A huge thank you goes out to The 11th Hour for selecting SparkMacon as the cover feature for their latest issue! Be sure to pick up your copy and check out our article on page 16.
You can read a portion of the article below, or click here to read it in its entirety.
In the nearly two years since SparkMacon was founded, the space – which was started as a way for local creatives to have access to equipment, workspace, and each other – has grown in leaps and bounds. Nadia Osman, SparkMacon’s director, says, “[We] developed from community input and have been propelled forward by public agencies, private organizations and local volunteers. I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to lead SparkMacon forward in developing new capacities to serve our community and make Central Georgia’s first makerspace sustainable for years to come.”
The vibrant downtown space, found at 557 B Cherry Street, is host to a plethora of exciting activities this summer. Various Maker Skills classes are being held – these all-ages-appropriate classes focus on hands-on activities designed to increase proficiency and help grow and nurture creativity and curiosity. Classes available for the rest of the summer include 3D Modeling on June 18, Laser Cutting on July 16, and Robotics on August 20 (check their website or Facebook page for pricing and time information).
Several free events are also on the lineup. A .NET Users Group Meetup, where attendants can learn to build Google Cardboard apps using C# and Unity, will be held on June 16 from 7-9 pm. June 21 brings a Creative Entrepreneur Meetup from 5:30-6:30 pm – this casual event is for local creatives who want to share their skills and ideas with others, perhaps in hopes of finding a solid collaboration or at the very least some good advice. Making at the Museum, an all-ages event, will be held at the Museum of Arts & Sciences on June 25 and is free with museum admission. This is a showcase of local art, tinkering, and technology, featuring hands-on activities involving robotics and 3D printing, among other things. And every First Friday brings the return of Open Make Night, a free all-ages evening event which offers the chance to check out the space, meet some of the members, and get creative using the available tools.
Another exciting opportunity is the Music + Makers program, which offers locals a cost-free chance to showcase their art or technology offerings via interactive booths at Macon’s Second Sunday concert series held on Coleman Hill; interested parties should visit SparkMacon’s website and fill out the form available there for more information.
SparkMacon’s newest contribution to the community is one that will build confidence, creative thinking, and business savvy into some of Macon’s brightest and most motivated citizens during their formative years – they’re partnering with the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce to support their launch of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. YEA! Is a program designed to teach middle and high school students the components of building their own business – and not just in an abstract way; ultimately, these students end up really launching and running their own businesses. Learning how to turn ideas and dreams into actual working entrepreneurial ventures is an invaluable skill, and will certainly have long lasting benefits not just for the students but also for the middle Georgia community at large. YEA! Macon is now accepting applications for its inaugural program; for more information, please visit maconchamber.com or yeausa.org.
Macon is lucky to have so many dedicated, dynamic people working to make innovative ideas like SparkMacon and all its offshoots available to the public. As Osman says, “Having more outlets for creatives shows that Macon really is a place where makers can thrive and where people can make a living doing what they love.” Collaborative spaces like SparkMacon grow and flourish when new and different ideas and skills are brought into them by community members; it’s exciting to think about what might happen there in the next two years.