About

Handmade Arcade is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides craft artists working outside mainstream and fine arts sectors with opportunities to sell products, build community, network and share their artistic practice at an award-winning marketplace. A pioneer in Pittsburgh’s maker movement, HA also implements educational outreach programs that bridge the gap between consumers and creators while increasing awareness about handmade, locally produced craft goods and processes.


Handmade Arcade (HA) celebrates its 14th anniversary on December 8, 2018, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. HA is: 

  • A showcase for craft-based artists and designers to sell, share and promote handmade goods
  • Significantly supports expansion and growth within Pittsburgh’s arts, craft and small business communities
  • An award-winning marketplace that inspires people to be creative
  • One of the most well-respected independent craft fairs in the country among vendors, attendees, organizers and media outlets
  • Shapes and guides Pittsburgh’s independent craft community and maker movement
  • A bridge between creators and consumers

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE AND GROWTH:

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 under-served audiences
  • Showcases 180+ innovative craft-based artists and designers
  • Features arts groups, nonprofits and individual artists in its popular
  • Hands-on Handmade activity area
  • Creates new opportunities with the “Craft Corridor” which features never-before-seen emerging artists
  • Pursues partnerships with organizations that promote youth and minority entrepreneurs
  • Supports Youth Makers with a scholarship program
  • Maintains a highly visible identity and brand, while also supporting other area arts and nonprofit organizations
  • Participates in the national craft movement

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.


AWRDS AND REACH

  • Pittsburgh Business Times Largest Area Public Show 2011—2015
  • The People’s Choice Award for Best Arts Event from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (2007 and 2009)
  • HA reaches far beyond the greater Pittsburgh region. Vendors and attendees come from near and far including: New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington DC, West Virginia, Connecticut, Tennessee, Canada, Oregon, Japan and more.

NOTABLE PRESS

  • The Good Trade national list of “Shop Small This Holiday Season At These Local Maker’s Markets” 2017
  • Expedia list of “The Best American Towns for Holiday Shopping” 11/17
  • 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)
  • BuzzFeed as one of the “35 Indie Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs To Visit,” 11/6/14
  • Condé Nast Traveler, “Confluence of Cool,” 12/14
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Weekend Magazine Front Cover Articles in 2016 and 2015
  • KDKA-TV Pittsburgh Today Live interviews Handmade Arcade annually

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.


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…

14 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
  • HA:17 Dec. 2, 2017, 187 vendors, 10,000+ 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.org for more information.