Holiday season delivers MADE fairs

Shop handcrafted wares at Helena and Missoula Holiday MADE fairs

Art Beat

The holiday season has arrived, and with it, two great opportunities to buy handcrafted wares by Montana artists: Helena’s Holiday MADE fair is Dec. 1-2 at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds, and the Missoula MADE fair is Dec. 10 at the UM Adams Center.

Both events, organized by handMADE Montana, brim with everything from affordable, functional works of art to fine heirloom pieces. The MADE fairs, held in Missoula, Bozeman and Helena each year, are modern art and handcrafted markets showcasing a curated collection of works by local and regional artists and makers, and featuring a handful of non-profits.

Browse works by 175 artists Dec. 1-2 in Helena.
Browse works by 175 artists Dec. 1-2 in Helena.

The MADE fair’s mission is to increase awareness of handmade goods as an alternative to mass-produced items and to support local and regional small craft businesses by providing a place to sell their goods. Artists of all levels – from hobbyists to seasoned professionals – share their wares. Last year, the MADE fairs raised over $18,000 for Montana non-profit organizations with VIP passes and generated over $2 million in sales for artists.

Helena Holiday MADE fair, Dec. 1-2

With more than 175 artists, shoppers are bound to find that perfect gift for loved ones or even to treat themselves.

Those interested in a head start on their shopping can purchase a Friday night VIP pass for $10, valid 5-8 p.m., or an Early Bird Pass for $5, valid from 9-10 a.m. Saturday – an hour before the show opens for free admission. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit The Friendship Center, an organization that offers a safe haven for those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to empower the community to flourish in relationships free from violence.

The show offers free entry from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Parking is free; visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to help support the Helena Food Share.

Missoula Holiday MADE fair, Dec. 10

Shop all three levels of the Adams Center at the Missoula MADE fair.
Shop all three levels of the Adams Center at the Missoula MADE fair.

The 16th annual Missoula Holiday MADE fair boasts works by over 200 local artists. “Our curated collection of artisans and non-profits represents the best, and we put on quite a show,” says MADE fair founder Carol Lynn Lapotka.

Shop all three levels of the Adams Center (balcony, arena floor, and upper gyms), discover new artists, and visit favorites.

Beat the crowds by purchasing a VIP pass for $15 to enter the doors from 9-11 a.m. – two hours before free admission from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Ticket proceeds benefit the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) and can be purchased online through GrizTix, the box office, or at the event. CFAC aims to grow a healthy local food community by preserving farmland, teaching new farmers, and making food accessible for all.

Bring a non-perishable food item to help support the Missoula Food Bank.