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Bellingham Makerspace Newsletter

December 2021

Hello from the Makerspace!  We have exciting news for you.

Featured in This Issue:
 
Words from Tina
 
As we near the end of the year, it's always a good time to reflect back on the year and what we can look forward to as we ring in a New Year. I wish I knew more about the entire year, but my active involvement (being able to come into the Makerspace on a regular basis) mostly started in September when I assumed the role of Interim Executive Director and took a sabbatical from my nursing career.
 
From my role as a Board Member, I saw the Makerspace reopen as COVID restrictions were eased. As part of that reopening, we expanded the space and built out sections for different interest groups and space for members to rent individual workspaces/studios. As we expanded, we also created a classroom area where we hosted students from Whatcom Intergenerational High School and Gabriel’s Art Kids, hosted meetings for the local groups such as Toastmasters, and served as a testing site for those seeking an amateur radio license. We also hosted a very successful Maker Faire, which brought Whatcom County Communities to our space, where visitors learned about the innovative things we do.
 
Our interest areas expanded by building out areas for screen-printing, a resource center and an amateur radio station. The screen-printing area is now fully supplied and has made t-shirts for our volunteers and staff for the Maker Faire, hosted classes on screen-printing, provided a class to the Parks and Recreation Department of Whatcom County, and made t-shirts for sale in our retail area.
 
In the far corner of the Makerspace, I created a Resource Center in which a person can go and research a specific topic of interest, have the ability to use online resources, sketch and design their project or just chill out and observe all the creative minds in action. It is extremely important to me that the Makerspace be a safe and welcoming environment for any person to come and learn and experiment with their creativity.
 
A group of local amateur radio operators (Hams) formed and was granted permission to become the Bellingham Makerspace Amateur Radio Group. This group is diversified in their interests within amateur radio and is part of a national movement to show communities what amateur radio is all about and how it’s used. I am particularly proud this group has formed, as some members are instrumental in emergency communications, especially as we all experience the severe flooding to our area. Another thing this group has done is to apply for a grant that will not only help build the radio station, but also provide materials for introductory classes in amateur radio and the ability to take educational classes and equipment to underserved areas of  Whatcom County and to our Indigenous communities.
 
You may have noticed that Jeremiah McCoy, our previous Operations Manager has not been at the Makerspace. Jeremiah was contemplating a move out of the Bellingham area and has since relocated to Oregon. He was a fixture at the Makerspace for a long time and did his best to help and provide guidance to our members. We certainly wish him all the best and he has an open invitation to visit the Makerspace anytime.
 
So, what can you look forward to in 2022? In one simple word, CHANGE! I’ll be the first to say, change is not easy or fun but necessary. The pandemic has changed so many things, some we take for granted and some we just haven’t thought about. The pandemic has changed how we socialize, purchase and gather our supplies, and how we do business.  We now have strict safety guidelines to follow to keep our patrons safe and how we offer classes to the community. The cost of supplies has increased, which increases the cost of classes. Even the ability to obtain supplies has been affected by supply chain interruptions. Our once passive business style is no longer applicable as we have mandatory reporting, the threat of fraudulent activities is high as money is tight for many and many remain out of work, and the cost of just being open is expensive with rent, insurance, state and employee taxes and utilities. Being at the Mall requires a lot more coordination, marketing efforts and management then in our previous locations.
 
As we move into the New Year, I look forward to adding more classes to our schedule. We hope to add classes in animation design, paper crafts, woodworking, amateur radio, electronics, textiles, jewelry and art design. In addition, I hope to make the Makerspace an event and meeting space for our community partners who do not have a place to call home.  Allowing groups to use the Makerspace for meetings is an opportunity for collaborative discussions whereby we can learn from one another and share our ideas with Whatcom County communities. I am so happy we were able to coordinate with the Men’s Shed who had a special project of making Toys for Tots for this holiday season. Knowing that we were instrumental in helping bring toys to children this holiday warms my heart and is the reason why I wanted to be part of the Makerspace. In speaking with a representative from the Lummi Tribe, I have offered the Makerspace as a place for Indigenous artists to hold an art fair as their previous plans fell through. Working with various groups speaks volumes of the Makerspace being an able and willing community partner. Please watch for announcements in our social media.
 
To help us remain solvent, we have a few plans to raise revenue. The first is multifold by offering more classes. This not only increases our revenue, but also provides a greater teacher base, diversity of class subjects resulting in memberships and increased awareness in the community. The number of people walking in from the mall who were curious about the space or who had heard about us and wanted to come and check it out continually strikes me. The second plan to raise revenue is to have a membership drive. It only lends to reason, if our operating costs increase, our membership rate also needs to increase. The Board has discussed this and will vote on an increase at the next Board Business Meeting. How this all will be conducted is still being planned and discussed. I anticipate the rate for a new membership in 2022 will increase, so if were contemplating becoming a member, the optimal time will be before December 31st. Lastly, there are so many items that would make working at the Makerspace nicer and easier, Tod Wills brilliantly decorated ornaments for our holiday tree that will sit in the retail space. We invite anyone who is so inclined and wants to be part of the giving spirit to take an ornament. On the back of the ornament, an item will appear that we have identified that would be extremely helpful to have at the Makerspace. The ornament will have a number that corresponds to the item. If you take an ornament, you just need to let the shop host or manager know what ornament number you chose. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation is tax deductible and I am only too happy to provide a letter of donation for your tax records. The items will range in estimated costs so that everyone has the ability to participate if they so choose. As a minor token for your generosity, we invite you to keep this original work of art by Tod as a remembrance of your generosity. Lastly, if a patron just wants to make a monetary donation to the Makerspace, we now have the ability to accept one. Again, any donor will receive a letter with our sincere thanks and letter of donation for tax records.
 
