Made in the Middle Conference

Don’t you love it when your creative life and your career meet in the middle? That’s how Hallmark designer Lindsay T. describes her involvement with last October’s Made in the Middle Creative Conference. She’s here to tell the tale of how the conference came to life.

I have to start by saying that Kansas City is a really creative city, filled with artists, makers, stylists, influencers and just generally cool people. When the idea for a conference showcasing creative talent in the Midwest was conceived, we knew Hallmark had to be a big part of the story.

I work at Hallmark, but I’m also a volunteer for AIGA-KC who alongside the Carpenter Collective organized the Made in the Middle Creative Conference. When we approached Hallmark, to sponsor the event, the answer was quick and simple— absolutely. (Just to gush a little: as a founding organizer of the conference, and also as a Hallmarker, it brings me tears of joy to work at a company that donates, supports, and lifts up Kansas City’s creative community. OK, back to the story…)

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

And so Carpenter Collective and AIGA-KC joined forces. Sixteen months later the very first Made in the Middle Creative Conference took place. It featured 6 speakers, 4 workshops, and 8 maker fair vendors, and it attracted more than 400 attendees.

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

We used the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art auditorium as our venue, and that beautiful space set a wonderful, creative tone for the affair. The swag was also out of control: Baggu custom-printed nylon bags, customized name badges, candy galore, art prints, notepads, local cookies, and of course, greeting cards.

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

The speakers were bona fide design rock stars from all over the country, all of them with roots in the Midwest. They spoke of humble beginnings and fresh starts.

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

More than 400 creative folk attended. And you know what that means—epic “note taking.” (photos by @eabaddeley, @lynn_giunta, @ambergoodvin, @emullett, & @brephobia)

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

To satisfy attendees’ thirst for creative knowledge, we tapped into some local talent and held four maker workshops during the conference, including a 90-minute Cut-Paper Workshop by Think.Make.Share’s very own Lynn G. (finished artwork by @erinwallaceprint)

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

We even had a 36-foot coloring-book wall (Thanks Studio Ink!), with twistable Crayola colored pencils and monsters galore.

Made in the Middle Conference | thinkmakeshareblog.com

To to sum it all up: what a blast—a true celebration of creativity in this wildly artistic city. And we couldn’t have done it without the support of our community.

Visit Made in the Middle’s facebook page to learn more about the organization. For additional pics from the event, search #MitMcon2016 on Instagram or check out Made in the Middle’s Photo Gallery.

Photos by Travis Young, Stephan Shireman & Lindsay Tippett.

Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. 2.9.17 | Reply
    PEGGY O'TOOLE wrote:

    Wondering if there will be a Made in the Middle Conference in 2017. Will this be posted somewhere or maybe an email notification?