The Dow Realty Group is happy to support Makers Mill, a Community Makerspace and Vocation Hub right here in Wolfeboro. The Dow Realty Group believes in this space so much, they donated the original commission of this building. Read below to learn more about what makes Makers Mill so special.
Have you heard about the latest hotspot in Wolfeboro?
Wolfeboro will soon be home to Carroll County’s first dedicated community makerspace and vocation hub with plans on track for a late summer opening. This nonprofit that started as G.A.L.A. nearly 15 years ago, is now Makers Mill, acknowledging the maker community who will use it, and the history of the building’s proximity to where the old Clows saw mill once stood on Back Bay.
What’s a makerspace?
In a nutshell, a makerspace is a collaborative work space where people have access to tools and equipment for tinkering, fixing, repairing, inventing, building, designing, producing, crafting, iterating, and innovating. Makers Mill will offer a variety of work spaces for woodworking, metal working, jewelry and metalsmithing, fiber arts, fine arts, crafts, robotics and electronics, rapid prototyping, and lots more.
How Makers Mill will work
Just as soon as the last nail has been driven home on Phase I of the Makers Mill building renovation later this summer 2022, Makers Mill will open its doors to classes and events for the public, business planning and entrepreneurial services, career coaching, workforce development through certifications and upskilling, a collaborative work environment for makers, and a wide variety of programs that support personal, professional, and community goals.
People may join as members who have access to the tools and equipment in the various work spaces on their own timetable, and/or participate in instructor-led classes to learn how to build furniture, sew a garment, design a website, weld a metal box, craft a silver ring, work with circuit boards, get skilled in CAD or Arduino, become proficient using tools safely, or repair appliances and sporting gear - you get the picture. For those with business start up dreams, there’ll also be entrepreneur pitch events - think local Shark Tank!
Access to Makers Mill will be open to all levels of makers: students, hobbyists, professionals, businesses, and youth groups. It will provide a place where people feed off one another’s interests, curiosity, enthusiasm, ideas, feedback, and projects, and facilitate collaboration, mentorship, and learning exchanges.
What we need & how you can help
For the last few years many, many hands and hearts in the community, as well as state and federal agencies, have contributed time, effort, ideas, skills, tools, dollars, and lots of encouragement, to see this dream come true. From visioning charrettes, to architectural plans on paper, to actual bricks and mortar, Makers Mill is a shining example of community-led development.
With the bricks and mortar phase behind them, the nonprofit is now shifting gears to fundraise for tools and equipment so that they can open the makerspace in a few months time ready to welcome the community to a place that’s fun and fulfilling, and stocked with the items necessary for makers to make.
A few items on their wishlist include a laser cutter, CNC machine, 3D printers, CAD software, a welder, a Bridgeport drill press, plasma cutter, and other bigger items for the wood and metal shops, and lots of supplies.
You can support Makers Mill by donating to their Tool Kitty Campaign anytime through a cash donation, or in pre-loved, working- condition tools and equipment - more on that by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Makers Mill is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. EIN # 65-1286865.
Also, consider donating during the New Hampshire Gives fundraiser between 5pm on June 7 and 5pm June 8, 2022 when they will join other NH nonprofits around the state to celebrate this day of generosity. This occasion offers an awesome opportunity to put out a matching gift challenge which really seems to motivate the rest of the community to respond!
However you’d like to support Makers Mill, either with a cash or tool donation, volunteering on a committee, or by participating as a member, class attendee or instructor, be sure to drop by later this summer when they open their door. Weekly tours will be scheduled once they open, so stop to check out this exciting new community makerspace and vocation hub.
Stay connected, learn more, give back
Interested in becoming a Makers Mill Volunteer? You’ll find more information on their website here. They are particularly looking for people who have skill sets relating to woodwork, metalwork, jewelry making, fiber arts, fine arts, crafts, robotics, and electronics. Also those familiar with docent work, helping to meet and greet and orient our makers. Additionally, we’re looking for the same skilled people interested in becoming one of our class instructors. Individuals with Board of Director experience and interest are also encouraged to inquire.
G.A.L.A to Makers Mill: Where we came from
The story of Makers Mill begins with G.A.L.A., and the story of G.A.L.A. began with a potluck supper in the winter of 2006 when a small group of Wolfeboro, NH community members came together to ask themselves, “How can we be the change we want to see in the world?” The group was inspired by the phrase “think globally, act locally,” and started referring to themselves as G.A.L.A., for Global Awareness Local Action. They started organizing efforts to support food systems and energy conservation around the Wolfeboro area.
Initial actions included establishing a farmers market; town agricultural commission and town energy committee in Wolfeboro; hosting study circles and educational film screenings; installing gardens at schools, homes, food pantries, and community spaces; and organizing events such as Town Cleanup Day, Farm to Table Feast, and monthly contra dances.
The most popular programs became the hands-on workshops covering such topics as bicycle maintenance, composting, sewing, food preservation, plant identification, boat-building, electrical theory, and seemingly everything in between. G.A.L.A. had struck a chord: people were craving hands-on educational, community-building experiences. People wanted to build things, make things, fix and repair things, and they wanted to do it together, with others from their community.
By early 2016, G.A.L.A.’s Board started to learn there was a name for this phenomenon: the maker movement.The maker movement gave language to what G.A.L.A. had been doing all along: hands-on education, collaboration, incubation, problem-solving, and community building. And so the board decided the timing was right to join the maker world and find a physical space where the organization could expand its programs and services to better address local challenges of workforce development and job creation, substance misuse prevention, and career pathways toward gainful employment.
Thus began the most exciting time in G.A.L.A.’s history. A home in which to establish Carroll County’s first dedicated community makerspace was located and purchased outright at 23 Bay Street, Wolfeboro, overlooking Back Bay. This impressive milestone was made possible by securing grants from the Northern Borders Regional Commission, USDA Rural Development, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program, along with considerable donations, and support from local businesses (including Keller Williams Lakes & Mountains Realty) through the NH Community Development Finance Authority’s tax credit program.
Next, the community was invited to engage in setting goals for the makerspace, developing floor plans and programs to reflect those goals, and fundraising continued to bring those plans and programs to life.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2022 and the $1.3 million building renovation has just about wrapped up having creatively navigated the twists and turns thrown out by the pandemic and the related supply challenges. Scott Simons Architects, working with Leslie Benson Design and Steve Hoffman, led the project from concept to paper to bricks and mortar with considerable attentiveness to the community’s wishes and a beautiful, functional design flair.
In just a few short months, this exciting new project will open with the mission to enrich rural lives and foster fulfilling livelihoods by bringing people together to discover, cultivate, and share their unique gifts and skills. We envision a future where people find fellowship, purpose, and joy as they apply their creativity and craft to nurturing thriving economies, healthy ecosystems, and vibrant communities.
We’re making a makerspace - won’t you join us!
Makers Mill | 23 Bay St | PO Box 2267 | Wolfeboro, NH 03894