Greenworks creating “Makerspace”

Greenworks is seeking funding to create a “makerspace” in Orange, Massachusetts to serve the needs and aspirations of people of all ages to learn skills, create personal art, prepare themselves for employment, and to create their own new skill-based businesses in an innovative, open source, collaborative fashion.

The makerspace will cooperate with local businesses, craft arts guilds, and educational institutions, including the Franklin County Technical School Greenfield Community College, Mount Wachusett Community College, and Fitchburg State University. Greenworks visited the Columbus Idea Factory, a makerspace in Columbus, Ohio, several months ago to see what they had done, how it worked and its effect on its local community.

Activities: To begin with, the shop will focus on wood and metal working. Forging (both ferrous and non-ferrous), jewelry making, 3-D printing, glass-blowing and other technical and artistic functionalities will be added quickly. The shop will provide not only space and equipment but also classes to increase their members’ skills and enjoyment of their craft. The makerspace will also be involved in community and social activities. This is in the service of community engagement and of both marketing and direct moneymaking.

This project is to be located in the Commercial Area Redevelopment District (CARD), which contains several established businesses, and a number of new businesses that have recently moved into previously vacant storefronts, though a number of vacant properties remain.The project specifically creates the space and material support to learn, then express the artistic skills, and incubates fledgling enterprises as they emerge in the makerspace, then supports them as they become established in the larger community.

The maker’s community gathered and nurtured by this project will be a deeply satisfying setting to gather and share the joys of art and creativity. The learning opportunities provided will expand members’ experience and sense of possibilities – these are infectiously happy feelings, and this town, indeed the region, truly needs them.

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