Judging from people in attendance everyone wants to make a makerspace. At Friday’s session of Make a Makerspace there were representatives from schools, makerspaces, a library, economic development, museums and businesses. In attendance were 30 people from a wide variety of places.
We makers have “gotten it” for a long time. Makerspaces are creative, collaborative spaces for learning and making stuff. The institutions of society seem to be catching on which is good news. Better still, some are smart enough to realize that succeeding with a new makerspace is not easy and that learning from veterans is worthwhile. If you want to start a makerspace then this is the class to take.
How to Make a Makerspace is the result of three years of learning. Gui Cavalcanti founded Artisans Asylum and grew in four stages to a 40,000 square foot makerspace. He’s battle-tested and successful. If you want to learn about makerspaces then he’s the one you want to learn from.
The course runs eight hours and covers five themes: Personal Preparation, Starting Processes, Space Description, Expenses, and Income. It’s an honest description of the effort required. Are you willing to potentially give up your social life and personal making projects? Are you willing to make the effort of outreach it takes to build community? What are your ambitions for the space you envision? Do you understand the many costs and and few revenues streams available to you. Building a makerspace is not a minor undertaking and should be a decision made with a sober frame of mind.
If you decide to move ahead then the hard-earned results can be wonderful. Not only will you have a community of people who share your goals but you’ll have a group of friends with whom you can collaborate, learn from, and socialize with. You’ll have created your third space. You’ll have built a place where everyone knows your name, you’ll have built your Cheers.