We are Make Lehigh Valley, a community of hackers, makers and artists who meet and use the Hive 4A Hackerspace facility. The space is provided by Hive 4A which also provide a co-working space across the hall in an old Mac Truck factory in a facility they call Bridgeworks. Both are owned and operated by the Allentown Economic Development Corporation. They are interested in promoting creativity especially around manufacturing in Allentown and generally in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. The same facility has been operating as a manufacturing business incubator for many years. Their are great opportunities for a maker to start building in the hackerspace, use the coworking space for office space and then move down the hall to their own space with the assistance of AEDC for business purposes all along the way.
We are a unique hackerspace due to the association with Hive 4A. As a result, we have a large area to work with, have some tools shared with the larger community, a community of similar, but different individuals around to connect with and have yet to formalize membership or insurance. We currently can only be open during the evenings on Thursdays once a week, but the space is open though lightly used during typical business hours. We do have a President, Treasurer and Scribe (Secretary) who act as our board along with a representating from AEDC who continues to be great to work with. We also have appointed a Quartermaster to help organize our stuff.
We have participated in the Science Festival of the Lehigh Valley where we had three booths. One dedicated to 3D printing, one dedicated to Arduino based projects and another where we taught kids to solder. The response for children was huge and teachers were also interested in using us in their curriculum so we're exploring putting together curriculum for local and cyber school use. We are looking for other opportunities for community involvement.
In addition to classes for children, we are also holding events on Saturdays that include instruction in a variety of skills from microcontrollers to kneedle felting. We are drawing from our group and others connected with the space for instruction in these courses.
Currently, there are some limitations in regards to signage, but we are located at the following address. Look for the water tower and an open garage door.
905 Harrison Street
Allentown, PA 18103
We are approaching people interested in promoting manufacturing euntrepreneurship in our community to assist with the expenses of putting a lease together so that we can have the doors to the hackerspace open more evenings when most of our members are currently available. First we must have insurance and then sign the lease, which will be extremely reasonable considering the space provided. Other groups may also become a part of the hackerspace by signing similar leases which alots a certain amount of space specific to the organization in addition to the larger common areas.
Our memberships, being informal at this point, is hard to pin down. On most Thursday nights we'd expect to see 8-10 faces with at least 6 who are attending very regularly and actively involved in building the group. There is currently no membership fee, but we do encourage regular donations towards the space to cover the minor expenses we currently have and fill up the bank account a bit for future expenses.
AEDC's partnership provides a non-profit umbrella under which we can operate similar to what the Space Federation offers. As a result, we are not in need of the financial services, but are keeping an eye on information coming from the Space Federation. We have most recently been using the insurance information posted as we work on this for ourselves.