Reality show casting at annual Mini Maker Faire

The third annual Maker Faire is Saturday

Jim Jacobmeyer of Cedar Rapids plays a homemade electric guitar at the Mini Maker Faire in Cedar Rapids in 2012. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Jim Jacobmeyer of Cedar Rapids plays a homemade electric guitar at the Mini Maker Faire in Cedar Rapids in 2012. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Unhappy with modern American society? Think you could create a better world?

On Saturday, you might have a chance to do just that. Sort of.

A new Fox show, “Utopia,” will be looking for cast members at this year’s Mini Maker Faire in Cedar Rapids on Saturday.

“Utopia,” based on a Dutch show of the same name, will follow 15 individuals as they are shipped to an isolated and undeveloped location, where they will attempt to work together to create a new society.

The show is casting at events around the country, seeking people with the skills and motivation to help their castmates survive and thrive in a remote wilderness. Casting agents will have a booth at this year’s fair to meet with fair attendees and film audition videos.

Mini Maker Faire organizer and Cedar Rapids Science Center director Norah Hammond said the Cedar Rapids event is a good place to find such resourceful individuals.

“Makers are a good fit by nature,” she said. “They’re creative, inventive and have the ability to try and fail and try again.”

She said “makers” range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. The fair will offer makers a chance to showcase their creations.

“This year’s fair will have everything from wood pens, glass workers, woodcarvers, 3-D printing and roving helicopters to jewelry artists,” she said. “Its kind of hard to describe because it’s so diverse”

The fair, organized by the Cedar Rapids Science Center, is now in its third year.

Along with exhibitors, it will include live demonstrations, 3-D printing, glass blowing, a cardboard bicycle and a robot build.

“Makers are of all ages and backgrounds,” Hammond said. “The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.”

The first Maker Faire was organized by MAKE Magazine in 2006 in San Mateo, Calif. The concept has since spread around the country.

This year’s Cedar Rapids event, which is free to attend, also will unveil the Science Center’s new Maker Space.

The Maker Space is an area of the Science Center that’s going to be devoted to a 3-D print lab, an electronics lab, a woodworking shop and a metals and fabrication lab. Anyone with a membership who undergoes safety training will be able to use the lab.


WHAT: Mini Maker Faire

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Cedar Rapids Science Center, 5824 Council St. NE.

COST: Free

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