Nonprofit Partnership Broadens Students’ Horizons

Nonprofit Partnership Broadens Students’ Horizons

Students at New Bridge High School at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility have had a “STEM-ulating” opportunity this school year, thanks to a community partnership.

Talent Maker Citya nonprofit that specializes in workshops surrounding STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), has brought weekly courses to youth that not only teach them about a variety of STEM subjects,  but introduces them to potential careers.

Press Release: Talent Urban Renewal Agency Approve Inclusion of Makerspace


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 or on and Instagram @talentmakercity

*The full RFEI can be found here:

For TMC inquiries, contact Board Chair: Ryan Wilcoxson 541.219.2729 or


Talent Urban Renewal Agency Finalizes Gateway RFEI, Will Buy Mei Sum Property

Talent Urban Renewal Agency is moving forward with the purchase of the building and property currently occupied by Mei Sum Chinese Restaurant. The move consolidates the 4.23 acre property at the corner of West Valley View and Highway 99 in Talent. TURA also unanimously voted to include a makerspace facility as one of eight selection criteria in the Requests for Expressions of Interest being circulated to area developers.


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.