MICA will have a bigger presence at Station North's Open Works makerspace - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 13, 2017 12:58 pm

MICA will have a bigger presence at Station North’s Open Works makerspace

The arts college inked a partnership with BARCO, which developed Open Works and the Motor House. As a result, MICA will have entrepreneurs-in-residence and more chances for students to get involved.

Inside the Open Works ribbon-cutting, Sept. 20, 2016.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

MICA is entering a new partnership with the organization responsible for developing a pair of recently-opened spots for artists and makers in its neighborhood.

The Station North arts college now has a formal agreement with the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation (BARCO).

That will result in collaboration between the college and the Open Works makerspace on Greenmount Avenue, and Motor House, the artist studio and community space on North Avenue.

MICA President Sammy Hoi said the two entities have been talking and helping each other more informally, through consulting and cross-promotion, and called this a “natural and logical coming together.”

The partnership brings these firm commitments:

  • Five students will serve as entrepreneurs in residence at Open Works.
  • MICA will also underwrite the cost of memberships, classes and discounted studio space at the makerspace.
  • BARCO will offer internships to students and graduates identified by the college.

Encouraging collaboration is always key to spurring new ideas. Working more closely together can also provide students a way to keep accessing resources and tools to continue their work in Baltimore when they first leave MICA, said BARCO CEO Amy Bonitz.

“Part of the vision for Open Works was to provide a place for MICA students to land after they graduated,” Bonitz said.

Hoi said there is also a “profound mission match” in the agreement, as the two organizations share a common desire to help the neighborhood surrounding where their projects are located. MICA played a key role in Station North’s growth, and providing a place for the community to access resources that will lead to new businesses and creations was identified was key for BARCO’s vision behind Open Works and Motor House. Open Works also has partnerships with Baltimore city schools and Coppin State University, among other organizations.

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“We both share a deep commitment of fostering the success of Baltimore and its people through equitable engagement,” Hoi said.

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