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SparkMacon: Our MakerSpace for Macon

Spark Macon

SparkMacon is a community innovation space equipped with the tools, equipment, and grass-roots education required to convert your idea into a reality.   Think of it as a gym membership to exercise your creativity, hands and brain.   Our community will serve artisans, technology creatives, and creative tinkers with access to tools and equipment, training, and support for entrepreneurs.  In our vision, the space will be equipped with a wood / metal working shop, electronic lab tools and supplies, a laser cutter, engraver, music recording lab, and a professional grade 3D printer giving Macon makers access to tools that would be cost prohibitive to own yourself.  Join the Spark Macon project: the movement to build the community and space for grass-roots innovation and art in Macon, GA.   Together, we will blend the best of art and technology innovation.

What benefits will SparkMacon bring to the community?

Fostering a Maker City: Why should Silicon Valley have all the fun?   We believe that Middle Georgia has the vision and talent to become a center of excellence in art and technology.   We look forward to the day that members of our SparkMacon community assume leadership roles in our local economy and start new small businesses.   Our SparkMacon community will provide the equipment, tools, and grass-roots training that you need to convert your idea into a reality.   SparkMacon will provide hands-on learning opportunities in 3D modeling, marketing, arts, shop skills, running your business, and training for the tools in the space.  We believe that our space will help attract top technology talent to Macon, GA.  Many of these classes and meet-ups will be led by SparkMacon community members.

Young Makers Program: At SparkMacon, we believe it’s important to help our students be prepared for the economy of the future.   This economy will demand that our citizens be innovative, creative and use technology effectively.  In our young makers program, we will challenge students to envision and design their own projects.   It could be a game, a toy, a mobile app, art, a website or anything they can imagine.   Our maker mentors will support the students with coaching, tools training, and resources to help them bring their designs to life in a project based learning experience.   We hope to inspire the next generation of makers to love learning and help them be creative and curious.

Growing the Creative Economy: Creativity is contagious.  In the SparkMacon community, we encourage artists and artisans to support each other in their crafts.  We believe that cross-discipline sharing between artists and technologists will inspire a bold movement of innovation in Macon.   Funding and marketing are top concerns to all artists, technology makers, and business owners.   Our community will need to grow a culture of leadership and entrepreneurship through education and social meet-ups.   All great ideas are the result of extensive focus, ideation, prototyping, measurement and learning from wins and failures.   Our space will provide the culture, space, and tools so that you can build, measure, and learn quickly.

What does a MakerSpace look like?

We are very thankful to Greg Richardson for helping us plan out key aspects of our MakerSpace.   Mr. Richardson is a founder of 7 Hills MakerSpace in Rome, GA.   I have included a video tour from HackADay.com of 7 Hills MakerSpace to help us collectively envision the potential of SparkMacon MakerSpace.

What is the status of Maker Space?

It has been a great pleasure to serve on the community board for SparkMacon to help get the space and community started.

  • We are thankful to the Georgia Technology Authority and Bill Price for sponsoring a $54,000 grant to help kickstart our efforts.
  • Robert Betzel and Brent Lanford have established the LLC that will be operating and sustaining the SparkMacon MakerSpace efforts.
  • Our leadership team is currently reviewing two potential locations for space in down town Macon.
  • To help raise additional money to support our space and ensure that our space is ADA compliant, we have started recording an IndieGogo crowd funding campaign.     Keep watching InspiredToEducate.NET and SparkMacon.com for news and updates.
  • Over the past four months, I have had the privilege to work with the Middle Georgia Regional CommissionInfinity Network SolutionsCollege Hill AllianceMacon Arts AllianceTAG Middle Georgia, and Mercer Google Developer group on a community project to help grow our maker community and build a shared creative space in Macon, GA.   All of our team members have grown and learned so much through our collaborations. 

The direction and focus of the SparkMacon MakersSpace will be directed by our community of members.   The success of the SparkMacon MakerSpace rests with our community.   We’re currently thinking through decisions on tools to purchase, classes to offer to serve makers, and how to organize the space.    If you’re interested in being a part of that discussion, please join our Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.   We would also love your thoughts on classes you would enjoy taking to support your business and your craft.

Spark Macon Draft Floor Plan

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