Community Makerspace to Pop Up in Downtown Springfield
May 19, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
To highlight the rich history and current renaissance of innovation and creativity in Springfield, MassDevelopment, the University of Massachusetts Design Center in Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District are hosting Make-It Springfield, a pop-up community makerspace, during the month of June at 168 Worthington Street. Make-It Springfield will formally kick-off on June 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a festive evening featuring Guy McLain, Director of the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.
“We are thrilled to offer a space for local makers, creators, artisans, nonprofits and entrepreneurs to share their skillsets and connect with local community members,” said MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative Fellow Laura Masulis. “We hope this project brings new life and energy to a previously vacant downtown storefront and has lasting ripple effects on the streetscape and the neighborhood.”
UMass faculty, students, artisans, entrepreneurs and local programming partners will host public hands-on workshops throughout the month, including sessions on 3D printing, tile mosaics, and bike repair. Local programming partners include organizations such as New England Public Radio, Springfield City Library, EcoBuilding Bargains, Gardening the Community, Focus Springfield, Springfield Central Cultural District, RadSpringfield, City Mosaic and Heartfelt Gifts. Depending on the topic and host, activities will appeal to different age groups, ranging from middle school students, to adults, to all ages.
“Our mission at the UMass Design Center is to provide opportunities for UMass students and faculty to collaborate with Springfield residents on ways to revitalize the city. The makerspace provides a vibrant showcase for the many innovative things happening at UMass and in the City of Springfield,” said Michael DiPasquale, Executive Director UMass Design Center in Springfield.
“The SBID is always looking for new and creative ways to increase foot traffic in the downtown. This type of programming does just that,” said Chris Russell, Executive Director of the Springfield Business Improvement District.
For more information about Make-It Springfield, including the individual workshop descriptions, times, and hosts, visit facebook.com/MakeItSpringfield/
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2015, MassDevelopment financed or managed 294 projects generating investment of more than $2.5 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 6,100 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 2,000 residential units.