Make-It Springfield FAQ                                                                                        

What is a makerspace exactly?

The term makerspace can mean a lot of things. We personally define it as the following: 

  • A shared space
  • Shared tools
  • A mix of disciplines (not just art, not just tech)

How is Make-It Springfield different from other makerspaces?

Pop-Up to Permanent: We began as a temporary, pop-up project and we only planned to be around for 30 days. We began as a crowd-sourced workshop space without any specialty tools; hosts brought in equipment for workshops and took it home with them afterwards. Most makerspaces begin with equipment and the people come afterwards. 

Community: We don't just talk about "community engagement." We are community-led and community-serving.  We are committed to being accessible to the public and also offering an affordable membership model. We are not an exclusive space open to only a few with disposable incomes. Anyone is welcome to stop by and participate in our workshops or check out the space. 

Downtown Revitalization: Our location is intentional. We are located on an infamous street in Springfield and are committed to changing perceptions about the neighborhood.  We are not in a hidden warehouse or on a building's upper floor. We are in a visible storefront space so passersby can get inspired and feel welcome to walk on in and see what we're all about.  We support other people and organizations making positive change in downtown and greater Springfield.  We believe more makers will only add to the vibrancy and strength of Springfield. 

What kind of workshops or events can I host at Make-It Springfield?

The organizers of Make-It are thrilled to offer a downtown storefront where you might share your craft, expertise, or special talent with greater Springfield.  We are currently seeking organizations and individuals interested in hosting hands-on workshops or events to offer to community members.  

 

We are open to a wide variety of programming possibilities, as long as they connect to the themes of "creating" or "making."  Workshop topics can be everything from music composition, to 3D printing, to jewelry design, to Vietnamese spring roll making, to a creative writing workshop, to HTML 101. The key is to be as hands-on and interactive as possible. 

Workshops can be one-time only, occasional, or weekly. It is entirely up to you and the availability of the space. 

Who can host workshops?

You can! You do not need to be a professional or a member in order to host a workshop here. Perhaps you have a favorite hobby you want to share with other people? Perhaps you are considering starting a business and you'd like to test out your concept, collect customer feedback, and start to build your brand? Perhaps you are a professional who wants to give back to the community? Or a student looking to practice teaching / facilitating? All are welcome to host at Make-It Springfield!

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member, please click here. If you are interested in hosting a one-time only or occasional event, please click here

Let's talk money. Do I have to pay to use the space? Can I charge participants?

Hourly Usage:

It is $10 / hour to reserve our space to host a public workshop.  If you would like to host a private event at our space, it is $30 per hour. More information here.

Monthly Membership Option:

To join our community, a base membership costs just $30 / month and includes unlimited workshop time + unlimited access to the space whenever unreserved. More information on membership options and benefits can be found here

Participant Fees

Regardless, as a host you are free to ask for a participant fee in order to help cover the costs of supplies/materials and your time.  You can elect to have people pay ahead of time through Eventbrite, or pay at the door, or both. Either way, hosts retain 80% of participant fees and 20% goes to Make-It.  

 

We do ask that you do not turn anyone away who might be unable to pay. One of the reasons this space has been such a successful community project is that there is no monetary barrier to participation.  We are committed to keeping programming affordable (and free when possible).   

What about parking?

There is FREE parking after 6pm and on the weekends on all streets of downtown. At all other times, there is metered street parking is plentiful on Worthington, Bridge, Taylor St, Main St, and Dwight St. There are also multiple public lots less than a block away. Details here.

What am I responsible for as a host?

As a workshop host, you are in charge of the following:

- Attending a brief orientation - contact makeitspringfield@gmail.com to sign-up

- Arriving at least 30 minutes before your scheduled start time to set-up

- Bringing any materials you will need for your session

- Marketing your workshop (more details below)

- Collecting any participant fees

- Providing any refreshments 

- Asking all participants to sign-in when they arrive

- Cleaning up after yourself & filling out checklist before leaving

What exactly do I need to bring to my session as a host? What eqiupment is available?

We will provide tables, chairs for at least 24, a white board, a projector & wifi. Please plan to bring anything else you will need. You are free to set up shop a half-hour ahead of your designated time slot.  Note: If special equipment drop-off is required or you would like to walk the space before the day of your workshop, please email us ASAP at makeitspringfield@gmail.com to make necessary arrangements.

Items you may like to also bring: 

  • Tablecloths

  • Phone or ipod for music  (we have speakers you can use)

  • Paper products & refreshments

  • A friend to help with set-up, sign-ins & clean-up 

Items we may have on hand (please confirm):

  • Paper, paintbrushes, scissors, etc. 

  • Microphone & small amplifier

  • Small speaker for playing music

What are some of the best ways to market my workshop?

Make-It will create a facebook event on our page and you will also be listed on our website here.  You are free to edit and update the facebook event (once you indicate you are "going" to the vent) so feel free to add photos, change the description, etc. Please also drive folks to our general facebook page in case they are interested in additional workshops.  

Othewise, it is up to you to get people to attend your session

 

Here are a few best practices in regards to getting strong attendance to your session:

- If you are on facebook, invite friends, neighbors & colleagues to your facebook event and share it on your personal page

- Create small simple flyers to handout at community events, community centers, office buildings, schools, etc. Canva is a great, free site that makes creating a flyer very easy.

- Send a blurb about your event to local newsletters, radio stations, publications, etc.  A list can be found here

- Personally invite your friends, neighbors, colleagues and family via phone, email or in-person

- Attend other workshops at Make-It and, after getting approval from the host, make an announcement about your upcoming session

How will I know how many people will attend?

If you would like to require pre-registration, please indicate so on your host application. You will get a reasonable sense based on the number that register on eventbrite in advance.  When in doubt, assume a group size of about 10 - 15 people depending on how much outreach you do. 

Where can I find your flyer?

Please feel free to print these flyers and hang or distribute them. We recommend printing 2 per page, double sided (flip on short end) on fun colored paper.  

Our general flyer can be found here

What if I still have questions?

Feel free to email us at MakeItSpringfield@Gmail.com or call us at (413) 455-0663

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