Starting as a “Makers Social Club” in March of 2013, we taught workshops and held regular meetups in libraries across Madison.
On June 1st of 2014, we opened a physical workshop, pooling together our personal tools and sharing skills with anyone interested. We invite the public twice a week, and since then have held
485 “Open Shop” nights
welcoming over 8,100 community members
into our makerspace. Guests can use (most of) our tools for free, and enjoy a collaborative, creative space to build, repair, and learn. We’ve had over a hundred guests from all over the US, arriving from Alaska to Florida, Maine to California, and everywhere in between. In addition to the Open Shop nights, we’ve hosted
over 800 workshops and meet-ups
training the community in using tools and learning skills in everything from welding and blacksmithing to upholstery and sewing, woodworking and turning to 3D printing, mould-making and screen printing to laser-cutting and CNC milling. Carving and jewelry making, rocket building and micro-controllers, book binding and leather work — if you can build it, we’ve probably held a workshop or meeting on it!
In addition to a community-accessible workshop, we have
a thriving membership of 170 makers
who gain 24/7 access to the shop and all tools, storage space, workshop discounts, and are voting members – as a member-run organization, we take community decision-making seriously. These member dues are our main source of revenue, and without taking any grant or public funds, we have bootstrapped our way from two dreamers in a library to an expected 200 members in 14,000 square feet of our new space this summer!