Rebranding the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire for 10th anniversary

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire. Started in 2008 by local entrepreneur and innovator Dale Grover at the Washtenaw County Fairgrounds, the faire was the first Mini Maker Faire in the world, under Make Media's Maker Faire brand. This set in motion mini maker faires to pop up all over the U.S. and world through Make Media. The event moved to Washtenaw Community College in 2013 and then to the Ann Arbor District Library's downtown branch in 2016, where it is being held again this year. 

In this 10th anniversary year, the co-organizers rebranded the faire into the Ann Arbor Creativity and Making Expo (AACME) to better reflect our current creative community. A broadened scope now includes more youth makers as well as innovations in handicrafts such as weaving, knitting and quilting. 

So mark your calendar for Sunday, May 20 from 12-5pm at the downtown district library for this year's 10th anniversary event! 

Interested in participating as an exhibitor? Applications are open through Friday, April 13. Find out more HERE.

Geek Tour: Labadie Anarchist Collection

When: Thursday, May 26 at 4 PM
Where: Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library / University of Michigan
Free Tickets: Eventbrite

A collection documenting the history of social protest movements and marginalized political communities from the 19th century to the present

In the 1930s, the U-M Library’s Joseph A. Labadie Collection — the oldest publicly accessible archive of its kind in America — was called “probably the most complete record of the social unrest of our times that has ever been assembled.“

Since then, the collection has only grown, expanding from its original focus on anarchism to also encompass antheism and free thought, anti-colonialist movements, anti-war and pacifist movements, civil liberties and civil rights, labor and workers’ rights, LGBTQ movements, prisons and prisoners, New Left, Spanish Civil War, youth and student protest, and many more.

March A2Geeks Events

Ignite UX Michigan is March 15 at LIVE in Ann Arbor, MI.

Doors open at 6 pm, talks start at 7 pm. 

Ignite UX Michigan is an evening of 5 minute talks on a range of user experience related topics in downtown Ann Arbor.

Our Geek Tour of the Ann Arbor District Library has been RESCHEDULED to March 9 at 5 pm. 

Register for the tour to get an insider’s look into the library. This tour was rescheduled from our February event due to bad weather.

Geek Tour at A2 Art Center Nov 7

Join the Ann Arbor Geeks as we go on a tour of the Art Lab at the fabulous Ann Arbor Art Center! The space is specially designed to align fine arts with technology and is holding some really cool classes…and we get a private tour! There may also be opportunities for us to make some things while we are there (claymation, stop-motion animations). Whatever we do, you know it will be GEEKtastic!

Nov 7 - 4pm

Please RSVP

Ignite Ann Arbor 10 2015-11-13

Join us on Friday the 13th at Robertson Aud, Ross School of Business, for Ignite Ann Arbor 10!

Please RSVP at

If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers. We consider geekery to equal passion, so we’re looking for food geeks, tech geeks, business geeks, music geeks, art geeks, history geeks, etc to come and share their stories.

Peering Towards the Beginning of Time with the Hubble Space Telescope
Keren Sharon
Tinder and Urban UX design
Rachel Jaffe@racheljaffe13
Elizabeth Ann Gray
I am the Commuting Pope: Transportation Sins and Salvation
Nancy Shore@getdowntown
The theory and practice of going from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur
Steven Sherman@shermanfarms
From the Depths of AADL… The Secret Lab!
Anne Drozd@secretlab
Why Your Street Should Have Its Own Newspaper
Lucy Tobier

Everybody Trolls Sometimes
Lindsay Blackwell@linguangst
Changing The Way Fashionistas Pay It Forward: Making Them Give Back Even If They Don’t Want To
Jordette Singleton@ShopUnitedFront
Your World, Crushed Flat
Ry4an Brase@ry4an
Love and Lost Hair- An Inside Look at Healing From Cancer
Michelle Massey Barnes@mmbimagery
Crowd-sourcing your Job Interview
Suleman Diwan@sulemandiwan
The CIA As a Startup: Some Thoughts on Building Institutions, the Dangers of Early-Stage Partnerships, and Disappointing Your Customers
Jordan Birnholtz@brnhltz
Unequal Justice for All
Vanessa Cheris@vcheris
Where There’s a Will….How to Enjoy Shakespeare

Ignite UX Michigan

Calling all lovers of good user experience design, both digital and in person:

The third annual Ignite UX Michigan will be September 15 at LIVE in downtown Ann Arbor. 

