Sonoma County Office of Education

North Bay Makers to host Open House and Dedication Event for 180 Studios community makerspace

04/16/2018 -

Contact: David Farish, General Manager, 180 Studios | 707-843-4363

April 21 event to feature hands-on activities, live music, a dedication ceremony, and food and drinks

Local nonprofit organization North Bay Makers will hold a ceremony on Saturday, April 21 to dedicate its 180 Studios makerspace on Todd Road in Santa Rosa. Inspired by the hands-on approach to innovation, education, and creativity that is becoming well-known nationally as the Maker Movement, the 15,000 square-foot venue has been developed to support local industrial arts, creative arts, engineering, and design.

“The official opening of this incredible community resource marks an exciting opportunity for community members, including students, to get involved with making and maker education,” said Dan Blake, Director of Innovation and Partnerships at the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) and a 180 Studios board member.

The community is welcome to access studios stocked with a wide variety of equipment and tools, independent rental studios, and professionally-taught classes in engineering-oriented activities (like electronics, laser cutting, and 3-D printing), and more traditional activities (like milling, welding, and woodworking). These activities and more will be part of the Spring Open House celebration, which will take place from 4:00pm to 8:00pm.

The official ceremony will begin at 5:00pm and will feature Maker Faire and Make: magazine founder Dale Dougherty, Friedman’s Home Improvement President & CEO Barry Friedman, and Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins. Following the dedication ceremony, there will be live music by the Jon Gonzales Stringband, food for purchase from El Colonel Mexican restaurant and Jam’s Joy Bungalow Food Truck, and an open bar featuring Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Local businesses including Cornerstone Properties, Friedman’s Home Improvement, and Keysight Technologies have provided significant financial support to 180 Studios, and numerous individuals have generously contributed. The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) is a valued partner as well. Participants in early 180 Studios activities have included the Boys and Girls Club, several local high schools, teachers from across the country, and hundreds of community members attending open-house activities. As well, the facility hosts SCOE's popular reMAKE Education conference.

These individuals, organizations and businesses have recognized the many benefits 180 Studios brings to the North Bay, especially in the context of economic development. Well-paying, skilled jobs are available in manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, and construction, yet employers are unable to locate trained workers. Future innovation and success in these areas relies on increased opportunities and access to “making” and hands-on training. Additionally, consumer demand for unique and/or local goods is driving a need for skilled artisans with access to tools and space.

180 Studios General Manager David Farish said he is excited to watch the makerspace grow in its role as a social hub for creative work and a spark for innovation through collaboration that can incubate small businesses and inspire entrepreneurs. The 180 Studios facility creates opportunity for interaction between students, artisans, journeymen, retirees, and others, that builds community and fosters creative and critical thinking, continual learning, and decision-making skills. Beyond introducing youth to tools and making,180 Studios provides activity for non-school hours, encourages volunteerism, and builds self-esteem.