Still turning over the idea of the Oak Park maker space in my head. The problem is that I want to put everything in, which is probably not feasible. Components I keep thinking about:
– tech studio — focused on video game design, coding, etc., maybe we can get a tech company to partner with us on this part, get funding from them so we can offer free classes for low-income folks, partner with organizations in Austin (Kel Bachus, if I do this, you have to come to Oak Park and teach at least one game design course for us…)
– soft textiles — with sewing machines and a plethora of knitting / crochet supplies, yarn, and fabric available for use, free classes for low-income folks, esp. classes on things like mending, making home textiles and clothes, practical sustainability, re-use; an ecologically-friendly focus
– metalwork / welding / etc. space? I know almost nothing about this part of it, honestly, but it seems like it could teach some useful skills that could apply to home improvement projects as well as artistic endeavors
– writing / publishing classes — Oak Park has a kind of startling lack of writing classes. (This part I could kind of do in my sleep, so I haven’t bothered writing up anything detailed about it, but I should do that at some point.)
– urban garden — partner with Deep Roots Project and other local groups to teach gardening and eco-friendly choices
– cafe + books & art, featuring work of locals but also including some popular and kids’ books, perhaps + small performance space suitable for readings + outdoor garden space (ideally could connect the two to make a larger space — I’m picturing big garage doors that open or some such).
– co-working & class space
– low-income loft rental spaces above the maker space reserved for artists (I was taking to someone knowledgeable about this last-night, and it should be feasible, if complicated)
Artist residency program:
– Modeled on Ragdale; I kind of think this goes in a separate building; it’d be ideal if someone owned a Frank Lloyd Wright or otherwise architecturally significant house and wanted to donate it for this usage. Except I’m not sure if the upkeep / preservation costs on a FLW house would make it cost-prohibitive. So maybe just a less important, but still fairly large and characteristic of the region Craftsman house?