For 35 years Portlanders have attended Fix-It Fair events to take classes and find community resources to help them save money on utility bills, keep their homes comfortable, stay healthy, and care for the environment.
Fix-It Fair moves online
Traditionally Fix-It Fairs have been day-long, in-person events held a few times throughout the fall and winter in locations around the city. Workshops were offered on an array of topics, including gardening without pesticides, making green cleaners, and tips for common home repairs. There was also a large exhibit hall where attendees could talk with organizations from around the city, including nonprofits, governments, and utilities, to get advice and resources, like water-saving devices for their showers or tips on how to keep their home and family safe during a fire. In recent years, Fix-It Fair also hosted Repair Cafes, where volunteer “fixers” would help attendees mend broken lamps, bikes, or clothing.
But last year the health risks of Covid-19 meant that in-person classes and workshops were not an option, and the program had to adapt. So staff took Fix-It Fair online to continue sharing practical, money-saving, sustainable tips with community members. The exhibit hall was transformed into the online Community Resource Guide and online workshops were offered continuously through the fall, winter, and spring. Workshops were also broadcast on community access television.
Last year's Fix-it Fair…at home! was a success
These online workshops, collectively called Fix-it Fair…at home!, were incredibly popular, with more than 3,350 people attending 89 live workshops and skillshares from December 2020 to April 2021. All of this was possible because of community-based organizations, government programs, and individuals from Portland’s resilient communities sharing their skills and know-how.
A new report shares what we heard from the community about the Fix-it Fairs: who they are, what they’re interested in, and how they want to continue learning about ways to live healthier and more sustainable lives.
New workshops start in November 2021
In 2021, Fix-It Fair...at home! returns with more content for Portlanders who want to learn about vegan cooking, Hatha yoga, financial health, and more.
There are two elements to the Fix-It Fair online:
- Community Resource Guide, available all year round.
- Live workshops from November 2021 through April 2022.
Have an idea for a topics or resource Fix-It Fair could offer to serve your household, neighborhood, or community? Let us know!
Fix-It Fair staff are also considering smaller, single-resource, or community-specific “pop-up” events throughout the season. If you have an idea for something like this or would like to brainstorm with us, please send us an email.
We are also excited to continue our partnership with Open Signal, Portland Community Media Center, providing resources to community members with limited internet access. You can watch Fix-It Fair…at home! airing Monday evenings at 8 p.m. on Xfinity Channels 29 or 329 (in HD) or CenturyLink Channels 8004 or 8504 (in HD).