Dream for the makerspace: a public good

Can I tell you what my secret dream for the makerspace would be? That we build this amazing thing, making as much of it free as possible, where people can build and create and learn. And then at some point, we give it to the village of Oak Park, the way the Ragdale folks gave their residency program to Lake Forest, so it becomes a true public good. Of course, even if you’re giving away the building, there’d be ongoing upkeep and staffing costs, so it’d need to be something really worthwhile, that added tremendous value to the community. Or you’d need to also build a foundation with an endowment to fund it. But still, something to dream on.

That might be a 20-year process, or more, but it would be amazing.

Too buzzed to sleep, too tired to daydream

Too buzzed to sleep, daydreaming about the Oak Park makerspace that I have no time to create. I want it to be SFF-themed, at least somewhat — kind of a Meow Wolf vibe. I want a room dedicated to soft making, to textile art, with sewing machines and looms, and the walls and ceiling are hung with fantastical knit and crocheted creatures for inspiration. I bet if I put the word out requesting that people knit those for us, I could get a few hundred creatures sent here by Christmas, no problem.

I want a coding studio, but also one that teaches video game design, and stop-motion animation with Legos, and making geeky fan vids. I barely know what fan vids are, but I know they’re a thing, I know there are entire conventions dedicated to them, and it’s an entire art form that has no current place in the academy and someone should be fostering it. Also, I want Google and/or Apple to sponsor it, so we can extend extra services to low income folks, including things that might lead to jobs.

I want a bookstore cafe / wine bar, a lot like Volumes’s current space, actually, that wouldn’t have a ton of books but where I and my friends make sure that all the books that are there are good AND there should be a way that you could buy ebooks and audiobooks through us in the store, in case that’s the format you prefer, and we get a cut. I don’t understand why that isn’t more prominent in bookstores these days.

Go to sleep, Mary Anne. You already have four jobs (professor / writer / parent / politician), and you aren’t willing to give up any of them to do this right now, so you can’t do it yet. You just can’t. Hush.