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Bellingham Makerspace Newsletter

February 2023

Hello from the Makerspace! 

Featured in This Issue:
Makerspace Update
By Jeff Copeland, Board President

TL;DR: If you read nothing but this paragraph, join us for a brainstorming session on Saturday, February 18th at 12:30pm. Check Slack for Zoom details.

It is a time of change for the Makerspace.  (For those of you who know Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, quote the whale and the bowl of petunias here.)

After carefully attempting to balance our budget, the board realized that we are in dire straights.  Our average income for 2022 was $6450 per month, and our average non-payroll expenses were $5600. That puts us $850 above water.  However, at our current staffing of 70 paid hours per week, we would be in deficit spending of $5800 per month.  That's obviously money we don't have.  

That $850 per month allows us to pay for only 9 hours a week of staff time, and presumes no extraordinary expenses, such as moving or correcting the permits for the wood shop.  And, of course, to make matters worse, we have been losing members because the wood shop is closed.  

As of Sunday afternoon, February 12th, we are down to 67 members. That led us to the painful decision to lay off Phoebe and Ian from our paid staff.  Jason will remain on as our education coordinator.  Because of his work developing classes, he is continuing to add to our positive cash flow.  Ian has graciously volunteered to stay on as an unpaid volunteer and we have asked him to take on the role of volunteer coordinator.  We thank Phoebe for her time at the Makerspace and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

I also need to tell you that after discussions with the board, Garth Johnson resigned as our acting executive director, and after our volunteer meeting on February 11th, decided to step down from our board.

I do not use the term "existential crisis" lightly, but that's what this is.  Unless we can find a way to increase our income -- through grants, sponsorships, gifts, additional memberships, or something else -- the Makerspace cannot continue to exist in its current space and current form.

At our February volunteer meeting, we brainstormed a list of problems that we need to solve.  At a special meeting of volunteers and members on Saturday February 18th at 12:30, we will start brainstorming solutions to that list.  In service of that goal, Joelle Brooke has kindly posted two separate lists of the problems we identified in the Slack #volunteer channel.  The two posts "THE WHITEBOARD OF PROBLEMS" and "MAKERSPACE HOURS" are pinned in the channel.  Please add to those threads as you think of additional issues we need to brainstorm solutions for.  

(If you're not on Slack, you can join by going to  I encourage you to do so and participate in the discussion.) Change is always unsettling and often uncomfortable. But every change I've gone through -- frightening and joyous, at marriage altars and hospital rooms and gravesides, with friends and acquaintances and family – has allowed me to grow and learn something new.

I'm going to ask you all to remember that we are a community, that we are all looking out for the good of the 'Space, even if we approach the issues differently, and to offer each other grace and forgiveness as we work through these difficult issues.  Our diversity, combined with our creative ability to think outside the box and synthesize from multiple perspectives is our superpower.  Let's use it.

Join us on February 18th at 12:30 and brainstorm.

Upcoming Classes

For a list of Classes offered at the Bellingham Makerspace, click here.
Intro to Vector Graphics: Feb 17 - 6pm
Arduino Meetup (free): Feb 17 - 6pm
Intro to Sewing: Feb 18 - 2pm
Makerspace Craft Time (free): Feb 18 & 25 - 2pm
NorthWest Free Repair Event: Feb 19 - 1pm
Intro to 3D Printing: Feb 19 - 3pm
Laser Cutter Office Hours
     (free to members): Feb 22 - 4pm
Intro to the Laser Cutter: Feb 22 - 6pm
Intro to the Vinyl Cutter: Feb 23 - 6pm
Circle Skirt Workshop: Feb 25 - 2pm
3D Printing for Kids: Feb 26 - 3pm
This is a newsletter from the Bellingham Makerspace, brought to you in part by Grizzly Tools, inc.
Copyright © 2023 Bellingham Makerspace, All rights reserved.

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