Re-Localizing Production and Empowering Creativity in Greenfield
“Access to tools is a form of privilege that isn’t often discussed and examined” said founding worker-owner Rachael Katz “and having that early experience with tools is much more than skills you pick up. It’s a sort of empowerment.”
The Hive does truly buzz with productivity; equipment ranging from metal and wood working to textile and 3D printing are busy creating products – many of which are brand new. One day a workshop on small engine theory and repair might be the reason you step foot the door, the next might be skill share on sewing machine operation.
How many of us have had creative and innovative ideas but no access to the skills or technology needed realize them? This makerspace in Greenfield, Massachusetts, is a community workshop dedicated to making visions a reality. Any member can create their envisioned projects in an atmosphere rich with other creators and fabricators. By providing this space, The Hive breaks down barriers to creativity, to vital life skills, and to relocalize production.
The Hive began in 2019 when a real estate transaction provided an unusual opportunity for a startup business.Community organizers gathered and they decided to create a makerspace. Organizers used the support of the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops to form a co-op.
The Hive is a regional front runner in accessibility and equality of opportunity. “If you come from a home with two parents working multiple jobs in the service industry and you’re in a small apartment, those parents aren’t going to have a woodshop in the basement,” said Katz. The Hive connects its members and community to the ability to repair existing products, conceive of new products and reduce reliance on far-away corporations to fulfill needs.
The Hive Makerspace:
• Offers equipment from sewing and vinyl cutters to stone cutters and engine repair
• Offers free workshops on engine repair, soldering, sewing and more
• Is democratically owned and controlled by its members
• Empowers those typically kept out of access to tools and production skills
• Is currently accepting members
• Is incorporated as a co-op under M.G.L. 157
• Relocalizes production in regional economy
“It’s wonderful for a small town to have lots of people bringing ideas to fruition and creating micro-businesses” reported Katz. Possessing equipment for a wide range of projects, you can see what The Hive does through workshops and peer-to-peer skill sharing sessions for all skill levels.
If you can get to downtown Greenfield, check out The Hive. You can access the training and equipment to develop products to test for the market, to share among friends or to go right to retail and wholesale.
The Hive is actively seeking new members: hivemakerspace.org or email@example.com.
Written by Dylan Hatch and Adam Trott.