Makerspace coming to Texarkana

New nonprofit to offer hobbyists and entrepreneurs a place to collaborate

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They’ve been called a “playground for adults”, and now a nonprofit maker facility is set to open in Texarkana to offer residents a space to hone their crafts and collaborate on projects.

Known as “makerspaces”, the nonprofit operations are popular for offering craftsmen, hobbyists, inventors, entrepreneurs, gamers and tinkerers a place to pool resources and share equipment and knowledge.

Members’ interests and public involvement will be key to deciding which gear and machinery Makerspace Texarkana will offer upon opening, but priority is being placed on technology and technological experimentation, creative arts, woodworking, automotive/machinery, and homesteading projects.

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Makerspace Texarkana President Matt Keathley says the facility will open soon after the new year. “All around the country there exists places to imagine, learn, and create. Now, Texarkana will have access to just such a place,” Keathley said. “The maker movement has swept the country, creating new things like 3D printers and rapid prototyping. We can benefit our community with this shared community laboratory and workshop.”

Members of the Texarkana Makerspace will also be able to take or teach classes or workshops. “It’s a peer-to-peer learning culture,” said board member Brin Dunkeson. “This will be a place for kitchen table inventors, garage woodworkers, techies, and small-scale crafters to come together, learn from each other, and have access to tools and equipment most of us don’t have at home,” she added. “To say I’m optimistic about the potential of what this space will mean to Texarkana is a huge understatement.”

The Makerspace will be funded by $40 monthly memberships, a figure Keathley likes to note is equivalent to a gym membership. Discounted memberships for students and families will also be available.

The public is invited to learn more about Makerspace Texarkana during a public interest meeting on December 5, 2015, at 11 am, at Levi Hall on the Texarkana College campus. Additional information is available through the organization’s website at: www.makerspacetexarkana.org.

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