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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Saying farewell to Tucson’s artisan haven

    Rebecca Noble

    A member of team Black Butte demonstrates their label-inspired custom built keg during the Deschutes Brewery Keg-Off at Maker House on Oct. 21, 2014. After two years in business, Maker House is closing and hosting an Open Source and Out farewell party.

    Maker House in downtown Tucson has been the place to be for the last two years, but its run is coming to an end. Due to difficulties with making ends meet and unmanageable long hours for the executive staff, the maker space is closing its doors in just one week. 

    From independent music performances to quirky art shows to eclectic events of all kinds, the Maker House has created a place for people of all different backgrounds to come together as a community and celebrate the fun things in life.

    “Maker House is about celebrating life more than anything else, and people of any age can do that,” said Mara McConnell, a freshman studying ecology and evolutionary biology.

    McConnell said her mother is involved with Crafting Forward, an arts and crafts group that has held open hack and craft nights every Wednesday at Maker House. McConnell said she has attended the Cardboard Ball and visited the artisan space several times over the course of her freshman year, and expressed her disappointment in seeing it go before she was able to spend more time there.

    McConnell’s feelings are shared by a majority of the community. Maker House was a place for anyone and everyone to feel invited and find their niche. For many, the house became something of a second home.

    “For the majority of 2014, I was at Maker House — it was my home,” said Alex Dittrich, the lead barista. “I’m going to miss having a central place where people can just be themselves.” 

    Over the years, the maker space has been home to events like Comix It Up, the Deschutes Brewery Keg-Off, the Thrift Store Art Show and the 2015 New Year’s Party that was voted the best in Tucson. The weekly event calendar routinely featured blues and salsa dancing classes, open mic nights, hoop and flow jams, various arts and crafts nights, game nights and tournaments; the list goes on and on.

    There was never a night where nothing was happening at Maker House.

    For the final event of its two-year history, Maker House will be hosting Open Source and Out, a last celebration at the artisan space to bring together the community it created. The farewell party will begin at 6 p.m. on April 11, and continue on into the early hours of the morning, as any good Maker House party does. Many of the local performers that have frequented the Maker House stage will be performing at the farewell party.

    Tickets are already being presold at $15 apiece.

    “It’s a culmination of a lot of the events we’ve had over the years,” said John Jacobs, the owner of Maker House. “It’s one final meet-up with everybody that’s had an impact and contributed to this space over the last couple years.”

    After the party is over, Maker House isn’t simply planning on fading into the shadows and becoming another legend in downtown Tucson’s past. The final party is called Open Source and Out because the Maker House name, logo and all other copyrights and trademarks will become open for free use. People anywhere in the country, or potentially in the world, can create their very own Maker House and use the name, logo and concept derived from the original. Jacobs and Matt Rios, the program manager at Maker House, plan to keep the space’s Facebook page up and running to refer people to new maker spaces using similar concepts.

    The historic Bates Mansion that has served as the ornate backdrop to Maker House’s insanity will be changed slightly and reopen as a wedding venue for couples looking to tie the knot with some artistic grandeur. 

    Despite the open sourcing and the future as a wedding venue, though, the original Maker House is still closing. So farewell, Maker House. Hopefully, we’ll see you again someday.


    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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