Where? LIVE

When? Tuesday, September 15, 2015

6:30 – Networking
7:00 – First block of speakers
8:00 – Second block of speakers
The event will end at 9:00

The event is free to attend and supported by A2Geeks and Ann Arbor District Library.

Sponsors include: Johnson & Johnson, ProQuest, the U-M School of Information, RightPoint, TecEd, and The Understanding Group.

Washtenaw County Maker Meeting, August 8

With the Maker Movement showing no signs of slowing down, the organizers of the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire and the Board of Directors of All Hands Active Makerspace invite you to the 2nd Washtenaw Area Maker Meeting. 


Saturday, August 8, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM                           


Menlo Innovations (505 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor)


Please register to attend (it’s free!)

More Info:

Everyone will have a chance to connect and help build support and community awareness of the work being done around maker education.

Our day begins at 8:30am with a tour of All Hands Active Makerspace.  

Donuts and coffee will be provided at Menlo Innovations at 9:00am.

The group meeting will officially begin at 9:30am at Menlo.

Congratulations to the CivCity Initiative

While the CivCity Initiative was applying for its nonprofit status, A2Geeks provided fiscal sponsorship to support donations to the growing organization.

We are proud to share the news that in June, CivCity received its nonprofit status and can now act independently to grow its services, achieve its mission, and incorporate supporting financial donations.


Executive Director Mary Morgan’s vision for CivCity is that every single day you’ll encounter several touchpoints as you move through your daily routines – touchpoints that remind you of local issues and civic events, that help you learn about your local government, and that motivate you to do something yourself. 

In her report to A2Geeks, Mary pointed out the role of our organization in the Initiative’s early successes:

A2Geeks played an instrumental role in our ability to quickly move ahead with our work, and has been a huge asset in these formative months.

The Initiative is already engaged in the community in a variety of ways, including partnering with the Ann Arbor District Library to coordinate a series of badges for their summer game

Check out their website for more CivCity activities launching soon!

Looking for BIG LEGO displays

For this year’s summer game, AADL is putting up LEGO displays all across town and they’re looking for your help! 

What: Awesome and LARGE LEGO structures. Robot themed is a bonus, but not required. We’ll put a bunch of robots on whatever ends up there either way.

Why: Be a part of the AADL Summer Game! Promote LEGOs. Have the 4000+ online players SEE your work and appreciate LEGO more! You will also earn points that allow you to buy prizes!

Where: We’re gonna be filling display cases at the Downtown Library and the Library Branches all summer so there’s no such thing as TOO much LEGO! Specifically, they’re looking to fill the 826MI/Liberty Robot Supply Store Window on Liberty btwn Main/4th

How Long: NOW until August 31

What’s in it for me? We’ll have a BIG sign in the window and give name credit to the creators, your organization etc.

Erin V Helmrich, MLS
Teen & IT/Production Librarian
Ann Arbor District Library
343 S. 5th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Annual A2Geeks Board Meeting

Join us for the annual A2Geeks meeting! This meeting is open to the public. It’s a great way to learn about what we do, get involved, or ask for help with your own work.

Tuesday, June 2 

7-8 pm

Ann Arbor Art Center (117 W Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104)

At this meeting, we will: 

  • Share this past year’s activities (Ignites, Geek Tours, Mini Maker Faire) with you
  • Ask you how we (A2Geeks) can support local activities and projects (your work! your passion!)
  • Update everyone on board membership information

7th Annual Mini Maker Faire June 6th

The seventh annual Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire will be held on Saturday, June 6 from 10-4 pm at the Morris Lawrence Building of the Washtenaw Community College. The faire features dozens of makers from across the region and draw thousands of members of the community for the day’s free events.

We welcome exhibits from makers, artists, tinkerers, entrepreneurs, and young inventors that emphasize teaching other people skills. It’s free to exhibit:

Please register to attend our free, family friendly event

Ann Arbor Film Fest Community Partner

When: Saturday 2015-03-28 11:15am

Where: Michigan Theater Screening Room

As you probably know, the awesome Ann Arbor Film Festival is coming up shortly! We are pleased to be a Community Partner with the film fest this year!

The A2geeks will be co-hosting the movie Parallel I-IV: New films and videos including one of Harun Farocki’s last works Parallel I-IV (2012-2014). “Tracing the evolution of video game graphics from the two-dimensional schematics of the early 1980s to the photorealistic environments of today, Farocki foregoes the obsession with novelty that too often characterizes discussions of so-called “new” media, instead situating games within a longer history of representation.” (see more:

tl;dr It’s about video game graphics from the 80s until now. VIDEO GAMES!!


