Each year we bring together an extraordinary team of passionate individuals that make the Denver Maker Faire. Each week we’ll share a story of one of these creative team members. We start with Mark Moffett – aka Firecracker Hat Mark, Art Car Mark, and more!
Meet the Maker : Mark Moffett
Colorado Maker Hub: Artist and Community Outreach
The Arts Hub: Art Curator and Board Member
How did you become a member of the maker community?
I’ve always been a maker. However, my first participation with the maker community was through the art car movement. I began making and exhibiting art cars in 1995, first as a participant in Chicago and at the Orange Show Parade in Houston, TX. Then by creating workshops and events in my former home of Toledo, OH. In 2004, I founded the King Wamba Carnival Parade in Toledo’s Old West End Community. Through Wamba, I gained a regional reputation and was asked to participate at Maker Faire Detroit at the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, MI. Since moving to Colorado, I’ve exhibited at the NoCo and Denver Mini Maker Faires. I joined the Colorado Maker Hub Team in 2017.
What is your earliest maker memory?
When I was a kid we would make tennis ball mortar cannons by duct taping together steel cans and firing tennis balls, using compressed butane lighter fluid as an accelerant. You can contact me for details!
What do you think is the value of the maker movement?
It’s all about the community. There is nothing more rewarding than being with like-minded individuals, working on a common goal. Sharing ideas is the best way to advance a project from the paper to prototype.
What is your motivation to being a member of the maker community?
I feel my strengths are in ideas and community building. I prefer working in teams to realize an idea. I’ve never seen the value in keeping great ideas to yourself. How many people have gone to the grave with unrealized, great ideas? Plus, I would rather work in a team of experts, rather than learn every skill necessary for development. It’s much faster, more rewarding and you can never be great at everything. The maker community provides that brain trust and the tools necessary.
What is your favorite experiment gone wrong?
The Queen Sancha Masquerade Ball was a former fundraiser for the King Wamba Parade. It was a Mardi Gras extravaganza, complete with well-known regional bands, a burlesque troupe, fire performers and performance artists. It cultivated artistic relationships and laid the groundwork for a few arts events that exist to this day. It also lost a ton of money. Sancha taught me the value of developing an effective team and finding people who are good at doing the things that I do poorly. We now run an exciting, successful, but much lender event, simply called the King Wamba Parade Fundraiser.
An interesting fact we should all know?
I am the creator and was the founding president of a Women’s Flat-Track Roller Derby Association League, The Glass City Rollers.