The Henry Ford ends Maker Faire Detroit, pauses Civil War reenactment

·2 min read
An electric car designed by University of Michigan Dearborn students was among the attractions at a previous Maker Faire Detroit.
An electric car designed by University of Michigan Dearborn students was among the attractions at a previous Maker Faire Detroit.

The Henry Ford has decided to cancel two longstanding programs for 2022, retiring one event that typically attracted more than 20,000 to the Dearborn museum complex every year for a decade before the pandemic.

After a two-year hiatus, the Maker Faire Detroit program, which took place the last weekend in July inside and outside the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, will no longer be held.

"This event requires an enormous effort from partners, staff and volunteers and is currently not sustainable," The Henry Ford announced Wednesday. "... The maker philosophy and mindset continue to be threaded throughout our many programs, such as Invention Convention and our innovation and invention curriculums, which reach tens of thousands of students nationally."

The first Maker Faire Detroit took place in 2010. More than 500 makers usually take part and thousands of parents brought their children to the event to expose them to S.T.E.M., or the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Billed as the largest two-day festival in the Midwest dedicated to "unconventional ingenuity, unbridled creativity and forward thinking," the fair featured an array of crafts and innovations like paper rockets, battling robots and a giant cupcake on wheels.

Related: Maker Faire takes over Henry Ford museum in Dearborn

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The Henry Ford also announced the cancellation of this year's Civil War Remembrance program that typically takes place during Memorial Day weekend, allowing guests to become a part of living history as soldiers, civilians and musicians.

The event offered demonstrations, exhibits and more at Greenfield Village for more than 30 years. It typically staffed nearly 1,000 reenactors.

"As The Henry Ford continues to build back from the pandemic, we have been reassessing and reevaluating all that we do not only to ensure financial sustainability and growth but to discover and identify areas in which we can rejuvenate offerings and programs for future audiences," The Henry Ford announced.

"We have decided to put our annual Civil War Remembrance program on pause and will not be hosting this event in 2022... We are taking this invaluable time to evaluate this experience and consider other programmatic opportunities to present its key themes of conflict, American freedom and democracy."

Brendel Hightower is an assistant editor at the Detroit Free Press. Contact her at bhightower@freepress.com.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: The Henry Ford ends Maker Faire Detroit, pauses Civil War remembrance

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