By Eric Galatas, Public News Service-Nebraska
The Center for Rural Affairs is launching collaborative work spaces on Nebraska Indian Community College campuses in Macy and Santee for making, learning, exploring and sharing.
The "Makerspaces" will include traditional, low-tech tools, and also significant investments in cutting-edge technologies.
Kristine Flyinghawk, native communities manager at the Center for Rural Affairs, said among other tools available to students and tribal members, the program is especially excited to install a Glowforge.
"It can engrave and cut anything from wood to leather to glass," Flyinghawk pointed out. "Then we have the new Cricut 3 Maker, which can make up to a 12-foot vinyl sign. We will have a sublimation printer."
Flyinghawk explained a sublimation printer can print images on just about anything, from cups to coozies to keychains. The Center will also install a T-shirt press, a sticker and button maker, a sewing machine, an embroidering machine and a quilting machine. Workshops will help people get hands-on experience with each new tool.
The Makerspace also aims to facilitate experimentation, where people can test out new ideas for a side hustle or a full-on business.
Angelina Magerl, community foods associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, said financial support and expert guidance for creating a business plan will also be available to help people realize their goals.
"It gives you that step-by-step process in seeing what realistically -- like time-wise, money-wise -- what you can do," Magerl emphasized. "With a business plan, it kind of lays it all out for you, what needs to be done, and what the outcome is of having accomplished that in your plan."
Flyinghawk noted in addition to workshops the Makerspace will also offer open hours, where people can spend time with people from all ages and walks of life, to share skills, and learn traditions which have been passed down.
"They can still come and bring their beadwork, or whatever kind of project that they are working on, if they want to work in a shared space with others and have that fellowship and community," Flyinghawk added.
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Feature photo courtesy of R_boe - stock.adobe.com