(Image via Chris Terrell)
Hive76 is a Kensington-based, member-run maker/hackerspace that has been operating since 2009 — so naturally it’s time to take a look back and have an awesome hacking holiday and anniversary party.
Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m., you are invited to celebrate our 10 years of classes, coworking and projects at our workspace on 1821 E. Hagert St. space. Our neighbors Evil Genius Brewing will be providing tasty beers, and our friend Blew Kind of Franny Lou’s Porch will be providing some delicious snackage. Living up to our snackerspace name, other food and drinks will be provided, of course.
For the past 10 years, Hive76 has been providing a community space for aspiring and established artist and engineers to share tools, equipment and knowledge. I’d like to highlight some of the greatest achievements and hopefully entice you to be part of the celebration:
Entrepreneurs and how they use Hive76
Hive76 has a long history of enabling people to pursue their own path. Early on in our history, member Jack Zylkin helped found Hive76 and used its workshop for soldering and assembling components for his typewriter-to-USB-keyboard conversion kit, eventually finding himself on Martha Stewart Living.
One of our recent members, Sean Woodall (who you may already know from Twitter/Buzzfeed) is founder of Fencing. Sean used Hive76’s laser cutter to create work for her amazing jewelry line. Her work has been featured in Out magazine and worn by notable figures like Lilly Wachowski of The Matrix trilogy.
In my eight years of being part of Hive76, I have participated in a lot of changes. When I joined in 2011, Hive76 was closer to a social club made up of folks who splintered off from the closing of the Department of Making + Doing. Since then we have grown our membership and widened our audience by strengthening bylaws and policies.
When we moved last year we prioritized having an ADA entrance and being close to public transit so we can better serve everyone. Now we are three blocks from the accessible York-Dauphin El stop and have an ADA ramp into the building. With these types of changes we set ourselves up for positive growth, and in 2016 under the Obama administration we were invited to attend a conference at the White House alongside our friends at The Hacktory, TinyWPA and many other hackerspaces around the country.
Partnering with our neighbors and community
Hive76 provides the “T” (technology) in STEAM while partnering with Philadelphia’s arts and cultural nonprofit communities. We have built interactive sound sculptures for the Please Touch Museum, taught at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and displayed artists at The Galleries at Moore. Because Hive is a collective, many of these relationships have been fostered or made by members. (A big forever shoutout to our late and previous president Brendan Schrader.) These events not only fit in with our mission but give members the opportunity to show personal work or get involved with different organizations in the Philadelphia area. Other mentions would be the Barnes Foundation, The Franklin institute and PAFA.
Classes, talks and coworking
There is an old joke at Hive, “Our best tools are our members,” which is honestly true. The best part about Hive is the mix of formal and informal education between peers. Over the years, members have shared some seriously incredible skills and connections: There have been classes and lectures on woodworking, how to protect your digital privacy, and everything in between.
If you haven’t seen the space yet, you have to come to the holiday/10-year anniversary party or stop by an open house to see what members are working on. You’ll likely meet someone modding an effects pedal or building a synth. At open house you might see someone using the laser cutter or running a lathe. I can’t emphasize enough how awesome and inspiring it is to casually work and learn with such different but likeminded individuals.
Hive is and overall good time, you’ve probably asked CLYDE (pictured below) a few questions, sung karaoke on our antique karaoke machine, or maybe even played on our giant Connect Four board using a DDR pad. We invite you to see the space and check out some of our new projects and equipment like our DIY embroidery machine, built in-house by members.
Come to the party!
So, consider yourself invited. Even if you’ve never met any of us, never been to the space — come! If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, if you live for the intersection of art and technology, or if, like me, you simply want to surround yourself with others who are chasing that inner force that impels them to create, then you’re already one of us.
Remember: Be excellent to each other and party on.
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