Oxford Kinetics Festival

The biggest kinetics festival in the Midwest...you can see it from space! The OKF is the flagship event in MAKETANK's mission to is to help people of all ages find confidence in their creativity, to facilitate skill-sharing, and to build community through innovative programming.

Pre-scramble mayhem at the 2013 OKF

The Oxford Kinetics Festival is the largest annual event of its kind in the midwest--it is giant and getting gianter! It is a free, day-long, participatory festival for children and adults alike, filled with unexpected activities and competitions.  Imagine a celebration of art, science, community and personal expression that allows you to fly your freak flag high for a day.  The main event is The Scramble, a 45-minute race/parade/scrum of kinetic sculptures.  Your entry can be anything you imagine that is people-powered and fabulous. 

The OKF is a culmination of many separate events held all year in anticipation of the big day in April. Collaborative teams, college students, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, engineers, wacky tinkerers, club groups work on projects leading up the the OKF, often with assistance of the MAKETANK team.


Photo credit: Merrillee Luke-Ebbeler


For those who may need help bringing their particular kinetic sculplture vision to life, free building workshops are offered every Saturday in March in Miami University’s Sculpture area.  This is where community members can find design and build assistance, welding instruction, and the fellowship of like-minded tinkerers.  

The OKF is administered by MAKETANK Inc. (a non-profit 501(c)(3) and is proud to partner with inspiring organizations like Happen Inc., Mindful Youth, Know No Stranger, the Oxford Community Art Center and other awesome organizations that help to create engaging activities on the day of the festival. All of this fantabulous programming is made possible with the generous support of Artswave, Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Efroymson Family Fund, the Oxford Visitors Bureau, Miami University’s College of Creative Arts and Department of Art, the Miami-Talawanda Partnership, the Oxford Community Foundation, and Miami’s Parents’ Fund.

A brief history of the OKF

Humble beginnings: the original Kinetic Sculpture Race in 2010...60 people total, racers and viewers!

It started as the Oxford Bicentennial Kinetic Sculpture Race in 2010 with local participation and has grown tremendously--we had over 2200 participants in 2014. The OKF now has a much broader regional scope with contributors, performers, organizations, and collectives coming in from Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Indiana.