BARN – a new makerspace in Bainbridge Island
Karen and Elise took on Seattle! And, of course, our first stop was the new makerspace on Bainbridge Island, the BARN (Bainbridge Arts Resource Network). We were lucky to visit for their grand opening and to see this impressive facility.
The Board of BARN raised $8.5 million dollars to launch the space and it shows. The facility is spacious, has a full range of equipment, and great classes and volunteers lined up to help members learn to create. In addition to the range of workshops for metal and woodworking, textiles and glass, they also have cooking, writing, film and musical making and performing spaces.
It’s quite a different approach to most of the spaces we’ve visited, in that it appears to be a top-down approach. There were a lot of enthusiastic volunteers who could tell you all about their area and classes, but did not know the answers to any management or financial questions. Many of us are used to the model where spaces grow up from a fully community managed endeavor. Is this a sign of where the movement is going, now that the idea has caught on? As the value of these creative spaces is becoming clear for economic development, more communities are investing in building and sustaining makerspaces that provide opportunities for skills development, entrepreneurial resources, education for all ages, and creative expression. Learn more about the development of makerspaces and share best practices at the Rocky Mountain Makerspace Summit July 13-15.