Educational Programming, Memberships, and Studio Space Rentals Open to All
Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation officially opened yesterday Open Works, the highly anticipated $11.5 million incubator for Maryland’s creative economy.
The 34,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art facility, which happens to be the sixth largest makerspace in the nation, was developed to expand access to advanced tools and technologies for residents of Baltimore and the surrounding region through low-cost memberships, rental workspaces, educational classes, and workforce training opportunities in partnership with other regional organizations.
“Congressman Elijah Cummings referred to Open Works as a house of dreams during last year’s groundbreaking” said Will Holman, General Manager of Open Works. “His vision of Open Works as a place for all people in Baltimore to transform their creative ideas into new products and new businesses is at the heart of our mission. This is a place where anyone can make virtually anything.”
Varied levels of membership are offered at Open Works, and anyone can join:
- MAKER: Access to Sewing, 3D Printing, Digital Media, Electronics and a state-of-the-art computer lab for up to 78 hours a week. Cost: $70 per month.
- BUILDER: Access to Wood, Metal, and Digital Fabrication shops and a state-of-the-art computer lab for up to 78 hours a week. Cost: $90 per month.
- PRO: Access to the Computer Lab, Digital Media, 3D Printing, Electronics, Textiles, Digital Fabrication, Wood Shop, and Metal Shop for up to 78 hours a week*. Cost $125/month.
- DAY PASS: The opportunity to try Open Works for one day.
In addition, Open Works offers 7’x7’ micro-studios, which are outfitted with a workbench, a storage locker, access to meeting rooms, and free wi-fi. Micro-studio licenses are available for $125 per month in conjunction with a membership for tool access. For those working on short-term projects, Day Studio Licenses are available for $25 per day, offering the same benefits as a full micro-studio.
Those who sign up for at least one month of an Open Works membership by Oct. 31 will receive the following month at no cost. Safety classes, a permanent credential, is required for all shops and is non-transferable to other members. Additional safety training required for the use of welding and plasma cutting equipment.
For its education and community programming, Open Works received support from PNC, Telesis Corporation and the T.Rowe Price Foundation.Upcoming classes, seminars and workshops include:
Family Open Shop: Open Works Tours and Hands-On Activities for Families: Offers hands-on making workshops and facility tours for families every Saturday starting in October. These multigenerational workshops are for children ages 5 and older and their supervising adults to try jewelry making, ceramics, woodworking, coding, sewing and more! Pre-registration encouraged but not required; and the program fee is pay what you can and FREE during the month of October thanks to Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts Free Fall Baltimore. Snacks included.
Hands-On Maker Classes and Workshops for Adults at Open Works
Developed for both curious hobbyists, graduates, and skilled makers looking to sharpen their skills, Open Works’ lineup of shop safety, skill and project-based classes and workshops will delve into textiles, electronics, 3D printing, computers, digital media, CNC machining, wood and metal, and making a business plan. Many of the adult programs are provided in partnerhip with the Station North Tool Library, Baltimore Jewelry Center, SewLab,and Baltimore Print Studios –aggregating diverse, city-wide maker talent under one roof.
“Makerspaces are emerging as a third way outside of the traditional binary path of college or the trades,” said Neil Didrikson, Open Works Board Chair. “With a vast array of equipment and the flexibility to quickly prototype programs, these types of facilities are in a great position to provide a new kind of youth and adult education.”
“This region is rich with higher education institutions, but for many of the capable and ambitious graduates, access to high-tech equipment and digital technology ceases once they receive their diplomas, and the opportunity to begin their own enterprises and further their training becomes significantly reduced,” he added. “Our mission is to incubate a pipeline of talent and create ladders of opportunity for Baltimore residents to access and grow our 21st century economy.”
Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by a public Grand Opening Festival on the Open Works campus (1400 Greenmount Ave.) on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The free community event will feature over 40 vendor booths, food trucks, live music, street art demonstrations, and group tours. The entertainment line up currently includes:
- TT The Artist (http://tttheartist.com),
- James Nasty (http://jamesnasty.com),
- Jordan August band (https://jordanaugustband.bandcamp.com), and
- Power Wheels racing (http://www.powerracingseries.org/) — the only sub-$500 electric vehicle racing series that features adults driving kids cars.
Open Works is the second project in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District to be completed by non-profit developer BARCO in the last twelve months. BARCO has partnered with public and private sources to finance Open Works. PNC Bank and Telesis Corporation have invested in the project and the Reinvestment Fund and the Baltimore Development Corporation has provided low-interest loans. BARCO has also received grants from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, the Abell Foundation, the Maryland General Assembly, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Maryland Department of Commerce. M & T Bank provided the construction financing, and Stanley Black & Decker has donated $15,000 in tools and equipment.
* Some windows of availability may be constricted due to class use. CNC and laser cutters must be reserved through the Open Works website reservation system in 1-hour increments. Members must estimate cut time before reserving a slot. Subject to maximum hour allowance depending on overall demand.
About Open Works:
Through affordable memberships and month-to-month space rentals, Open Works makes tools, technology, and the know-how to use them accessible to all. The 34,000-square-foot state of the art fabrication facility developed by the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation houses a wood shop, metal shop, and digital media studio along with a digital fabrication shop (CNC routers and laser cutters), a 3D printing studio, an electronics lab, and a textiles studio. In addition, Open Works offers 140 individual micro-studios (7’x7’ work spaces) for designing, assembling, and finishing projects. For more information visit www.openworksbmore.com.