Makers Market of Ludington

Announcement: COMMUNITY MAKERSPACE CLOSES, Habitat for Humanity receives donation of tools and equipment
Ludington MI -  The Makers Market of Ludington, a community makerspace, has officially closed as of June 1. A caravan of volunteers moved the remaining tools, equipment and fixtures to Habitat for Humanity of Mason County as a donation during the final phase of dismantling.
“The most important goal for us was to preserve the intended use of these tools, which is for them to be used for community benefit,” said Erica Karmeisool, director of the Makers Market. “We feel Habitat will do that through its mission, and we support their efforts.”
"When moving into our new ReStore space, an ideal area within the building presented itself as an opportunity to create a workshop, learning outlet and an additional revenue source in order to fulfill our mission of encouraging, empowering and educating folks in our community," said Jamie Healy, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Mason County. "We are excited, at the Habitat ReStore, to now have the resources that will allow us to make our vision for the open space a reality.”
Mason County Makers

Karmeisool said although there is currently no longer a community makerspace, the Makers Market Facebook page will continue to operate as, “Mason County Makers,” to serve as a communication hub for those interested in this effort. “Our group is committed to the growth of the area’s Maker Movement,” said Karmeisool.
The Makers Market opened in March 2016, and it provided the venue and equipment for adults and youth to engage in hands-on experiences (such as woodworking, electronics, home repair, sewing, painting, and more) on a membership basis. It grew to accommodate the needs and requests for more educational opportunities, STEM education, fields trips, in­-school programming, and drop-­in workshops.
The fledgling organization struggled to keep up with those requests. In Dec. 2017, members and volunteers determined the most effective way to serve these needs was to offer its tools and funding as a bequest to a local organization to establish a makerspace or similar resource for the purpose of community enrichment.
In Jan. 2018, the bequest was initially awarded to three organizations; Oaktree Academy, which proposed to open a Tinker Studio, and $500 each allocated to Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters (COVE) and to the Mason County Eastern Schools “Cardinaltronics” Robotics Team #6005. Oaktree was unable to accept the request due to board-directed changes within the organization.
“Lisa Cooper [former Oaktree director] was very helpful in assisting us with finding another recipient,” said Karmeisool. She said there was interest from the Ludington Area Center for the Arts and the Ludington Area School District. “Despite their support and enthusiasm, neither organization was able to accommodate the bequest,” said Karmeisool. “That’s when Habitat became settled in their new building and considered how the bequest may fit with their vision.” 
“Although we had the vision, that vision came with cost; a cost we were not willing to spend at the sacrifice of other housing projects,” said Healy. “However, in this incredible community there are folks who feel very passionately about having a resource, like a makerspace, who are willing to donate funds designated to the creation of that space. Because of those folks and their seed money, we are working on developing a plan for the space.” Healy said she hopes to have the vision in writing in the near future so they can begin implementing the plan to open the space soon.
Karmeisool said that Habitat’s resources and services align with the spirit of the Maker Movement and the original goals of the bequest. “We have previously partnered with Habitat to host free skill-building workshops and have cooperated in other ways,” said Karmeisool, who is currently working at Gateway to Success (G2S) Academy as its Makerspace Coordinator. “We feel Habitat is a great fit for this donation, and we are optimistic about the future. We will do our best to support their success and the growth of Mason County’s maker movement.”



Greetings, Habitat for HumanityWe are pleased to let you know that Makers Market Members are excited and encouraged that Habitat for Humanity of Mason County is the recipient of the makerspace assets from our bequest. We hope this gift enables you to advance your mission, which provides great benefit to our community, and we support your efforts. 
We appreciate and applaud the resources that Habitat brings to our community, and we feel your organization aligns with the spirit of the Maker Movement and the original goals of our bequest. We, as a committed group of Makers, look forward to working together to help ensure this gift brings substantial benefit to Habitat and the community at large.
We are honored to present you with our makerspace assets to support Habitat for Humanity of Mason County.
Kind regards and congratulations,
the Makers Market Membership
 
Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters (COVE)

Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters (COVE): $500 was awarded to COVE for its proposed “Empower Me Makerspace.” Clients will learn skills, self-sufficiency and entrepreneurialism by creating handmade products and selling them locally and online. “Our clients will be thrilled with the opportunity this funding will provide to them,” said Sandy Francis, development and public relations manager. “Adding a makerspace to COVE resources enhances our ability to increase the success of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing them with an opportunity to learn sustainable skills. This will also benefit local employers by helping to increase a skilled and motivated workforce.”


Mason County Eastern Schools Cardinaltronics Robotics Team #6005

Mason County Eastern Schools Cardinaltronics Robotics Team #6005: $500 was awarded to the MCE “Cardinaltronics” for the purchase of tools, which will also be made available to others in the district, including the Drama Club and Art Department. "As Mason County's original FIRST Robotics team, Cardinaltronics #6005 is excited to continue the spirit of the Makers Market with this bequest,” said Sarah McDonald, MCE science teacher and robotics team lead mentor. “It is heartwarming to see our community supporting and nurturing the young makers at Mason County Eastern."
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