Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ | Membership FAQ

What is Talent Maker City?

The future belongs to those who can imagine it. Talent Maker City (TMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Talent, serving Southern Oregon as a regional hub for creative and economic innovation. TMC operates a bustling makerspace brimming with creative energy in Talent’s downtown district that offers the space, tools, and resources to better equip our community with the skills to participate in a rapidly changing global economy.

We offer monthly and yearly memberships, and also serve our community and supporting local makers and business by offering fun and interesting skills-based workshops and classes in our current makerspace (304 E. Main Street) and in various locations around the Rogue Valley.

Does the City of Talent own or operate Talent Maker City?

No. Talent Maker City (TMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2016. The organization is governed and operated independent of the City of Talent, though we do share many of the same goals of a more connected, more prosperous community through creative economic innovation.

What is a makerspace?

Already popular in many larger cities throughout the country, makerspaces are do-it-yourself places where people can gather to create, learn, and share ideas. The makerspace membership model is similar to that of a fitness gym. Instead of treadmills and weights, however, a makerspace offers access to a wide array of tools, technology, and space in which to create meaningful art and develop do-it-yourself skills. Further, instead of personal trainers and yoga classes, makerspaces offer training and support for any number of creative and technical endeavors, from throwing a clay pot, to experienced guidance in prototyping an invention, to developing a sound business plan, to marketing and selling that invention.

A makerspace is a diverse education and economic development facility that:

  • Provides access to a wide variety of tools and equipment (from traditional tools like lathes and kilns, to emerging technologies like 3-D printers) for building, creating and prototyping;

  • Provides collaborative space for individuals and teams to create and share projects;

  • Offers a social place for people with different skills and common interests to share ideas;

  • Provides local education and career pathways through economic and workforce development in the form of hands-on workshops, from welding and woodworking to programming and small scale manufacturing; and

  • Provides an open environment for intergenerational and cross-cultural learning, innovation and creative expression.

For those wanting to learn more about makerspaces in general, here’s a fantastic recent radio interview featuring Kelley Roy from Portland’s premier makerspace, Art Design Portland (ADX). Kelley is a consultant for Talent Maker City. For additional resources about the maker movement, please see our last FAQ here.

What kinds of tools does the makerspace have?

TMC’s 3,700 sq ft makerspace (304 E. Main St in Talent) is brimming with tools and equipment in the following shops, including (with new additions each week!):

 

Woodshop:

  • Industrial 52” SawStop,

  • Floor standing drill press

  • 14” band saw

  • Compound miter saw station

  • 12” disc sander

  • Spindle sander

  • Combo sander

  • 6” jointer

  • 15” spiral cutter head planer

  • Router table

  • Full size and midi lathes

  • 8’ x 4’ CNC (coming soon)

  • Shapeoko XL CNC (coming soon)

  • Work benches, compressed air, drills and drivers

  • And more!

Ceramics:

  • 1 Kiln

  • 3 Potters wheels

  • Wedging table, slab table, and other work surfaces

  • Wall-mounted clay extruder

  • Assorted tile tools

Fiber Arts:

  • 4 Singer heavy duty sewing machines

  • Brother serger

  • Sewing and cutting tables

  • Vinyl heat presses

  • 4 color/1 station screen printing press

  • Flash dryer for screen printing

  • 30” IR conveyor dryer

  • Screen printing darkroom and washout station

  • Assorted other fiber arts tools

 

Digital Fabrication:

  • Full Spectrum 20” x 12” 45W laser engraver/cutter

  • Glowforge laser engraver/cutter

  • Cameo 12” vinyl cutter

  • Prusa i3 MK3S 3D printers

  • More on the way!

What are TMC’s Mission and Vision?

  • Our Mission: Talent Maker City is an inclusive, nonprofit organization bringing environmentally responsible, sustainable economic growth to the region by providing the facilities and resources to serve Southern Oregon as a hub for technical innovation, creative entrepreneurship, and STEAM-oriented collaborative learning for curious minds of all ages.

