Topics generally related to Twin Cities Maker activities
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Postby Judeling » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:58 pm

Reading over all the discussion in preparation for my first post I was reminded that a maker community will have a diverse set of goals and needs. I was also reminded that it is that diversity that will return unexpected results when it is brought together.

This reminded me rather strongly of another community that has had that experience for thousands of years. A community that is present in the twin cities like nowhere else in the country. I speak of the theater. The TC has more theater companies per capita then anywhere else in the nation.

It occurs to me that the technical departments (set construction, property and costume departments, sound and lighting) of these companies have many of the same space, equipment and material needs that a maker community would have. Would it then not be possible to work out a sharing relationship with one or more of the established theater companies. Idle space and equipment must be a concern for them as 4 or 5 productions a year leave a lot of downtime. If we could augment their capabilities and reduce their cost with a sharing arrangement, we would also be able to start at a much higher level of capabilities then attempting to do it alone. A win win in my book.

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Re: Sharing

Postby noise » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:56 am

Bump, because we talked about it last night.
Make it happen.

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Re: Sharing

Postby metis » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:34 am

possibly. the trick your'e looking at there is that the theatre will have specific needs in terms of use of facilities, and generally speaking a theatre that has a big shop uses that shop nearly constantly. if you've got a show on, you're building the set and props of the next show. or if you're a scenery shop who builds scenery for others, you're a for profit business that uses it's shop every day.

it's -really- hard to allow unaffiliated groups into one's shop for liability reasons if you run a theatre shop, especially since you're dealing with significant and complicated life safety issues. it's one thing if your employee/member damages equipment and it breaks something in it's failure, it's another where someone else does, and it results in a life safety issue for an actor. i was always ok with loaning out tools that weren't in use for personal use of co-workers, but we never allowed any personal use of shop gear in the shop. (with the exception of say repairing one's own tool for use in the theatre)

there are however, a LOT of small theater companies who don't have a shop, and that may be something we could look at in terms of advertising/income/partnership.

i.e. a nfp theater co can use the shop for free in exchange for their left over materials being donated, and advertising space in their programs as a sponsor(maybe we "co-sponsor" each other), or we offer a "group" membership at discount, so that an organization can say pay the montly fee for 5 members, and have up to 10 use the space only for the specific group project. that may also work for say scouts who want to build a big project, they buy a group membership that allows them to -only- work on their project, but at a discount vs buying full memberships for everyone who would be in to work on it. (with the idea that a few folks will actually join)

side note, theeater shops generally don't have the electronics or CNC needs that we have interest in. very little in theatre is that fine tuned, but the basic wood, metal and sewing are all well within their pervue, although we probably don't need a wig shop, a dying facility might be interesting if we were going to include some of the craft mag sorts of projects.

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