Ethiopian Heritage & Culture Camp in The Makery

Posted on: October 30, 2023

photo of Ethiopian girl working on a black and white vinyl sticker with an image of a flame

In July 2023, the JMU Libraries makerspace had the opportunity to host about 70 children adopted from Ethiopia and their families as part of the annual Ethiopian Heritage & Culture Camp. The children, ages 4-16, spent an afternoon creating symbols of their heritage in The Makery, our makerspace in Rose Library. 

“We did a 3-hour session,” recalls Lisa Hartman, who coordinated the camp participants’ visit to The Makery. “We broke them up into categories based on their age group. We asked the organizers to send us any kind of imagery they might have that would make sense for buttons, or logos, or prints. Jared Wark researched Ethiopian culture and symbolism that would resonate with the group. We made vinyl stickers that they could use for water bottles or laptops. The children were able to do button making and vinyl cutting, and we passed out key chains as well.”

“We have already been asked to participate again next year,” Lisa says. “They were so excited; they absolutely loved it. It was a lot of planning and research on the whole team’s part to really make it a special event for them, and I think in the end it showed.”

The Makery is open to JMU students, faculty, and staff as well as the local community. Community members can stop by JMU Parking Services to receive a free visitor permit.

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