Today, ArtPlace America announced the 70 projects that it will consider for its 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund. And Talent Maker City is one of them!

Each of the finalists have proposed an opportunity for arts and culture to help address a community development challenge or opportunity related to agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health, housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.

These 70 projects represent 7% of the 987 initial applications that ArtPlace reviewed.

The complete list of 2017 finalists can be found here.

A complete list of our National Creative Placemaking Fund investments to date can be found here.


Dozens gather to support a maker space project in new Talent development | KTVL

Click here for the full story and video
Another round of rousing public support for a TMC's downtown makerspace, at the Talent Urban Renewal Agency's open call for public input on development concepts at the Gateway property.

Talent “Maker City” plans in progress – KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2

Local News Top Stories April 19, 2017  Matt Jordan

Talent, Ore — Talent is looking to turn it’s namesake into a regional attraction with a new ‘Maker Space’ at the entrance to town.

A ‘Maker Space’ is a spot dedicated to teaching useful skills through workshops and hands-on learning.

A meeting of minds at the corner of Valley View and South Pacific Highway discussed the potential of the vacant lot.

‘Talent Maker City’ chair Ryan Wilcoxson says this spot is the perfect fit and the maker’s space will bring interest from all over the valley.

“Ceramics, anything you can think of, metal shop, wood shop, traditional tools, cutting edge technology, all under one roof so idea can be shared,” said Wilcoxson.

Wilcoxson hopes a meeting with the Talent Urban Renewal Agency on May 31st will kickstart the Maker Space development.

Talent Maker City Working on Convincing Talent Urban Renewal Agency to Incorporate TMC Downtown | KTVL

TALENT, Ore.. - Talent Maker City representatives are continuing to work on building a workshop space for the community.

The Talent Urban Renewal Agency is in the process of determining which developments they'd like to house in their Gateway Project downtown.

Talent Maker City Chair, Ryan Wilcoxson, believes a maker space, where people can create and develop ideas, would be the perfect addition to the downtown revitalization.

"A central location in downtown Talent will do several things. It'll feature arts and culture, and It'll work of rebrand Talent as a hub for creative innovation. But it'll also generate regional interest from north and south that Talent might not otherwise have."

Wilcoxson believes that regional interest will yield more business opportunities.

Until they determine whether they will be able to secure a spot in the Gateway Project,

Talent Maker City will hold workshops at various locations throughout the month.

Talent Joins List Of "Maker Cities"


Chicago.  Vancouver.  Memphis.  Talent.  How did one of the Rogue Valley's smaller cities end up on that list?  Because of the enthusiasm of city leaders for fostering entrepreneurship and small manufacturing. 

Talent's maker city effort just sent representatives to an upcoming summit of Etsy Maker Cities in Brooklyn. 

We get the goods on what a maker city is and how things might play out in Talent from Planning Commissioner Allison French and woodworker Ryan Wilcoxson.  


Talent Maker City working to secure site

By Tony Bloom
for the Mail Tribune

With hopes of nurturing a center of creativity for craftspeople, manufacturers and artists in Southern Oregon, Talent Maker City is doing due diligence to increase its chance of success.

Four Talent residents attended a makerspace summit in Brooklyn last May and formed the nucleus of a group working to establish a center here. Makerspaces, community centers with tools, have arisen across the country to provide places for prototyping, light manufacturing and art.


Talent Maker City

Talent News & Review - August, 2016
Story by Ryan Wilcoxson

Two ladies walk into a guy’s garage… It’s an odd start, but it’s the true story of how a small group from little Talent ended up in Brooklyn, New York working with an online retail giant and a dozen other major metropolitan cities scattered about North America on what it means to be a MakerCity.

