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The Hacktory receives $10,000 grant for long-term planning

The Hacktory has received a $10,000 grant from the Philadelphia branch of national financial and advisory service Nonprofit Finance Fund.

Photo courtesy of The Hacktory.

The Hacktory has received a $10,000 grant from the Philadelphia branch of national financial and advisory service Nonprofit Finance Fund.
The money will be used to hire a consultant to help define a long-term sustainability plan to further the Fairmount-based group’s mission of promoting the use of technology in arts, Hacktory organizer Vanja Buvac told Technically Philly.
Since the grant was signed three weeks ago, Philly’s techno-hackers have been communicating with core community members and performing outreach for input on how the organization should grow, he says.
“What we’re hearing overwhelmingly is that the Hacktory empowers artists to embrace technology. Also, it empowers technologists to cross that boundary into art,” Buvac says.
“That’s what the people involved in the Hacktory are really passionate about.”
The organization held an open planning session Wednesday evening at Nonprofit Technology Resources on the 1500-block of Brandywine Street to discuss its future. Members envisioned expanding the organization as an artist and engineer incubator and as a more regularly scheduled education center, Hacktory planning coordinator and volunteer Georgia Guthrie says.

Ideas Proposed by Community Members at the June 3 meeting.

  • A place for engineers, scientists and artists to be matched to work on projects together.
  • An incubator for groups who don’t have the experience to carry out certain projects.
  • An education center to have more regular class for those interested in technical niches.
  • A place for regular brainstorming meetings for discussion and feedback.

“They want to see more of what the Hacktory is doing already,” she says. “People mentioned that sometimes there’s no regular classes or there’s a lack of content on our Web site. It makes the Hacktory look like we’re not there, and people expect us to be.”
Guthrie, who has worked for nonprofit organizations Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Philadelphia Education Fund, is helping coordinate the grant planning.
When NFF first expressed interest in providing a grant, Hacktory organizers contacted like-minded groups like NEXUS/foundation for today’s art, Pig Iron Theatre Company and Fleisher Ollman Gallery for advice.
The Hacktory partnered with NEXUS to showcase more than a dozen art/tech mash-ups in Unintended Uses, a month-long exhibit that we covered in February.
After Hacktory organizers attend planning sessions on June 19 and June 20, they will solicit community members with a survey of their “hopes and dreams” of the organization’s future.
“Our pie in the sky is to have an actual location where you can go and either bring your project and ask someone for help, take a class and work on your project, or see something cool in terms of an art exhibit,” Guthrie says.

Companies: The Hacktory

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