Handmade Arcade (HA), founded in 2004, is Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair. Now in its twelfth year, HA brings young, innovative crafters and progressive do-it-yourself designers to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on December 5, 2015 to sell, their handmade, locally produced, and offbeat wares at a bustling marketplace. HA is highly anticipated event that attracts more than 9,000 attendees in one day. HA provides craftspeople and artists working outside mainstream and fine arts sectors with a grassroots, high-visibility venue to sell wares, build community, network and share their artistic practice.
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.
BUY LOCAL / SHOP SMALL
HA’s target audience are environmentally and socially conscious, forward-thinking consumers of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. HA attendees are active supporters of small, independent businesses and the buy local/buy handmade movement. In turn, they prefer to use their resources and time to support small, independent artists. They come to HA’s marketplace for items to express their own individualism, creativity, and originality, as well as 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. Last year during our Decade of DIY celebration, HA welcomed 157 vendors from all over the country with over 9,000 attendees to our one day event. In 2013, Handmade Arcade was listed in the Pittsburgh Business Times as the 7th largest public show in the area, competing with the Pittsburgh Home and Garden and Auto Show.
AWARDS & STATISTICS
- Recently featured in BuzzFeed as one of the “35 Indie Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs To Visit” (November 2014).
- Listed in Conde Nast Traveller as part of the Confluence of Cool.
- HA receives tons of press both online, in print and on TV and radio. Visit our Press page to read more.
- HA ranked 7th in the “Largest 2013 Area Public Show,” Pittsburgh Business Times, June 6-12, 2014.
- HA ranked 11th in the “Largest 2011 Area Public Show,” Pittsburgh Business Times, June 8-14, 2012.
- In 2007 and 2009, HA received The People’s Choice Award for Best Arts Event from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
- HA reaches beyond the Pittsburgh area. Vendors and attendees come from near and far including: New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington DC, West Virginia, Connecticut, Tennessee, Canada, Oregon, and Japan.
Situated on-site, HA’s welcoming Hands-on Handmade 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 — all designed to bridge the gap between consumers and creators. Hands-on Handmade provides a wonderful opportunity for partnerships with local artists, nonprofit arts organizations and Pittsburgh’s youth, including ongoing collaborations with local high schools. Launched by HA in 2011, the successful and popular Hands-on Handmade model is now replicated all over Pittsburgh at various arts events.
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.
- The Sprout Fund
- Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
- Etsy / Steel Town Etsy
- Pittsburgh Port Authority
- Society for Contemporary Craft
- Pop City Media
- Sock Dreams
- 19 Coffee Company
- Assemble Gallery
- Artists Image Resource (AIR)
- CAPA High School
- The Saturday Light Brigade
- Commonwealth Press
- Worker Bird
- TeeRex / Cotton Factory
- Red Pop Shop
- Steeltown Anthem
- Visit Pittsburgh
- Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
- and many more…
11 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
VENDORS AND ATTENDEES HAVE COME FROM:
- New York
- Washington DC
- West Virginia