FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE
August 25, 2017, Talent, Oregon.
On August 16, 2017, the Talent Urban Renewal Agency (“TURA”) Board unanimously approved inclusion of a makerspace facility as one of the final eight “selection criteria” for developers to consider when creating a vision for the 4.23-acre Gateway Project located at the corner of West Valley View Road and Highway 99, at the eastern gateway to historic Downtown Talent, Oregon.
TURA’s Request for Expression of Interest (“RFEI”) seeks developer proposals for “a compelling vision that will ultimately spur further redevelopment in Downtown Talent with an active, pedestrian-friendly mix of uses, spaces and structures.” Talent citizens, including representatives from Talent Maker City, (“TMC”) provided ongoing community input that helped shape the RFEI selection criteria.
Along with the makerspace facility, which will offer community access to a variety of tools and resources for creative projects and learning new skills, the other selection criteria for this project include: mixed use, multi-story housing (to include affordable rentals, senior housing, and/or workforce and “missing middle” housing); sustainable design, open spaces and pedestrian connections; and generally “embracing and enhancing Talent’s distinct culture – a place that cherishes its history, its beautiful natural setting, its agricultural heritage, and the arts.”*
Talent Maker City is a nonprofit organization serving Southern Oregon as a hub for creative, technical, and economic innovation. TMC’s concept of community service is built on the foundation of creative expression, grassroots economic sustainability, and career readiness.
Founding TMC Board member Ryan Wilcoxson praised TURA’s unanimous adoption of the selection criteria for the Gateway RFEI, stating in regard to the makerspace facility, “We’re one big step closer to building a creative development center in downtown Talent, which will offer the space, tools, and resources to better equip our community with the creative and technical skills that provide for economic resilience, self-reliance, and a pathway to participate in our rapidly changing global economy.”
Since its inception, 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 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 responding to feedback from current and potential supporters.
Talent Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood, who also serves on the TMC Board and as Board Chair for TURA, voiced her support for the TURA Board’s unanimous inclusion of a makerspace in the RFEI selection criteria. “I’m thrilled with TURA’s unanimous support to include a makerspace as an element of the Gateway project and, in doing so, addressing a key component of the Talent Comprehensive Plan strategy for Economic Development. This decision affirms that Talent Maker City is a priority for the City of Talent,” said Ayers-Flood. “I can’t wait to see how the makerspace breathes new life to the heart of our revitalized downtown.”
TMC is one of the 70 (of 987 initial applicants) finalists for the ArtPlace America 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund. If awarded, the ArtPlace grant and other funding sources will be go towards capital costs, including construction and equipment for the makerspace.
Talent Maker City can be found online at http://www.talentmakercity.org or on facebook.com/talentmakercity and Instagram @talentmakercity
*The full RFEI can be found here: http://www.cityoftalent.org/SIB/files/Talent_RFEI_8-23-17.pdf
For TMC inquiries, contact Board Chair: Ryan Wilcoxson 541.219.2729 or email@example.com