A2 Data Dive announcement, November 15-November 16!

If you’re looking for a unique opportunity to give back to the community, consider the A2 Data Dive, happening right around the corner. It takes place this weekend, November 15 and 16, from 9am - 5pm (registration at 8:30am) in North Quad (105 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI) at the University of Michigan.

A2 Data Dive brings together local non-profits and community members in the Ann Arbor and Greater Detroit area to collaborate and work on data in context. The goal of the weekend is to give non-profits a better understanding of their data and what they can do with it, while giving people hands-on experience with data, discussion about data problems, and time to learn from one another. We aim to build a strong, interdisciplinary community of practitioners who can share knowledge, skills, resources and data to support our broader community needs.

This year, the Data Dive has some great clients. We’ll be working with data from:

  1. 826 Michigan

  2. Ozone House

  3. Summer in the City

  4. Safe House

A2 Data Dive is open to anyone who is interested, regardless of background or skillsetThe Data Dive is not just about data analysis and data visualization, but about helping clients understand how they can use their data to support their organization’s goals. We need people who understand:

  • how data should be stored
  • how information should be organized
  • how best to survey a diverse range of individuals
  • how best to anonymize data, and much more.  

You volunteer your time and brain power, and we will provide you with the opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, and give back to the community. (Also, food!) We have a variety of possibilities for projects for people with a wide range of skill sets.

If you are planning on attending, please take a moment to register.

See you on the weekend!


Data Dive Co-ordinating Team

 Note from A2Geeks: A2Geeks is sponsoring this event!

Ignite Ann Arbor 9 - Friday 2014-11-07 7pm

Ignite Ann Arbor 9 is this Friday, at 7pm, Blau Auditorium, Ross School of Business. Ignite is a free event where the speakers get 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about something they care deeply about.
Post-party at World Of Beer (South U & Forrest)
Our lineup:

Take Back Date Night: Redefining Dinner and a Movie
Nan Bauer – @nanettesfeast
I Wanna Fly You
Jim Gilligan – 
Day of the Triffids or Day of Reckoning? 
Kirsti Ashworth – 
Fugget about it – The Right to Be Forgotten
Kevin Norris – @BeGuidedAccordingly
Acoustic Imaging of Cells & Tissues
Frank Winterroth – 
Bareknuckle Democracy
Mary Morgan – @MaryA2Chronicle
The Gamified Classroom: Inspiring Consumers to Create
Nate Aschenbach & David Arditti – @gamestartschool
Making Brewster: Building a laser lightshow projector into a beer keg
Mike Gould –

Violin Monster – @ViolinMonster
RP: The Cruelest Eye Disease 
Patti Smith – @TeacherPatti
Instead of College Debt?
Jennifer Shikes Haines – @jenshaines
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
Jack Dean – @jackp_dean
Using Water Wisely: Olla Irrigation Updated 
Linda Diane Feldt – @lindadianefeldt
Taking Time to Nurture Passion
Jennifer Bond – @TeamBond
Place(deuce)-Making: Leveraging the Arts for Ann Arbor
Omari Rush – @RushOmari

A2Geeks really appreciates our sponsors for this event:
* UM Masters of Entrepreneurship Program
* Workantile
* Washtenaw Toastmasters

New Tech Meetup 2014-10-21 6:30pm

Law School, South Hall, Room 1225

Five presenters this month take the stage for ten minutes each, five minutes to demo and five minutes to answer questions, followed by open announcements and community networking. E-mail organizers at if you’d like to present!

- Kyle Mulka, - have real-time chats over Twitter

- Nick Sarafa, Pause - temporarily silence digital notifications 

- Aakash Jobanputra, StatusOwl - real-time guide to nightlife

- Dan Reiss and Quentin Weir, Elder Wood - makers of Hex Chest for storing and transporting gamer dice

- Prateek Sachdeva, Boldr - connecting consumers and local businesses 

Emily Rodgers receives UMSI Entrepreneurial and Innovation Alumni Award

A2Geeks director Emily Rodgers has received the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Alumni Award from the University of Michigan School of Information for her work with A2Geeks and Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire!

She is … heavily involved in maker culture in Ann Arbor, where she coordinates and provides marketing assistance for that community as a board member of A2Geeks, a local non-profit maker-focused organization dedicated to “opening the tech culture to everyone.”