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Make Your Thing is a conference for independent creators October 17th-19th in Los Angeles.

What Is Make Your Thing?

Now is an amazing time for creative people. More than ever before it’s possible to make a living and even thrive doing the creative things you love. Inspired by the uber-popular Make Your Thing Manifesto, the Make Your Thing conference is a chance to learn from world-class artists and from your peers in the trenches of small-scale stuff making.

Make Your Thing will help you navigate the future of small-scale independent creation with speakers, exhibitions, and the Make Your Thing Bazaar, along with other exclusive entertainment. Whether you’re a creative person just starting out or a seasoned veteran, you can come to Make Your Thing to meet other like-minded people, share stories, and be inspired. Hear how some of the best & brightest have made their own way. Learn from and connect with your creative peers. Join us!

For your ticket to the conference, back us at the Maker Of Things level!

The Speakers 

Some of the most talented creative people we know will be sharing their stories, tips, tricks, and complete and utter failures.

Our scheduled list of speakers so far includes:

*JUST ADDED 2/19*: Issa Rae, producer, writer, director: Awkward Black Girl, The "F" Word, Ratchetpiece Theater

Jay Allison, radio producer: The Moth, This American Life, Transom.org, Public Radio Exchange 

Kate Beaton, comics artist: Hark! A Vagrant

Brad Bell, TV producer, writer, actor: Husbands, VH1's Pop-Up Video 

Grace Bonney, Creator/Editor Design*Sponge

Colt Cabana, professional wrestler: The Art Of Wrestling 

Camas Davis, founder: Portland Meat Collective 

Jane Espenson, TV writer, producer:Game Of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica, Torchwood, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls

Chris Gethard, creator/host: The Chris Gethard Show

Merlin Mann, podcaster, writer, speaker: Back To Work, @hotdogsladies

Vernon Reid, musician: Living Colour, Black Rock Coalition

Julie Sabatier, radio producer: Destination DIY, Oregon Public Radio's Think Out Loud

Ayesha Siddiqi, writer: New Inquiry, Buzzfeed

Jesse Thorn, proprietor, host: MaximumFun, Inc., NPR’s Bullseye, PutThisOn.comJordan, Jesse, GO!, Judge John Hodgman 

John Vanderslice, musician, producer: Tiny Telephone, Spoon, The Mountain Goats

We’re working hard to get even more fantastic people to share their wisdom with us - be sure to check back as we update the lineup!

Want to hear these amazing speakers in person? Support Make Your Thing at the Maker of Things level or higher and attend Make Your Thing in person!

Can’t make it to LA? Support Make Your Thing at the Builder of Things level or higher and get exclusive video access to all of our amazing talks.

Speeches Are Boring. I Want To Party.

We’re so excited about the amazing folks speaking at Make Your Thing, but we really see this as an opportunity to interact with your peers. Towards that end, we’re already planning gatherings and gathering places, formal and informal, to get people sharing their experiences. Many of these will have drinking.

We’re also working to incorporate Los Angeles’ beautiful and historic Westlake district into our plans, including MacArthur Park and neighboring businesses.

The Bazaar & Conference Floor

Are you a maker of awesome stuff?

Make Your Thing will be hosting a Bazaar to market, network, sell, and get your work out there. Our Bazaar will be open to the public, and feature everything from gifts to art to software. If you’re interested in participating, email amanda@maximumfun.org.

Are you a company that serves independent creators?

If you serve independent creators - whether you make large-format giclée printers, shopping cart software, buttons and felt or a podcasting platform, we’d love to hear from you. We’re planning a conference floor for attendees featuring you and your products, and you can even become a sponsor of the event. Email amanda@maximumfun.org for more information; we can help you with everything from group ticketing through booth space through title sponsorship of the conference.

The Venue

 

We'll be gathering in the legendary Park Plaza Hotel*, just west of downtown Los Angeles. It’s minutes from nearby freeways and a short walk from the nearest Metro station.

This classic Art Deco venue was built in 1925 as an Elk's Lodge, and is now used for TV, film, and music video shoots (lots of 'em). It's right across from the iconic MacArthur Park. Did we mention it's gorgeous?

*Note: While it’s called The Park Plaza Hotel, you can’t currently stay there overnight. We’ll have another official hotel for out-of-town attendees.

Backer Rewards

Here's the best part: you get to be a part of Make Your Thing!

There are different levels at which you can be involved, and they all come with their own amazing set of rewards.

Liker Of Things, $5 and up: Shout-out by name in a Thank You Status on our Facebook page + Regular updates from MYT staff

Supporter Of Things, $25 and up: Make Your Thing sticker designed by Stefan Lawrence + Thank you email and mention on MakeYourThing.LA website 

Backer Of Things, $40 and up: Get a custom-printed chapbook of Jesse's "Make Your Thing" manifesto, plus a passel of stickers, mention on our website and we'll keep you abreast of the Kickstarter and conference as it moves along.

