Our Mission

Craft Lake City® is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Our mission is to educate, promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art.

Craft Lake City strives to further define the term “Craft,” broadening the definition to encompass all things handmade.

Our Programs

Craft Lake City’s DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Festival® is Utah’s largest local-centric, three-day arts festival, with over 300 local exhibitors—artisans, DIY engineers, vintage vendors and craft food creators—a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Building, two stages of music and dance performances, local food vendors, food trucks, a kids’ area, DIY workshops areas, artisan demonstrations, a parenting lounge, a VIP lounge and approximately 20,000 attendees. The DIY Festival is held at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City the second weekend in August. Admission is $5, children 12 and under are free.

In addition to the DIY Festival, Craft Lake City facilitates local arts and crafts programming throughout the year, providing artisans of all mediums with the chance to promote themselves and their work, as well as educating the community on the local DIY culture through workshops, demonstrations, community partnerships, gallery shows and fundraisers. We promote regional spending and encourage the public to shop locally and support independent artisans whose crafts are handmade. Craft Lake City exists not only to support makers but also to inspire future makers and empower individuals to realize their creative potential.

Info sourced from the Civic Economics survey sponsored by Local First Utah.

Our Background

Formed in 2009 by Angela H. Brown, editor and publisher of SLUG (SaltLakeUnderGround) Magazine, the organization believes Utah’s unique crafting history and cultural background provides a fertile foundation for the local alternative arts community to grow and flourish, and seeks to strengthen and support it through various activities. The Craft Lake City DIY Festival began as a SLUG Magazine event in 2009. Due to the Festival’s popularity, Craft Lake City was officially incorporated as a nonprofit corporation by the IRS on December 2, 2011.

The Craft Lake City DIY Festival has grown from a one-day festival in 2009, to a two-day festival in 2013, to a three-day festival in 2016. In 2012, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) building was added to feature local DIY tinkerers and cutting edge science and engineering organizations that blend art and technology. The Festival continues to grow, featuring more artisans and unique new exhibits each year.

Diversity and Inclusion

Craft Lake City is committed to supporting and encouraging Diversity and Inclusion in all we do, from our internal operations to our external community programs. Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan is designed to engage people at all levels of the organization, including board members, staff, contract employees, volunteers, community partners, collaborators and sponsors. The plan builds on Craft Lake City’s mission: To educate, promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art. Craft Lake City defines diversity and inclusion in the following ways.

Diversity is respecting and appreciating a range of human differences including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, neurodiversity, religion and national origin.

Inclusion is involvement and empowerment of a diverse group of human beings who are socially accepted, welcomed and equally treated; an environment where participation from individuals with different ideas, perspectives, backgrounds and ways of living has a positive impact; a DIY community that promotes and sustains a sense of belonging, economic empowerment and community.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Mission and Vision:

Vision
Craft Lake City envisions an inclusive, diverse and sustainable DIY community that provides creative and entrepreneurial opportunities for all Utahns.

Mission
To support, empower, diversify and expand Utah’s DIY community through community outreach, partnerships, education and professional development.

Letter from the Executive Director

As I reflect on the past 10 years of the Craft Lake City organization, I am filled with gratitude for the hundreds of volunteers, numerous donors, grantors, sponsors and thousands of DIY Festival Attendees who have supported our collective vision.

In 2009, I launched the first Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival as a humble one-day event with 72 local artisans, eight local performers and four local-food purveyors. It was the first all-local event of its kind with 2,000 attendees held at the Gallivan Center in Downtown Salt Lake City.

At the time, Downtown SLC was not yet the thriving district it is today. Boarded-up buildings lined Main Street, City Creek had not yet been built, and the Crossroads Mall was a dream of years past. Gallivan Avenue had no retail or commercial tenants, and local events at the Gallivan Center were rare. Would the public be willing to support an all-local arts event in an area where city blocks were unactivated Many were skeptical, but I felt they would. I believed people just needed a compelling reason to come Downtown. Craft Lake City became that reason.

Over the years, we continued to grow and activate the Downtown area. Our 3rd Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival expanded the event’s footprint by programming Gallivan Avenue in addition to the plaza. With no tenants in any of the retail spaces, our event proved that once blighted areas could be transformed and rejuvenated with art.

Our continued growth brought science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the Festival with a STEM Building and event activation on neighboring Weechquootee Place. We expanded the event to two days. After six years of running the organization with 100-percent volunteers, the board voted to charge a $5 admission fee to ensure an ongoing future for the organization. Our 7th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival expanded to three days—Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Seeing opportunities for diversity-and-inclusion outreach, we started our Sponsored Families Program, through which entire families can receive a scholarship to enjoy a full festival experience. We launched a Artisan and Mentor Scholarship Program. We established onsite Festival workshops and an internal ticketing and finance plan.

Craft Lake City has grown alongside the Downtown community, and it’s been an honor to play a part in the revitalization of Downtown Salt Lake City over the past 10 years. Local restaurateurs have opened their doors, Gallivan Avenue is at 100-percent occupancy, and Main Street is packed with the nightlife once only reserved for larger cities.

Each year has brought significant change and new growth for the organization, and 2019 is no exception. The maker community is multiplying, and so are the organization’s programming goals. After 10 years at the Gallivan Center, artisan booths are spilling into the streets. Our STEM building is overflowing with exhibitors. Local food vendors are vying for festival space. It’s time to move the Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival to a new home with ample room for Festival expansion: the Utah State Fairpark.

The Fairpark is nestled in an incredible residential neighborhood—just seven blocks from Downtown. We’re thrilled to be part of this community. With Fairpark’s spacious, air-conditioned buildings and large grassy areas, we know that patrons and participants alike will enjoy this venue change. Our new home allows for future Festival growth, and we can’t wait to continue to expand our existing Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival programming there!

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you at the 11th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival this August 9th, 10th and 11th.

We are Builders. We are Dreamers. We are Craft Lake City.

Best,

Angela H. Brown
Executive Director

Sponsors and Supporters

Craft Lake City would like to recognize and express sincere thanks to the following organizations that support its mission year-round to promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art.

Contact Us

We are always on the lookout to create partnerships with those who value contributing to their local community! Do you have something you’re excited to share or a strong desire to be involved? Contact us to let us know your grand ideas and become a part of the Do-It-Yourself movement. Complete the contact form below, or call us at (801) 906-8521.

Contact Us