement an extensive PR campaign to attract media coverage.
We anticipate repeating our Arts District Maker Walk in October 2018, and ramping up to a total of 18 events in the grant period. We expect to grow by 10% each month and attract more than 2,500 attendees per event by the second year, for a total of 25,000 attendees to date.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to CREATE
Maker Walk will help make connections and inspire founders and aspiring entrepreneurs to consider “making it” in Los Angeles. We will use the events to uncover new creators to engage in our events and our Catalyst program and new manufacturers that we can support.
We will use the events as opportunities to reach the public with the message “manufacturing is sexy” through the media, social media, and our attendees. The events will be visually appealing to make it easy for people to share with their friends and raise awareness among the public. We will highlight manufacturers and brands hosting tours and selling at the market on our website.
The pop-up markets will inspire and enable consumers to buy locally-made.
We hope as these rotating events move, each neighborhood and city will start organizing additional events to involve their local residents, to expand our impact even further.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
We will measure our impact through the number of attendees (projected 25,000+). This is the most important metric because by taking part they will become champions for local manufacturing. We will also track the number of website visits and profile views (100,000+), social media shares, and qualitative responses to surveys.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
We aim to make Maker Walk will be a monthly institution, part of the cultural fabric of Los Angeles, attracting thousands of people from diverse parts of the region and beyond to celebrate manufacturing and locally made. We hope it becomes successful enough that we can replicate this in other cities to help them celebrate their ecosystems