Builder Of Things, $100 and up: Exclusive access to professional, multi-camera video of Make Your Thing talks + Custom Make Your Thing USB-charger by TopatoCo + Make Your Thing t-shirt + Everything already mentioned

Maker Of Things, $400 and up: Admission to Make Your Thing & Make Your Thing Parties October 17-19, 2014 + Make Your Thing gift bag + Everything already mentioned. Thats right, this gets you your ticket to the conference!

Independent Creator Starter Kit, $450 and up: One year of web hosting and support services by Squarespace (build your own beautiful website), plus everything already mentioned in the Maker Of Things level.

Patron Of Things, $1700 and up: Five admissions to Make Your Thing - perfect for your company, workgroup or particularly hip extended family. Includes t-shirt, video access and party admission.

Our Progress So Far

The wheels on Make Your Thing are rolling. What we need now are the independent creators like you. Support us and help Make Your Thing become a reality!

Follow us and we'll keep you tuned into the world of independent creation: @MakeYourThing and Facebook.com/MakeYourThing

A huge thank you to Amelia Giller for animating our video, Hrishikesh Hirway for the music, and Stefan Lawrence for designing our logo!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We’ve already found our venue and reserved it for that weekend. The speakers named above have been confirmed and we’re working on getting even more. We’ve got enthusiastic staff who have helped to coordinate and successfully run seven prior weekend-long events, so we have a pretty good idea of what we’re getting ourselves into.

FAQ

  • Yes. If the project is funded, we'll have a formal application process for speakers, and will accept a few. Speakers will receive free registration, travel expenses, hotel and a small stipend. If you've already purchased a ticket and are selected as a speaker, we'll reimburse you.

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  • Absolutely. If you enable indie creators to do their work and make a living doing it, we’d love to partner with you. Email our director Amanda Anderson at amanda@maximumfun.org.

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  • We've put a significant deposit on our location (about the price of a used Accord, if you must know), but we simply don't have the capital to fund this conference out-of-pocket. We're a small organization, and while we think this is an awesome idea and will be a special experience, we also need to know that we can at least cover our costs.

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  • Once we’ve passed our goal, we’ll negotiate with downtown Los Angeles hotels, and find a suitable overnight home for the conference at a reduced rate.

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  • In addition to extensive on-street parking, there are several large parking facilities in the immediate vicinity of the venue. It’s also within easy access of the Metro red line and numerous bus lines.

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  • Email our Events Director, Amanda! amanda@maximumfun.org

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  • We've worked really hard to keep the cost of Make Your Thing down, but we also want to put on an exceptional, special event. Your money goes to cover the cost of:

    * The phenomenal Park Plaza event space

    * Travel, lodging, and compensation for the world's best speakers

    * Audio, video, and conference equipment: microphones, speakers, projectors, chairs, tables, fancy exclusive name tags and gift bags

    * Coordination of other affiliated activities

    * Events staff wages

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  • We'll absorb the cost of the deposits and staff time we've put into this, and cancel the event.

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257
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    29 backers

    LIKER OF THINGS: Shout-out by name in a Thank You Status on our Facebook page + Regular updates from MYT staff

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    53 backers

    SUPPORTER OF THINGS: Make Your Thing sticker designed by Stefan Lawrence + Thank you email and mention on MakeYourThing.LA website + Regular updates from MYT staff

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    BACKER OF THINGS - Get a custom-printed chapbook of Jesse's "Make Your Thing" manifesto, plus a passel of stickers, mention on our website and we'll keep you abreast of the Kickstarter and conference as it moves along.

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    BUILDER OF THINGS: Exclusive access to video of Make Your Thing talks + Make Your Thing t-shirt + Everything already mentioned

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    *New TopatoCo Special* BUILDER OF THINGS: Exclusive access to video of Make Your Thing talks + Make Your Thing t-shirt + Everything already mentioned *AND* Thanks to our awesome friends at TopatoCo, you'll also get a Make Your Thing portable USB charger, to help you keep makin' things on the go! --This will retroactively apply to earlier Builder Of Things backers as well as all higher levels--

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    MAKER OF THINGS: Admission to Make Your Thing & Make Your Thing Parties October 17-19, 2014 + Make Your Thing gift bag + Everything already mentioned

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    JUST ADDED - INDEPENDENT CREATOR STARTER KIT by Squarespace: Contains everything you need to get your business/creative endeavor started. In addition to everything at the Maker of Things level, including admission to Make Your Thing, you'll ALSO get one year of web hosting and support services generously provided by our friends at Squarespace! (services valued at up to $288)

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    PATRON OF THINGS: Five admissions to Make Your Thing - perfect for your company, workgroup or particularly hip extended family. Includes t-shirt, video access and party admission.

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Funding period

- (30 days)