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Community Conversations at Artisan’s Asylum

DATE:  April 23, 2021     CATEGORIES:  Blog, Community, Events, Friends of Artisans, Get Involved!, News, Outreach, Programming, Social Justice

As we all know, in January 2022, Artisans’ Asylum will open a 52,500 SF studio and fabrication space in Allston-Brighton. As we transition from our current Somerville location to Allston, we’ve been connecting with our local community through a series of virtual community conversations. During this time of transition and growth, it’s been helpful to hear folks’ thoughts regarding ways that Artisan’s Asylum can be more inclusive, accessible, and engaging to the whole community. 

Some key takeaways from our conversations so far include:

  1. APPROACHABILITY–Walking into a high-tech environment like Artisan’s Asylum can be a daunting task if you’re unfamiliar with the materials and machinery. We recognize this experience is heightened if you don’t see yourself represented in the community. We will make Artisan’s more approachable to all regardless of expertise by intentionally fostering a culture of friendliness, collaboration, and mentorship.
  2. CONNECTEDNESS–Folks want to connect with peers in the makerspace community and to grow ideas and knowledge by learning from one another. We will figure out ways (rituals, technology, activities, and events) we can help folks build these connections within the Asylum. 
  3. WELLNESS–We discussed ways in which hands-on creativity at Artisan’s Asylum can promote mental and emotional wellbeing. Reduce stress by making with us! We’ll look for fun and relaxing activities that are approachable and accessible for novice and experienced makers alike.
  4. COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT–Rather than duplicate efforts, we want to serve as a platform for community-based organizations and area non-profits to deliver their programs. Together we will serve the community with effective, enriching, and engaging programs that are better because of collaboration. 
  5. DIVERSITY–We discussed issues of diversity within Artisan’s Asylum today, and ways we can take action to expand our reach and inclusivity. Folks emphasized representation and taking the time to investigate what communities aren’t being served or represented at the Asylum. We need to continue to drive towards equity within our space through intentional programming and outreach. And we were cautioned that this work won’t take place overnight–we must be committed for the long haul.
  6. LET’S KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING!–We want to develop a constructive, easy way for community members to stay engaged in this conversation of inclusivity and improvement.

Our upcoming meeting on May 6th will be centered on Programming & Audience. Do you have any classes you’d like to see at the Asylum? Any suggestions for reaching a larger audience in Allston-Brighton? Would you like to come and listen to peers in your community? We welcome all levels of participation! 

Here’s the link to RSVP: https://bit.ly/3bTwoiH

We can’t wait to see you there!”

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