Made in Baltimore: Staffing Your Makerspace

Building a great team is critical to any business, and startups in particular. People are the absolute core of any makerspace, and that foundation starts with a smart, diligent, self-driven staff. Before coming on to the Open Works project, I didn’t haveRead More


Made in Baltimore: Marketing Your Makerspace

No matter how amazing your makerspace is, it’s not going to magically fill up with people if no one knows about it. Marketing is a critical piece of launching any small business or nonprofit, and it is often pushed to the backRead More


Made in Baltimore: Pricing Your Memberships for Everyone in the Community

Two weeks ago, Open Works Mobile made its debut at Artscape, Baltimore’s annual 3-day arts festival. Over 350,000 people came through for free concerts, local artists, and great food. At our tent, we had demos going with a desktop CNC and aRead More


Made in Baltimore: Makerspaces Offer Alternatives for Adult Education

Over the last century, adult education in America has traditionally followed in two basic tracks: college or trade school. A university degree generally set one off on a path to higher earnings in stable industries, and a vocational certificate set one offRead More


Made in Baltimore: Makerspaces as a Hub for Workforce Training

The notion of training people for specific jobs is a relatively recent phenomenon, growing out of an economy that has become increasingly specialized over the last century. America started out as an agrarian nation with a largely extractive economy: we grew stuff,Read More


Made in Baltimore: Creating a Mobile Makerspace

Over the course of planning our youth education programming, we’ve spent a lot of time in schools. Teachers have been uniformly excited about the idea of Open Works, particularly in ways it could expand opportunity for their students. Many were interested inRead More


Made in Baltimore: Maker Education

This past January, President Obama announced a $4.1 billion initiative to create and expand computer-science classes in public schools across the nation. His announcement came after a wave of alarmist research warning that America was lagging far behind the rest of theRead More


Made in Baltimore: Community Engagement for Makerspaces

We have been building Open Works on the premise everyone is a maker. In many ways, that is a radical notion, and one that doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality of Baltimore. Today the Baltimore City population is majority female and African-American with aRead More


Made in Baltimore: Outfitting Your Makerspace with Tools and Furniture

At the beginning of the design process, we had to develop a rough equipment spreadsheet for the architect so they could design adequate electrical and ventilation systems. As time went on, this was refined into a proper FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment)Read More

Panorama of Open Works' yard when first purchased. Photo by Will Holman.

Made in Baltimore: Finding the Perfect Property

First, we had to narrow the search down from Baltimore as a whole to a workable region. The old truism about real estate – location, location, location – holds as true for makerspaces as anything else. We needed to be accessible toRead More

Made in Baltimore Pop-Up Shop August 2015. Photo by Andy Cook.

Made in Baltimore: Finding Your People

Baltimore itself is a maker city. In the mid-late 1800s, mills along the Jones Falls River produced more sailcloth than any other city in the world. Heavy industrial manufacturing began in the Victorian era, with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Crown CorkRead More