Whiteclay Makerspace

 

WHITECLAY MAKERSPACE 501(c)(3)

WHAT IS A MAKER SPACE?

The Makerspace will be a safe space for our local Pine Ridge/Whiteclay artists and craftspeople to create. The space will be equipped with tools such as:

  • carpentry tools

  • laser cutters

  • quilting machines

  • easels/work tables

  • sewing machines

  • canvas stretchers

  • other specialized and standard tools and equipment.

There will be a place for artists to obtain supplies, mentor, collaborate, teach classes and safely store pieces in process. The Makerspace will also provide storefront and online sales to add support and stability for our local artists.

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WHY BUILD A MAKER SPACE?

In the wake of the liquor stores being closed, the maker space was an obvious first choice. The lack of safe work spaces, storage, and access to resources here have plagued our local artists for decades. An estimated 30 percent of all Native peoples are practicing or potential artists and most live below the poverty line. (Market Study, First People’s Fund)

WHY in WHITECLAY, Nebraska?

First of all, Whiteclay is next to a huge, underserved population of talented artists and youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 51 percent of Native households on Pine Ridge Reservation depend on home-based enterprises for cash income. 79 percent of those home-based enterprises on Pine Ridge Reservation consist of some form of traditional arts. (Market Study, First People’s Fund)

Secondly, Whiteclay was home to 8 residents and 4 beer stores. Those stores sold 3.5 million cans every year to residents of the reservation. With law enforcement neglecting this small town, these streets of Whiteclay became a place known for violence, murders, diseases, and other alcohol-related issues. 

As of April 2017, the four beer stores were shut down. Creating this maker space in Whiteclay will bring hope and help restore the opportunity, and community vibrancy that Whiteclay beer sales stole from us.

HOW WILL THE MAKER SPACE SUSTAIN ITSELF?

Through small membership fees, a small commission in helping artists sell their work, and the profits of selling supplies the space will be able to cover operating costs and grow.

Support the cause with your tax-deducTible donation here - 

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