The maker movement has been growing across the nation.
With a groundswell of community members recognizing and acting on the fact that it is the artisans, innovators and creative people of all stripes that drive the largest portion of this area's economy, it was only a matter of time before the notion of "makers" came to roost and a makerspace was established in Mankato.
The project has grown in phases:
initial research, planning and gathering of interested people.
thanks to the work of Rick Esser, Katie Boone, Sara Nett, Jesse Bateman, Lindsey Block & Kendrick Daum through the catalyst of EnvisionLab.
establishing as a legal entity, focused business planning, extended research, market testing, identifying and cultivating Mankato's maker community, setting up accounting, acquisition and build out of space.
initial funding provided by Graham Nelson and Grant Moody with Express Employment Professionals.
grant funding awarded by the Dream, Learn and Go Big Community Growth Initiative.
thanks to the work of Rick, Kendrick, Joe Herke, Cindy Bourne, Julie Dempster, Kim Spears, Don Darling, Deb Groebner and Emily Griebel as the board of Minnesota Makers & Artists Guild.
And now, in 2018, we’re moving into actual operation...which brings us to our directorial phase!
As of the opening of the space, your board of directors are: Rick, Kendrick, Joe, Cindy, Don, Emily, Dustin Swiers & Robin Wingo.
Each step has garnered identification of an ever growing community of folks stepping forward; motivated by, participating in and dedicated to the maker movement happening in Mankato.
Maker Advocate: Rick Esser
Rick is the shop leader of Mankato Makerspace and has been involved since 2015.
Why does Rick believe in the makerspace concept?
"This world really needs it. Get a bunch of creative people together with a bunch of cool toys, you never know what's gonna happen. I say get those people out of the basement, out of the back bedroom, off the kitchen table, and into somewhere they can make themselves some friends, and be useful together."
Photo Credit: Al Fack
“Everybody is a maker!”
It's true! Whether you are a hobbyist or artisan, tinkerer or entrepreneur…the magic is in the word: make!
We have learned much co-founding the makerspace. Everything from establishing a nonprofit business to developing, evaluating...and redeveloping, business, strategic and organizational plans.
More importantly we have met and worked with you!
You join a list of many people in the Mankato area who not only appreciate industrial arts, innovation and entrepreneurship but who have helped us work on the makerspace project and, in turn, helped advance the drive of Mankato’s creative economy.
It is an inspiring space.
Come on in!
2017 Co Founding team: