About

Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair, Handmade Arcade (HA)
celebrates its 13th anniversary on December 2, 2017 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

  • Founded in 2004, HA produces an award-winning, one-of-kind marketplace where innovative craft-based artists and designers sell, share and promote handmade, locally produced goods.
  • HA has significantly helped to shape, bolster and bring national visibility to Pittsburgh’s independent craft community and Do-It-Yourself maker movement.
  • HA is directly responsible for significant expansion and growth within Pittsburgh’s arts, craft, and small business communities.
  • HA is one of the most well-respected independent craft fairs in the country among vendors, attendees, organizers, and media outlets.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE AND GROWTH:
HA is committed to showcasing local, regional, national and international
artists who excel in areas of design, innovation and creativity.

  • HA recruits both new and returning vendors, and reaches out to potential under-served audiences. In 2016, HA featured 41 first-time vendors.
  • The 2017 event will showcase 160+ innovative craft-based artists and designers. The Hands-on Handmade activity area will feature more than 15 arts groups, nonprofits and individual artists.
  • HA actively pursues partnerships with organizations that promote youth and minority entrepreneurs. In 2017, HA will provide five youth scholarships
    (up from 2 in 2016).
  • With a strong social media presence and active participation in community outreach, HA maintains a highly visible identity and brand, while also supporting other area arts and nonprofit organizations.
  • HA is active within the national craft movement, participating in online networks, attending conferences, and establishing cross-promotional opportunities.

Handmade Arcade is run by a collective of creative Pittsburghers who have helped to shape and bolster Pittsburgh’s independent craft scene over the past nine years. The group’s founders — who, along with new volunteers, still run the event today — were inspired to organize a craft fair of Pittsburgh’s own that would tap into a national movement and provide a welcoming venue for artists and shoppers to come together. Handmade Arcade’s growth has coincided with the international resurgence of crafting, as new generations are reclaiming and reinventing craft materials and methods.


HANDMADE ARCADE’s AUDIENCE:

HA’s  audience are engaged community members, and environmentally and socially conscious, forward-thinking consumers of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities—with many attendees between the age of 18 and 50. HA attendees are active supporters of small, independent businesses and the buy local/buy handmade and DIY maker movements. In turn, HA supporters prefer to use their resources and time to support small, independent artists. They come to HA’s marketplace for innovative and unique products that express their own individualism, creativity and originality, and by supporting HA, our audiences shares a commitment to conscientious and thoughtful consumerism.


RECORD BREAKING CROWDS
In 2004, Handmade Arcade held its inaugural event at Construction Junction in Point Breeze with 32 vendors and 1,000 attendees.

Pittsburgh Business Times Largest Area Public Show listings:

  • HA ranked 8th in the “Largest 2015 Area Public Show”
  • HA ranked 9th in the “Largest 2014 Area Public Show”
  • HA ranked 7th in the “Largest 2013 Area Public Show”
  • HA ranked 8th in the “Largest 2012 Area Public Show
  • HA ranked 11th in the “Largest 2011 Area Public Show”

AWARDS & NOTABLE PRESS

  • Featured in Thrillist as a premier Pittsburgh event in “The Next Portland: 4 Cities All the Cool Kids Are Moving To,” 11/9/15 (reposted on The Huffington Post, 11/12/15)
  • Featured in BuzzFeed as one of the 35 Indie Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs To Visit (November 2014).
  • Listed in Condé Nast Traveller as part of the Confluence of Cool.
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Weekend Magazine Front Cover Articles
      “Handmade Arcade is the craft fair where makers and buyers collide,” 12/1/16
    • “Get your craft on at Handmade Arcade this weekend,” 12/3/15
  • KDKA-TV Pittsburgh Today Live interviews Handmade Arcade planners every year, showcasing the marketplace, vendors, Hands-on Handmade activity area and sponsors
  • Handmade Arcade receives significant press coverage via print,
    television, radio and digital media. Each year, more than one million
    people in the Pittsburgh region and beyond are made aware of HA’s unique marketplace. Visit our Press page to read more.
  • In 2007 and 2009, HA received The People’s Choice Award for Best Arts Event from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

HANDS-ON HANDMADE
Situated on-site, HA’s welcoming Hands-on Handmade activity area features a variety of drop-in, short, and day-long interactive programs — including craft demonstrations, mini-tutorials, make-and-take activities, craft competitions, and art installations.