  • Our Vision: Talent Maker City’s vision is to establish a community-accessible, environmentally responsible maker ecosystem that removes barriers and inspires artists, makers, and manufacturers to create, market, and sell their goods.

What is a “Maker City” and how did Talent become one?

October 2015: With a grant from the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) the City of Talent’s Community Development Department brought Illana Preuss from Recast City to Talent to evaluate the City’s economic potential. Pruess gave nationwide examples of maker microbusinesses attracting increased regional interest by repositioning real estate in response to changing market demand. Most of the core group now involved with TMC attended this presentation and began to imagine using public-private partnerships to revitalize Talent. (Pruess’ similar presentation in Grants Pass can be found here.)

March 2016: Against long odds, Etsy.com (the global online retailer of handcrafted goods) selected a group from Talent, along with 12 other North American cities from among 126 applicant cities to participate in its inaugural MakerCities Summit. The Talent City Council voted to pay travel expenses to send a planning commissioner and the Mayor to attend the Summit in Brooklyn, New York, to learn how to promote the City’s economic development.

May 2016: During the intensive two-day MakerCities Summit, Etsy guided workshops and brought in a diverse lineup of speakers to espouse the idea that there’s untapped opportunity for local municipalities to engage and support their local makers to ultimately change the way we all create, buy, and sell goods.

By far the smallest city selected to participate in the MakerCities Summit, the Talent contingent returned home on a mission to adapt what we learned in Brooklyn to fit the needs of own community and rebrand Talent as a regional hub for creative, technical, and cultural innovation.

August 2016: The City of Talent approved its 20-year Comprehensive Plan supporting development of a maker ecosystem to support economic growth and educational and cultural opportunities by supporting development of a makerspace and business incubator in Talent to help local artisans and small-scale manufacturers grow. (Objective 4.3 and 4.3a: Economy Element, City of Talent Comprehensive Plan.)

December 2016: Talent Maker City was formed in response to the needs and objectives expressed in the Comprehensive Plan. The original group formally adopted Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and policies, installed its Board of Directors and was recognized by the IRS as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Where is Talent’s makerspace?

TMC moved into a 3700 sq ft leased commercial space in downtown Talent (next door to the Grotto, across from the Pump House) in July of 2018. We hope to be in this space for about 2-3 years until we can build our bigger, purpose-built “forever” home in Talent.

What are TMC’s Services?

Our concept of community service is built on the makerspace platform driving creative expression, grassroots economic sustainability, and career readiness. TMC currently offers the following services, which will be greatly expanded once our fully equipped and staffed makerspace is open for business:

  • Membership-based access to tools and space: TMC provides a collaborative workspace priced at different membership levels, for makers to create in space they don’t otherwise have, on otherwise inaccessible equipment, alongside other creatives.

  • Skills-based education: We will continue to develop and deliver hands-on programs, in collaboration with local school districts and community colleges, to offer early exposure to STEAM-based skills that promote vocational training enrollment and help build a more qualified local workforce.

  • Economic development: TMC will serve as a launchpad for new and established maker microbusinesses, from starting up to scaling local operations.

What has TMC been working on?

Since its formal inception in December 2016, TMC has worked to continually assess and ensure broad and sustained community support for its work, beyond a small group of founding creatives. TMC has laid the groundwork for its success by building diverse capacity in its leadership, establishing a strong network of partnerships in local government, industry and education sectors, designing community needs assessments, and mindfully adapting to feedback from current and potential supporters.

  • TMC is currently collaborating with our local government (Talent Urban Renewal Agency and the City of Talent) to jointly develop an innovative approach to meet the needs that the community has articulated (and the City has codified in its 20-year plan for economic development) in constructing a makerspace in the heart of a revitalized downtown district.

  • TMC has also built strong relationships with regional education organizations to support and expand Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) proficiency, both in and out of the classroom.

  • In addition to curriculum development, TMC has been actively partnering with local and statewide education and business organizations to develop programming to guide artists and makers in bringing their goods to market.

