The 501c3 Files
as Seen in the Ashland Sneak Preview
By: Adam and Sophia S.W. Bogle
Talent Maker City
Building Skills, Building Community and a New Building!
What a difference a year can make. Last July, Adam and I went to meet the board of local nonprofit, Talent Maker City (TMC). When we arrived we found them huddled around a plastic picnic table in fold-up chairs plotting outreach events and crunching numbers to make sure they had a plan for paying rent in their newly-leased 700 square foot office. What they lacked in furniture, though, they made up for in raw enthusiasm and a strong commitment to building community through do-it-yourself creativity and collaboration.
Now, one year, dozens of workshops and hundreds of makers later, TMC will soon open its new 3700 square foot location in downtown Talent! This fantastic new space will be home for curious minds of all ages to learn new skills, make art, prototype products, and share ideas.
If you’re not familiar with the makerspace concept, think about it like a fitness gym. Instead of weights, and treadmills though, a makerspace offers its members access to all sorts of tools and equipment from pottery wheels and sewing machines to woodworking tools and even cutting-edge gear like 3D printers. And instead of fitness trainers you have the guidance of experts to show you how to use everything.
For inventors, job seekers and creatives, TMC’s makerspace facility will absolutely be your new playground. You could learn advanced skills to land a good job. This could possibly be the starting point on the path to your new career. Or maybe you would like to build your own skateboard from scratch. You could even come in to create the prototype for a new product you want to bring to market.
Creative innovation is a core component of TMC’s mission and one it shares with local education organizations. Since 2017, TMC has developed and delivered hands-on learning and career-readiness opportunities for middle and high school youth in Jackson and Josephine counties with its wildly-successful Summer STEAM Camp programs.
The Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math camps have been offered free to students through a Career Technical Education Revitalization (CTE-R) grant provided by Southern Oregon Educational Services District (SOESD), and in partnership with Phoenix-Talent Schools. Workshops like DIY Skateboard Build, GPS Drone Mapping, and Mosaics and Geometry, have been created to inspire underrepresented and underserved students to pursue careers in the STEM fields. TMC’s unique brand of experiential education provides engaging, hands-on opportunities designed to stoke interest and curiosity, and inspire our next generation of innovative thinkers and makers.
Creative programming like the Summer STEAM Camps will be greatly expanded starting this Fall when TMC opens its doors to offer a wide variety of workshops for all ages and skill levels. One of their more in-demand workshops is Build(h)er Skills: Intro to Carpentry for Women in which women get hands-on practice with power tools to build their own storage crates in a friendly, safe environment. Workshops in ceramics, industrial sewing, robotics, basic metal-working, and more are sure to offer something for everyone, especially heading into the holiday season when we all know that the best gifts are handmade by the people you love.
We love Talent Maker City because they bring a new brand of fun, hands-on skill building workshops to kids and adults throughout the region. Find out more about TMC on Facebook, Instagram or at their website: talentmakercity.org. You can sign up for workshops, apply to teach or donate time, money, tools or materials.