Designed to bridge the gap between consumers and producers, HOHA’s goal is to engage attendees of all ages, skill levels, and educational and socio-economic backgrounds to participate in inclusive, engaging, and innovative art, craft, tech and learning activities led by professional Pittsburgh-based artists, art collectives, and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. This shared creative process encourages the public to consider the role of craft in their own lives, while increasing awareness about handmade, locally-produced goods.


AN ECO-FRIENDLY HOME

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) in Downtown Pittsburgh has allowed HA to extend the scope of the unique experience our attendees have come to expect. The benefits for vendors, attendees, and sponsors are immense and include: Increased on-site visibility for sponsors including benefits such as signage, table presence, and more.

  • Continued commitment to the environment through the DLCC’s green practices (www.greenfirst.us).
  • Space for more vendors than ever before (150+).
  • Addition of new areas to feature demonstration artists, and DJs.
  • Spacious walkways and visitor/shopper amenities.
  • Central downtown location accessible via public transportation, car, bike, and foot.
  • Extensive on- and off-site parking.

SPONSORS AND PARTNERS:

  • Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse
  • Green Mountain Energy
  • The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh
  • TechShop Pittsburgh
  • The Sprout Fund
  • Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
  • Pittsburgh Port Authority
  • Yelp
  • Monmade
  • Commonwealth Press
  • Una Biologicals
  • Wildcard
  • Modesto Studios
  • Etsy / Steel Town Etsy
  • Contemporary Craft
  • Next Pittsburgh
  • Pop City Media
  • Wildcard
  • Sock Dreams
  • 19 Coffee Company
  • NakYouOut.com
  • HackPgh.org
  • Assemble Gallery
  • ModCloth
  • Artists Image Resource (AIR)
  • CAPA High School
  • The Saturday Light Brigade
  • strawberryluna
  • Kara Reid Designs
  • Worker Bird
  • Red Pop Shop
  • Steeltown Anthem
  • Visit Pittsburgh
  • WESA
  • WYEP
  • Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
  • and many more…

13 YEARS OF GROWTH:

  • HA:04  Nov. 13, 2004, 32 vendors, 1,000 attendees
  • HA:05  Nov. 12, 2005, 80 vendors, 2,000 attendees
  • HA:06  Nov. 11, 2006, 118 vendors, 5,000 attendees
  • HA:07  Nov. 10 & 11, 2007, 110 vendors, 7,000 attendees
  • HA:08  Nov.  13 & 14, 2008, 100 vendors, 9,000 attendees
  • HA:09  Dec. 12, 2009, 90 vendors, 9,000 attendees
  • HA:11  April 16, 2011, 140+ vendors, 5,500 attendees
  • HA:11  Nov. 12, 2011, 150 vendors, 6,600 attendees
  • HA: 12 Dec. 8, 2012, 150 vendors, 7,000 attendees
  • HA: 13 Dec. 7, 2013, 157 vendors, 8,000 attendees
  • HA: 14 Dec. 6, 2014, 160 vendors, 8,000 attendees
  • HA: 15 Dec. 5, 2015, 160 vendors, 8,500 attendees
  • HA:16 Dec. 3, 2016, 164 vendors, 9,000 attendees

VENDORS AND ATTENDEES HAVE COME FROM:

  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia
  • Connecticut
  • Tennessee
  • Canada
  • Oregon
  • Japan

Interested in sponsoring Handmade Arcade?
Visit our Sponsors page for more information or contact our Sponsorship Coordinator, Tricia Brancolini, at sponsor@handmadearcade.com for more information.