  • As a result of our early successes, TMC now consistently partners with established organizations such as ScienceWorks, Rogue Climate, Southern Oregon Education District, the Talent Chamber of Commerce and others. TMC was a headlining contributor in the 2017 Rogue Valley Mini Maker Fair. In the Spring of 2017, we were a headlining contributor providing a children’s educational craft tent at the Rogue Valley Earth Day (RVED) festival. For the 2018 event, we have increased our involvement by becoming the fiscal sponsor for RVED, while again running the hands-on educational craft tent.

  • We also are integrated in just about every other community event, such as hosting a Fix-It-Fair, participating in Clean Energy Alley at the Talent Harvest Festival, Day of the Dead Race Event, as well as hosting our first annual Holiday Maker Market and planning for our second Maker Market.

What is STEAM?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. You've probably heard it referred to as STEM is the context of education and industry. We like to include Art to better represent our integrated approach to cross-discipline exposure and collaboration. 

How can I get involved?
There are lots of ways to get involved! Volunteering is a great way to lend a hand and get familiar with what TMC does and who we serve. We welcome volunteers for everything from collecting signatures for a petition to leading maker workshops. Another way to get involved is through donations. Money, tools, materials, your valuable time, we’ll gladly take what we can get!

Does TMC offer workshops?
Yes! We offer skills-based workshops at a variety of locations. A schedule of upcoming workshops and events can be found here. If you’re interested in leading a workshop in your field of expertise, let’s talk!

How do I learn more about becoming a member?
See membership FAQ here.

What’s with the paper airplane?
Our logo features a paper airplane soaring through the sky because it invokes the joy and satisfaction of what is for many of us our first maker project!

What is creative placemaking?
“Creative placemaking seeks to help communities develop a stronger sense of identity, building on native cultural assets to create more cohesive, healthy, and resilient places. The deliberate integration of arts and culture into community development work brings arts organizations and artists to the table, helping to design land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies.” Read more at Arts.gov.

How can I Learn More about the Maker Movement?
Below are some excellent resources to get you you started and inspired!

City Lab (The Atlantic Feb. 2017)  - What Should Cities Make?
Informative article that talks of the need for not only makerspace but the network of small batch manufacturers. While the article focuses on urban makerspaces, the concepts can easily be adapted/scaled to Rural as we take into account the size of Talent. Read more ->

National League of Cities (NLC website)
Discovering your City’s Maker Economy (By the National League of Cities, Etsy, Recast City and the Urban Manufacturing Alliance). Go to PDF ->

Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA website)

Nation of Makers (website)

Make Magazine (website)

“Made by Memphis”
The Mayor and Council in Memphis are particularly invested in the maker movement as it contributes to economic growth. Read more here ->

Recast City (website)
In December of 2015, Recast City's founder, Illana Pruess, evaluated Talent and presented her suggested strategy of revitalizing our downtown district by encouraging creative businesses to engage in small-scale manufacturing to create more local and regional interest.

Ilana Pruess TEDx Talk – The Economic Power of Great Places 

Biz503 Podcast Season 3 Episode 5: Do it Yourself – Maker Spaces
(Featuring Talent Maker City consultant Kelley Roy from Portland’s ADX)

Maker City, A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities (View PDF)
Peter Hirshberg Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (October 17, 2016)

Etsy.com – Maker Cities
Where it all began for Talent Maker City! 

Crowdsourced Atlas of Community Innovation Spaces (Map)

 

Talent Maker City Membership FAQ

What is a makerspace?

Already popular in many larger cities throughout the country, makerspaces are do-it-yourself places where people can gather to create, learn, and share ideas. The makerspace membership model is similar to that of a fitness gym. Instead of treadmills and weights, however, a makerspace offers access to a wide array of tools, technology, and space in which to create meaningful art and develop do-it-yourself skills. Further, instead of personal trainers and yoga classes, makerspaces offer training and support for any number of creative and technical endeavors, from throwing a clay pot, to experienced guidance in prototyping an invention, to developing a sound business plan, to marketing and selling that invention.

