Create, Construct, Craft at Northwest Colorado's New Community Makerspace!

Like working with your hands? Check out the Makerspace!

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The want to work with our hands is inherent in most individuals. In our increasingly hands-free world, many adults wish to have a creative outlet, and children immensely benefit from creating and problem solving through crafting and constructing. A makerspace is designed to help develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, through creating something out of nothing and 'exploring your own interests.' 

The studio will host an open house with crafts and projects to allow curious individuals the chance to get their hands covered in paint, glue, glitter and more on Saturday, June 23rd from 1-5. This is a great opportunity to experience the space and get a feel for everything that can be imagined or created 

A Dream Brought to Life

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Beth Wiley, of Rangely Colorado, has been dreaming of a community art studio for a few years as part of a larger project. After she experienced teaching a arts enrichment program for the Gifted/Talented program she was inspired to construct the studio space this summer with open studio hours, along with classes and programs. With a little bit of searching and some haggling, Wiley Rented 303 West Main, what used to be an old thrift shop. With a slightly rough space, perfect for messes that come with art, it fits the bill perfectly. 

Community Support

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Wiley put out the call for furniture and supplies, and the community responded in kind with fabric, paint, staplers, paper, art books, and more. The makerspace has come together quickly in just a few short weeks, with kids already establishing a center for an "art club." With this support, Wiley has been able to create a knitting nook, a station for sewing, and two rooms dedicated to individual and group work for adults and children. 

The back room has been stocked with shelves holding a wide range of materials, from soda tops to beads to paint and more. The shelves are stocked so well the "kids think it's a wonderland."  Wiley also notes that kids and teens have been in helping set up and generating ideas from the start, from painting the space to give it a fresh look, to figure out ways to help purchase supplies; they are setting up a lemonade stand (which will be available on Saturday). 

Space for all types of projects and

With the support of many community members with supplies and more, the space houses to three main room with one exclusively dedicated for kids to work in and make things independently. July's schedule will include classes and workshops that will require registration and fees, but open studio hours are by donation only. 

Classes include introductory lessons, materials based drawing series, a kids camp craft series, and several more workshops and demonstrations. Wiley will be an instructor in conjunction with other adults and volunteers. 

Benefits of Art and Makerspaces

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The New Media Consortium Horizon report in 2015 notes that makerspaces, such as this one, are looked to as methods for engaging learners in "creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration." The skill sets developed are necessary for the 21st century, and help children and adults learn. as wells making them shift from passive consumers to active innovators. 

These skills can help develop STEAM skills, that are essential for the world we are living in today and help individuals engage with real-world experiences that fuel learning. Curiousity Commons has a full article that breaks down all the benefits to makerspaces.