I’m the guy in the garage and the two ladies are Talent Planning Commissioner Allison French and local artist Karen Rycheck. Earlier this year, Karen discovered an online application to attend a workshop in Brooklyn focused on the idea that local government and creative communities can work together to change the way we buy, sell, and create goods. She recruited Allison, also a maker, and the two of them set out on a stroll to share ideas and, likely, to purge some of the frenetic energy that often follows big news and bigger possibilities. On that stroll, they ran into Mayor Darby Stricker, out on a bike ride, pitched the opportunity and instantly received her honorable endorsement. A short block later, Karen and Alli, no doubt attracted to the sweet tunes and sawdust billowing from my garage workshop, like moths to a streetlight, stopped in with a vague but agreeable proposition: “Want to go to New York?” If I recall, my reply was a tacit, “Yes?”

Against long odds, our group from Talent was selected from amongst 126 other American and Canadian applicant cities to participate in the inaugural Etsy MakerCities Summit ( In May, with generous support from the City of Talent, The Talent Chamber of Commerce, The Talent Arts and Cultural Foundation, and local business leader, Joe Wissman, we packed our bags and made our pilgrimage to Brooklyn. We didn’t quite know what to expect from the two-day summit, but we were certainly intent on taking full advantage of the resources and support offered by Etsy and making the most of what we knew would be an incredible opportunity to do something good for our hometown.

To offer some background, Etsy is a global online retailer of all things artisan. Vested in creative communities producing and selling handcrafted goods around the world, they conceived the Etsy MakerCities Summit based on the belief that there are largely untapped opportunities for local governments to enable members of the maker community start and grow their creative businesses. Building on that premise, Etsy assembled a group of experts to guide a lively discussion and exploration of new ideas in support of each of the 13 participating cities tailoring the MakerCity concept to best serve our unique communities.

Going into the summit, each of us had our own hatchling ideas of somehow, some way, someday bringing a makerspace to Talent. Already popular in many big cities, a makerspace is structured much like a fitness gym. Instead of treadmills, weights, and Jazzercise (is that still a thing?), a makerspace offers access to a tantalizing array of tools, technology, a space to create. Further, instead of personal trainers to help tone your abs for summer, a makerspace offers classes, training, and support for any number of creative endeavors, from throwing your first clay pot, to experienced guidance in prototyping an invention, to developing a sound business plan to market and sell that invention.

In Talent’s case, a makerspace is the foundation on top of which a MakerCity is built. If a makerspace is the physical location at which creativity rules, ideas are made realities, and disappearing handmade skills are shared and passed on to younger generations, then a MakerCity is the governing philosophy that supports and sustains our local maker economy and encourages creative entrepreneurship to build a more connected, more successful, thriving Talent.

We’re incredibly fortunate to have a forward-thinking city government that recognizes both the need to revitalize our downtown district and the blunt reality that a healthy downtown only happens when a proper foundation is laid to support a sustainable local economy. On the government side of this equation, that means shaping policy to be more welcoming of new business which, in turn, will attract more local commerce. A more robust local economy, thriving in a revitalized city center, will motivate residents to spend more time in their downtown, rather than heading off to neighboring cities by default. We, along with the City, expect a bustling downtown makerspace to be the keystone feature that anchors the social and economic development that connects, grows, and sustains our community.

In working to shape policy and bringing a makerspace to our hometown, we also have the unique opportunity to rebrand Talent as a hub of innovation in the Rogue Valley. The MakerCity model creates and sustains a uniquely skilled population – not just in Talent, but also throughout Southern Oregon. Our work to educate the community about the maker movement, the emerging maker economy, and the MakerCity model has been met with abundant enthusiasm across the board, from creative locals willing to pitch in where they can, to civic, education, and business leaders who see the very real potential to do something positive and lasting for the region, both socially and economically.

Our intention is to do good for Talent by doing good for the region. We started small, but the idea is snowballing as word spreads and outreach efforts continue. Bringing a makerspace to Talent and embracing the MakerCity movement will go a long way in creating a thriving downtown and a sustainable local economy. There’s much work to be done, but the potential is immense. If you’d like to be part of the Talent MakerCity movement, please send us and email or find us on Facebook.