A makerspace is a diverse education and economic development facility that:

  • Provides access to a wide variety of tools and equipment (from traditional tools like lathes and kilns, to emerging technologies like 3-D printers) for building, creating and prototyping;

  • Provides collaborative space for individuals and teams to create and share projects;

  • Offers a social place for people with different skills and common interests to share ideas;

  • Provides local education and career pathways through economic and workforce development in the form of hands-on workshops, from welding and woodworking to programming and small scale manufacturing; and

  • Provides an open environment for intergenerational and cross-cultural learning, innovation and creative expression.

What kinds of tools and equipment does TMC’s makerspace have?
TMC’s 3,700 sq ft makerspace (304 E. Main St in Talent) is brimming with tools and equipment in the following shops, including (with new additions each week!): 

Woodshop:

  • Industrial 52” SawStop,

  • Floor standing drill press

  • 14” band saw

  • Compound miter saw station

  • 12” disc sander

  • Spindle sander

  • Combo sander

  • 6” jointer

  • 15” spiral cutter head planer

  • Router table

  • Full size and midi lathes

  • 8’ x 4’ CNC (coming soon)

  • Shapeoko XL CNC (coming soon)

  • Work benches, compressed air, drills and drivers

  • And more!

Ceramics:

  • 1 Kiln

  • 3 Potters wheels

  • Wedging table, slab table, and other work surfaces

  • Wall-mounted clay extruder

  • Assorted tile tools

Fiber Arts:

  • 4 Singer heavy duty sewing machines

  • Brother serger

  • Sewing and cutting tables

  • Vinyl heat presses

  • 4 color/1 station screen printing press

  • Flash dryer for screen printing

  • 30” IR conveyor dryer

  • Screen printing darkroom and washout station

  • Assorted other fiber arts tools

Digital Fabrication:

  • Full Spectrum 20” x 12” 45W laser engraver/cutter

  • Glowforge laser engraver/cutter

  • Cameo 12” vinyl cutter

  • Prusa i3 MK3S 3D printers

  • More on the way!

What are the benefits of becoming a member of TMC’s maker community?

When you become a member of TMC, you will join a vibrant community of makers with the space, tools and bustling creativity and innovation where you can:

  • Learn from, teach and inspire other makers in a fun, collaborative, intergenerational environment;

  • Fulfill your creative dreams;

  • Fail in a supportive environment! And try, try again;

  • Realize your economic potential – we can help you launch your maker microbusiness from your brain and garage to market; and

  • Support our local maker movement and TMC’s ability to continue offering excellent STEAM and other programming for youth and adults.

How much does a membership cost?

  • Monthly Maker Membership: $45 per month (includes 2 free trainings).

  • Yearly Maker Membership: $495 per year (includes one free month and 2 free trainings.)

TMC is having a special promotional membership offer until the end of the year! Join as a Yearly Maker before December 31, 2019 and the first year of your annual membership will be only $405 . . . that’s 3 free months!

  • Day pass: $10 per day

Membership payments are set up online at https://talentmakercity.org/memberships and are automatically renewed monthly or annually, depending on your membership level. Currently, all payments are all made online through PayPal. 

TMC accepts checks and cash for Yearly Maker memberships only.

Extra charges (including equipment bookings, locker storage, etc.) are added to monthly invoices.

Memberships and member benefits (e.g. discounts on workshops) are not transferable to non-members.

Can I trade my time for membership?

We are looking for Shop Stewards and other experienced (or motivated and trained!) persons at the makerspace and will consider offers of fair exchanges of time for memberships. Please email makeit@talentmakercity.org for inquiries. 

Does TMC offer corporate or group memberships?

For inquiries about corporate or other group membership opportunities, email makeit@talentmakercity.org.

Do you offer tours?

