Lexington Makerspace inspires collaboration

Goodin+%28left%29+participates+in+a+wrapping+paper+themed+event.
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Lexington Makerspace inspires collaboration

Goodin (left) participates in a wrapping paper themed event.

Goodin (left) participates in a wrapping paper themed event.

Lily Moreschi

Goodin (left) participates in a wrapping paper themed event.

Lily Moreschi

Lily Moreschi

Goodin (left) participates in a wrapping paper themed event.

Lily Moreschi, Reporter

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Lexington now has a space for community members of all ages to come and create anything from art to a new invention. The Lexington Collaboratory and Makerspace, founded by Main Street Lexington, allows hobbyists, and aspiring entrepreneurs alike to channel their ideas and help them come to life.

A Makerspace is collaborative workspace that allows like-minded innovators to create, build, and learn together. The concept of a Makerspace has expanded in larger cities such as Staunton and Richmond, and opened in Lexington in mid-July. Lexington’s own Makerspace, located at 18 E Nelson Street, was generated through workers from Main Street Lexington and the work of the city manager.

“Our city manager, Noah Simon, always told us about how cool Makerspaces were in other cities where he had been and how they help to contribute to economic development,” said founder Jamie Goodin.

Main Street Lexington helped to get the Makerspace up off the ground by helping to provide the grants and tools that built the Makerspace.  

“It’s a Main Street Lexington organization, so they provided grants and utilities. We’ve been trying to get other equipment from donations,” said Goodin. “We won a grant recently and got a 3D printer, and we’re about to get a laser cutter and engraver, which we’re going to make ourselves.”

The Makerspace has workshops which are open to the public every Tuesday and Thursday.

It also holds special events that teach participants how to make specific objects These events happen on both weeknights and weekends. Past events include DIY eclipse viewer, magazine origami, and how to make a fidget spinner.

“We like to have events where people can help other people and learn how to make things. Making in pretty broad, so it could be anything,” said Goodin. “We’ve made bow ties, gifts, websites, clean inboxes, and all types of stuff.”

All events, workshops, and ‘maker jams’ are open to the public and for community members all ages.

“Right now, we don’t have a membership program, so anybody can come,” said Goodin. “We’re really just trying to spread the word.”

Goodin plans to grow the Makerspace by utilizing the entrepreneurs that currently exist in the community.

“We continue to have really good programming, and getting really good entrepreneurs to come in and teach classes, and provide value and a place for education to happen.” said Goodin. “Also we continue to get pieces of equipment that attract people to come in and use to make stuff for their own businesses.”

Goodin feels that the Makerspace provides a unique opportunity for education in the community that would otherwise be unavailable to community members.

“There’s not any place for adults or kids to learn and do hands-on crafty things in town right now, especially not tech related stuff, so it’s just a good place that a lot of other cities have for creativity to thrive in,” said Goodin.

To learn more on upcoming events and workshops, visit www.collaboratorylexva.com.