Berea Makerspace is a member run community run workshop in Berea. It is the creation of a handful of native Bereans and nearby collaborators, who wanted to bring the model we've seen flourish in other local communities, to our town. We leased a building in the summer of 2019, and have been growing our space ever since.
We provide 2500 square feet of affordable, 24x7 access workshop space, for people of all trades and hobbies. We have equipment for woodworking, digital fabrication, metalworking, sewing, and other creative outputs, along with training and information on handling and operating these tools safely and responsibly. In this first year, we've focused on infrastructure growth, researching how safety orientations and classes work best in our environment, and seeking further engagement with our community through grants, partnerships and events. This includes support from groups like Partnering with Abi, Berea City Council, Park Community Bank, the HUHO project and Lazy Daisy Sewing Club, as well as hosting kid friendly events like Take-apart-ies, model rocketry launches, and Boy Scout build events.
Covid 19 has severely affected not just our ability to run a community oriented space, but also our fundraising and grant seeking plans. Open houses and membership activities have been suspended, while we focus on helping our community with PPE needs. With the help of Kre8now, we've distributed almost 2000 face shields, thousands of ear savers, and hundreds of cloth masks, from Lexington Kentucky, to Wise County, Virginia.
Much of the SBA related relief packages, as well as national and local emergency grant opportunities are out of our reach, due to a lack of paid staff (we’re 100% volunteer run). While we’re not in danger of losing the building, we had funding plans contingent on upcoming events and grants that have been cancelled, or have gone MIA.
There are still lots of things to complete here - we're asking for your support in helping us purchase key pieces of equipment for our woodshop, metalworking area, and other stations that still need to be built up. We'd like to start moving some of our in-person safety resources online as well; finding a time for everyone to meet to learn how to use a equipment is sometimes tricky for our community, and having video content as a compliment to these orientations would be a boon to members.