Knoxville is The Maker City, but what does it mean and how can you experience it? This is your guide to the art and culture of Knoxville, from the artisans who make their living here to the events visitors can experience year round!


Made in Knoxville

Spend a quiet morning or peaceful afternoon strolling around Knoxville and you know this place is different. This walkable city nestled beside the most frequented National Park in the nation draws people from all corners to discover why it proudly wears the title of “The Maker City.”

The Maker City isn’t just a place; it’s an experience. Knoxville, with its rich resources, maker spaces, and supporting organizations, stands as a testament to what happens when a city embraces innovation. It’s a haven where ideas collide, and collaboration flourishes. Here, the city is shaped not just by architects and planners but by the collective imagination of its citizens.

Knoxville’s maker identity gained momentum in 2016 when representatives attended the inaugural Etsy Maker Cities Summit in Brooklyn. In the company of other cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, Knoxville was recognized as the first “Etsy Maker City” in the US. This event birthed The Maker City initiative, with ongoing support from the Mayor’s Maker Council and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. Today, Knoxville proudly stands as a hub for makers, artists, and small-scale manufacturers.

In Knoxville, being a maker isn’t reserved for a select few – it’s a way of life. Whether it’s about stirring up delectable treats or molding clay into works of art, Knoxville’s makers, ranging from students to seasoned artisans, are the backbone of this vibrant community.

Start your Knoxville exploration with The Maker City Directory, a listing of over 400 local makers. From the illustrations of  Paris Woodhull to the unique glass blowing/beer brewing combo that is Pretentious Glass Co., Knoxville’s maker community is diverse and dynamic. Visit Rala, Jacks of Knoxville, KnoxFill, and the Visit Knoxville Visitors Center – retail anchors showcasing the works of local makers.

Catch an exhibit on a First Friday to meet makers showcasing their work. The Emporium, Dogwood Arts, and the Arrowmont Gallery are just a few of the many locations hosting events and displaying work continuously throughout each month.

Don’t miss the opportunity to step into maker spaces like Able Trade, Mighty Mud, Relay Ridge, and Knox Makers. These are incubators of innovation, where tools and ideas converge, opening doors to endless possibilities.

The Maker City is distinguished by its supportive creative culture. Here, it’s not just about competition; it’s about collaboration. Makers come together to share ideas, resources, and expertise, fostering an environment where everyone’s success is celebrated.

Knoxville invites you to be part of its story. Engage with local artisans, make memories, and immerse yourself in the maker culture that defines the city.


 Welcome to Knoxville, THE Maker City.

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