We’re looking for proposals for hands-on artistic experiences!

Handmade Arcade’s annual Holiday Market comes alive through Hands-On Handmade Arcade (HOHA), a pop-up craft-lab environment featuring hands-on making, live artistic demonstrations, and interactive experiences hosted by community partners, artists, and creatives from around the region. Handmade Arcade seeks applications from artists and organizations with creative ideas to help our audiences embrace and explore their creativity. The 2024 Holiday Market is scheduled for December 6-7 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh and will feature 250+ vendors and more than 10,000 shoppers.


Applications are accepted and decisions will be made on a rolling basis. We recommend applying as soon as possible. Applications submitted by September 13 will be prioritized. 

About Hands-On Handmade Arcade

We’re seeking proposals for hands-on activities, live artistic demonstrations, or interactive creative experiences.

Accepted activities should:

  • Run from 11 AM – 5:30 PM on December 7 during the Holiday Market (half-day shifts are available, but full-day shifts are preferred)
  • Serve approximately 2,000 people per half-day shift
  • Take no more than 15 minutes to complete/experience
  • Be geared towards adults, children, or all audiences


Handmade Arcade has a limited budget to offer stipends covering supply costs and compensation for artists’ time. Handmade Arcade and applicants will work together to create a budget for the activity and will sign a contract confirming the agreed budget.

Past HOHA Activity Examples

Glassblowing Demo with the Pittsburgh Glass Center
Let the artists from Pittsburgh Glass Center blow your mind! Hot Wheels, the center’s traveling glass studio, will roll into the market and bring furnace-fired fun and glass-blowing demonstrations to all attendees, creating fiery works of art from molten magma.

Large-scale Silk Screening with Artists Image Resource (AIR) and students from CAPA High School
Watch the process of large-scale silk screening up close as AIR artists and students create silk-screened art on enormous sheets of paper. A few lucky attendees can take a sheet home to use as handmade holiday wrapping paper.

Mixed Media Zine Making with BatCat Press
Using repurposed materials like old book pages, maps, and magazines alongside an array of art supplies, you’ll create and walk away with a one-of-a-kind mixed-media zine.

Quick Draw Portraits with Jayla Patton
Sit with Jayla Patton and receive a quick, colorful portrait by email! Max of 2 people per drawing.

Mobile Wheel Clay Studio Demo with Union Project
Introducing Union Project’s Mobile Clay Studio. Stop for ceramics and clay wheel-throwing demonstrations.

DIY Holiday Lights + Stamped Wrapping Paper with ASSEMBLE
Create paper garlands with LEDs for holiday decorations and learn basic printmaking with stamps and colorful inks.

Hand Embroidery Basics with Protohaven
Learn the basics of hand embroidery with a cool snowflake sampler. Practice your back stitch, running stitch, french knot, and more with their easy-to-pick-up pattern.

Collage Making with The Frick Pittsburgh
Create a one-of-a-kind collage. Participants will use previous exhibition posters, magazines, ephemera, and colored paper to create their own works of art.

Collaboration Canvas! with Ocular Arcade
Assist artists in painting a 32-inch-by-48-inch canvas designed by Ocular Arcade. Over the course of the event, help create a collaborative work of art!

Intuitive Yarn-Making with Mousetail Textiles
See how wool is blended and prepared for spinning on a spinning wheel. Feel and learn about a variety of animal and plant fibers used to create mini-batts and rolags and watch makers spin them into yarn on a wheel.

We can't wait to see your proposals!