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Peterborough talk on makerspaces, creative spaces planned

PETERBOROUGH — What is a “makerspace” and how can it benefit the region is the next topic in the Monadnock Center for History and Culture Community Conversation on May 13 at 7 p.m.

Founders of three types of makerspaces — Adam Shrey of Makeit Labs in Nashua, Conant High School teacher Bryan Field and Erin Sweeney from the Home Press and N.H. Institute of Art — will relate their experiences at the forum, said organizer Gordon Peery.

Makerspaces are community-operated spaces where inventors, artists and others share a space and tools to work on their projects.

There are different ways to structure a makerspace, but many run on memberships. Entrepreneurs, manufacturers and artists can join a level of membership that allows them a certain amount of time each month in a shared space in which art and industrial tools are shared. Not only does it benefit a creative individual or startup businesses, but it creates a space where these creative people can socialize, often leading to collaboration.

“Peterborough, and this area, has a very strong creative community so our belief is that if there were a makerspace here it would serve our creative community and our manufacturing society so they could meet and collaborate,” Peery said.

Jeanne Dietsch and visual artist Rachelle Beaudoin of Peterborough are part of a group of volunteers working through the Peterborough master plan process and other venues to encourage a makerspace to open in the area.

“Makerspaces are a phenomenon that are happening around the nation,” Dietsch said.

The movement is only about five years old, she said, and is part of the millenium generation’s do-it-yourself movement.

“They are all people who enjoy making things, creating things, and they get together and share tools and spaces and socialize,” Dietsch said, adding there is also an entrepreneurial aspect to it.

Dietsch said they are expecting a large turnout for the event, and participants will be asked to take a survey after the discussion to ask people what types of tools they would want to use if there were a makerspace in the community. Tools can range from 3D printers and laser cutters to video and visual arts equipment.

“We’d love to have one in our community,” Dietsch said. “It’s part of our effort to make our community friendly to younger generations.”

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