Yes! We have weekly tours at the shop (304 E. Main St. in Talent by the Grotto):

  • Tuesday evenings from 5:45 - 6:15 pm

  • Saturday afternoons 11:00 – 11:30 am

Can youth become members?

At this time, memberships are available only for adults 18 years and older. However, TMC offers regular STEAM workshops for younger makers; sign up for our newsletter at https://talentmakercity.org and follow us on Facebook https://facebook.com/talentmakercity to stay updated!

Can I store my projects or other items at TMC’s makerspace while I’m working on them?

Generally, no. Some projects or materials may be stored at TMC only with the permission of a TMC staff member and provided they are stored in a location that is not hazardous or inconvenient to staff or other members. Such projects or materials must be properly labeled with the maker's full name, the date it will be removed, and a phone number of the project owner. Unlabeled items left on the premises for more than 48 hours or after membership expires will be removed. TMC will make an effort to notify individuals before material/projects are removed. TMC is not responsible for any item left at TMC under any circumstances. 

Lockers for temporary project storage are available on a limited basis; additional rental fees apply. Contact makeit@talentmakercity.org to request temporary project storage. TMC reserves the right to restrict the materials and equipment members and participants may bring to the TMC facility if such items have the potential to impede TMC staff, member or workshop participant use and enjoyment of the TMC facility. All solvents and other chemicals brought to the shop must have prior clearance from TMC staff. 

I am moving from the area or otherwise need to cancel my membership - help!

TMC offers refunds if membership is canceled within 5 days of the charge. After 5 days of the charge, TMC does not offer membership refunds except for specific events, such as moving over 25 miles from the area, disability or death. A 10% processing fee will be assessed for all membership refunds. Please send refund inquiries to makeit@talentmakercity.org.

I signed up for a workshop but can’t make it, what do I do?

Please send refund or rescheduling requests to makeit@talentmakercity.org. Although we make our best effort to accommodate any late-notice cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances, TMC is not responsible for providing refunds for workshops, or other programming missed due to illness, emergencies, or events beyond our control with less than 24-hour notice. A 10% processing fee will be assessed for all canceled or rescheduled individual workshop registrations. TMC reserves the right to cancel programming at any time and will notify students via email and/or phone. In the case of a workshop cancellation, TMC will notify workshop takers no less than 24 hours before the scheduled workshop. In the rare event that TMC cancels a workshop, a full refund will be provided. If a workshop should fail to meet minimum enrollment 2 days prior to the scheduled meeting, the workshop will be canceled. If a student misses a single workshop in a series or portion of a workshop, TMC and its instructors are not responsible for makeup sessions. Students should inform TMC as soon as they are aware of a session they will miss. In some cases, the student may need to sign up for 1:1 instruction time in order to catch up.

I just joined as a member and want to start making NOW! How do I start?

Welcome to our maker community and thank you for joining! Obviously because of safety and liability concerns, we need to provide training on safe and sensible use and clear you before we set you free in the makerspace. Some introductory workshops will also fulfill the training and clearance requirement for new members. Monthly and yearly members receive two free training sessions for 2 different shops in the makerspace. Sign up for your trainings (held weekly) at: https://talentmakercity.org/orientation 

Can I reserve equipment at specific times?

Yes, members have the option to reserve equipment (“book resources”) to ensure its availability for a specific project, for a reasonable extra charge through your membership portal https://members.talentmakercity.org with certain restrictions.  

I want to make a bunch of stuff and do a production run at the makerspace, can I do that?

TMC provides workshop access for limited production runs of goods. Select pieces of equipment are available at an additional charge for scheduled use up to 4 hours (see Resources tab). Prior review and approval of the production plan is required by TMC staff. At the discretion of TMC and its staff, any members viewed as doing large scale production work that uses resources above and beyond membership dues in any of the TMC shops will be notified to stop production, and membership may be canceled and any associated fees relating to production may be charged to said member's account.

Any other questions?

Email makeit@talentmakercity.org and be sure to read our Terms and Conditions here [link].

Have more questions that need answers? Contact us here.