I encountered the term “DIY” for the first time as a scrappy, rebellious teenager. I came across the term in a music magazine and since these were pre-Google days, I had to go to the source of all knowledge at my high school: the head librarian.
Without batting an eye, she looked me straight on and said, “It means do it yourself.” Two things happened that day: first, I learned that the library and everything within it could be useful to me. Second, I took the term DIY as a kind of mantra for all things creative and personal. Waiting for someone to deliver the type of art, fiction and music I wanted to hear was no longer an option. It was up to me now.
My DIY ethos has waxed and waned throughout the years but I’ve never abandoned it. Fitting then that the third annual DIY Festival on Saturday is being hosted by Charleston County Public Library at the Main Library.
There is no better place to foster a sense of shared community, artistic interest and homegrown knowledge than a public space built from floors of information. And since DIY is about a community of people sharing their experience and knowledge, the festival will have an enormous breadth of local creators and makers. From large local businesses to single individuals, it would be too cliche to say that there is something for everyone, but, well, there is. Or, more appropriately, if you can’t find something at the festival to pique your interest, maybe DIY just isn’t your style.
Lectures and interactive booths will be scheduled and set up throughout the three-hour event. People from well-known companies and initiatives such as Bibliolabs, Girls Rock Charleston and The Iron Yard will be there in booths to answer questions and provide information, so attendees can learn more about these places you may have heard about and put faces with names.
Additionally, specific initiatives such as The Bee Cause Project, a collective that educates others on the importance of honey bees and has placed Observation Honeybee Hives to educational organizations throughout the U.S. (includes some local Charleston schools), can educate and inspire you to get involved in their mission. Also, nonprofit groups such as Reforge Charleston, a facility where individuals can learn and work on handcrafted projects through woodworking and 3-D printing, can provide you with facility and membership information.
Lectures from the newly formed OHM Radio on “How to Make a Radio Show” and “DIY Home Archiving” presented by Katie Gray, CCPL archivist, will happen alongside weightier lectures such as “Understanding Homelessness: What You Can Do to Help” given by the YWCA Project Street Outreach.
Artistically, there will be live music from one-woman band Chaquis Maliq and a community art project, “Our Charleston.”
And just in case you needed another reason to attend, this event is free and open to the public.
What: DIY Festival
When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Main Library, 68 Calhoun St., downtown Charleston