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Re-usable shopping Garland Area Makerspace sack made from a bag formerly used to hold rabbit feed.  Material for the bag was obtained free from local Garland merchant, Roach Feed and Seed. We displayed this member-made bag at the May 22 Garland MarketPlace.

We are moving on to Level Two: Membership Acquisition and Making

Our busy weekend of making and learning will continue through tomorrow, Tuesday May 22 when we meet at 7 pm at the North Garland Branch Library for a 3D printer demonstration.  Newly formed nonprofit organizations often do not have a permanent place to meet during their first year and sometimes even their second year.  Much of the energies of the organization are centered on acquiring new members.

This creates all kinds of challenges.  For example, how can we attract members who like to make things to join our makerspace when we don’t have a space in which to make things and thus are limited in our abilities to offer opportunities to make?  Garland Area Makerspace currently meets at the North Branch Garland Library.  Makers are not too patient with long boring meetings.  We know that because we too are makers.

The good news is that we are through the boring part with all those grueling meetings which take up about 9 months at the very beginning of any nonprofit organization when he group flounders around and somehow manages:  to apply for a Certificate of Filing as a nonprofit domestic corporation in the state of Texas; hammering out bylaws; writes a Conflict of Interest policy; completed the horrific IRS 1023 form and files the request to be a tax exempt organization.  We just submitted our application to operate as a 501 C3 nonprofit organization on May 18.  Often if a group survives this time period, the rest is downhill and easy and fun by comparison.

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 Creating a Real Makerspace without the Space

Now we have time to think creatively, collaborate, and share ideas that will answer questions such as:  How can we expand our space now?

The answer may be to divide and conquer.  To that end, I am proposing that members who are interested in particular types of making (as defined by the materials they like to make with such as clay, fabric, metal, wood, etc.) create their own monthly maker events in their homes for up to as many as 20 people.

Eco Makers Coming in June and Perhaps Arduino Projects in July!

For the month of June, I will be a guinea pig. My group is to be called “ECO Makers.”  One of the missions of this sub-group of Garland Area Makerspace members is to create useful items from recycled materials that would be suitable for sale.  In the coming week I’ll schedule two meetings at my home for the month of June.  Signup with be RSVP open to the first 20 people. 

Our first meeting will be to brainstorm materials to use and items to make.  [Tools for making these items will be limited to: sewing machines; scissors, staples, household irons, needles, etc.—no table saws.]

Perhaps the group will choose two items and related materials and tools.  During the second meeting of the month we will make the items.  Ideally both of these meetings will transpire prior to the monthly meeting of the Garland Area MakerSpace.  Thus, we can report to the larger group and bring the items we made.  These items can be sold at the monthly Garland Area Makerspace booth as a fundraising activity.

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In addition to using the space of our members’ homes, we hope to use commercial space provided by local merchants such as Rockler Woodworking of Garland, Texas.

 

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Our Regular Monthly Meetings Will Be Fun and Educational too!

Going forward, the business part of our monthly meetings will be no longer than ten minutes.  Then we will have brief presentations from the various Garland Area Makerspace groups followed by the main part of our meeting, which will be a planned program.  Although some may involve making, most of these programs at our regular monthly meetings will be demonstrations of various types of maker tools and equipment.  For example, tomorrow night we will have Artie Moscowitz from 3D Printer Farms.  Artie will be demonstrating a Zmorph—a 3D printer, CNC machining tool and a laser cutter—all rolled up into one tool.

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Our meetings are free and open to the public.

Tuesday May 22 – 7 PM – North Branch Garland Library – 3845 N. Garland Avenue – Garland, TX 75040

[Note:  the library is located in a strip mall across the street from a soccer field.]

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