Before I close this article, I want to acknowledge the future of the Makerspace is so important to this community but it could never exist without the extreme dedication, sweat, tears, muscle power, strength, tenacity and knowledge of our volunteers. I hope we say it often enough, that the Board, staff, and members appreciate your service. Having the Volunteer Appreciation night in September, the free class open only to volunteers planned by Jason, and our gifts at the Volunteer Holiday Party planned for 12/18/2021 are just small tokens of our appreciation. We are so appreciative; my words cannot adequately express the value you bring to this organization and the effect you have on it. 
 
In closure, I and (on their behalf) the Board and staff, are sending to you and your family our best wishes for health and happiness during this holiday season.
 
Tina
Grizzly Sponsorship

The Makerspace would like to express our gratitude for one of our sponsors, Grizzly Industrial Tools. Come in and use Grizzly tools to make amazing things! For more information about Grizzly, you can visit their website at grizzly.com.

 
Sell Your Work at Bellingham Makerspace

The Bellingham Makerspace now has space available for members to sell products in the front of our Bellis Fair Mall location. You set the price. We collect a 15% consignment fee. For more details, see this document. To sign up, submit this form.

 
Makerspace Partnerships

The Bellingham Makerspace would like to thank our partners: TAG,
Toastmasters, and the Men's Shed. The photos are of the Men's Shed, who have been using our space to make toys.
December Open House

Come see what we're making at the Bellingham Makerspace at our next Open House, December 18 from 2-5 pm. Get ideas for projects and connect with other community members.

 
Holiday Volunteer Party

Volunteers: Come join the holiday festivities after the Open House at 5 pm Saturday, December 18 at the Makerspace. We so appreciate all the time, energy, and love you put into helping others enjoy making things!


 
Holiday Card Make & Take

Making cards is fun, stimulating and a wonderful creative outlet. This is a card making class for adult beginners in which we will make two beautiful cards with envelopes. The class is Saturday, December 11 from 1-3 pm. Sign up here.

 
Holiday Make & Take Gift Workshop

Make handmade 3D laser-cut ornaments for family and friends. Make one or ten, $5 per ornament ($5 to hold your spot). This class is Sunday, December 12 from 1-3 pm. Sign up here.

 
FREE Class for Volunteers

We love and appreciate our amazing volunteers! You have asked for free classes to learn how to use the cool equipment and tools in the Makerspace. We have heard you and we are making it happen. We are pleased to announce the first class will be following our Make & Take Gift Event on December 12 at 3pm. Come and learn how to use the Laser Cutter and make your own LASER ENGRAVED COASTER SET. Sign up for the class here.

 
Join a Committee and Make a Difference

The marketing committee needs help and with the Board's permission we are calling on members and volunteers to form two committees to work with us improve the Makerspace. 

Membership Committee

The marketing committee and the Board of Directors need assistance learning how we can improve membership retention, attract new members, and improve the Makerspace. We are asking for members and volunteers to form a committee to research this issue an act as a liaison to the Board of Directors.

Events Committee

In 2022, we plan to host one large event each quarter and join in on community based events. We need members and volunteers to form a committee to assist the marketing committee in planning our events and researching events that we can participate in. 

Please email amelia@bellinghammakerspace.org if you are interested in joining and forming a committee. 



 
We are running our GivingTuesday Fundraiser through the end of December 2021. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will support our continued programming and adult classes, as well as, the further development of our STEM program. Because of our nonprofit status, your donation is tax deductible! 
Support Us


Upcoming Classes

Sign up here.
Intro to 3D Printing for Kids
Holiday Card Make & Take
Intro to CNC Routers
Intro to the Vinyl Cutter
Intro to the Woodshop
Make & Take - Ornament Gifts
Free Volunteer Coaster Class
Intro to 3D Printing
Intro to the Laser
Intro to Vector Graphics
Intro to CNC Sign Making
Intro to Screen Printing
Dec 19 3pm
Dec 11 1pm
Dec 22 6pm
Dec 9 6pm or Dec 23 6pm
Dec 10 6pm
Dec 12 1pm
Dec 12 3pm
Dec 12 3pm or Dec 26 3pm
Dec 13 6pm or Dec 27 6pm
Dec 16 6pm or Dec 30 6pm
Dec 20 6pm
Dec 29 4:30pm
This is a newsletter from the Bellingham Makerspace, brought to you in part by Grizzly Tools, inc.
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