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We're moving again! We've learned so much and gained a lot from being at Hopewell Academy for 2 years. But... the school is expanding this year so they won't have a spare wing this upcoming fall -- which means we get to find our next home.

I always look at moves with both excitement and a bit of dread. The bit of dread is the work involved to go through all our stuff again, clean, sort, pack, pack and more pack, create new routines, and just the "unsettledness" of it all. On the other hand, what a great opportunity to clean house and do a re-set -- to de-clutter, to make room for new "stuff" and for new ideas and new energy and new people. We always gain with a move, often in ways that we never anticipated.

And the best thing? We've found some great facilities in west Cary for a pop-up Forge where we can spend the summer (maybe a bit longer). We can prototype some new programs, figure out if co-working space works, set up some artist/engineer ARTtech meetups, bring in some Women in Tech speakers. All for not much more rent than we're paying now. We're very excited about the ideas that are floating around.

What does this mean for you?

Logistically, If you're signing up for any workshops coming up, check to see where they are taking place so you go to the right location.

If you want to sign up for membership or get involved in as some of the other ideas floating around start to happen, then sign up to the newsletter and keep an eye out for announcements.

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

On the other hand, if you're one of those people with lots of ideas and nowhere to try them out, jump in! If you have ideas about workshops or meet-ups you'd like to try out with other tech-oriented people of any age (5 to 99 yo), let us know (workshops@theforgedowntown.org). We're hoping to schedule another "How to Run a Forge Program" workshop in the next month or so if you want to get some tips (it will be announced in our newsletter).

If you'd like to be part of the discussions about the possibilities of using a bigger prototyping space for creating a community science/tech center, or want to talk with us about our vision for the future, let us know, we'd love to talk with you about it: (connections@theforgeinitiative.org).

So what's the catch?

The challenge is, of course (of course there's a challenge!), that this is historically the tightest financial time of the year for us. Membership and programs ramp up in mid-July. We're near the end of many year-round programs.

From a longer term perspective, we're also in huge capacity-building time, a typical transition period that startups will recognize. We are growing, shifting from 100% volunteers to having staff, figuring out how to bring on new members, understanding how to maintain the sanity of the volunteers who are passionate about keeping the vision of The Forge in mind without burning them out. So internally, it's a challenging time as we build capacity.

What we're looking for from an organization perspective is:

  • Donations to help cover the cost of this popup for the summer (we run at about a $12K/month run- rate including rent/utilities/insurance/supplies/etc) (http://tfidonate.org)
  • Longer term investment into the nonprofit organization (contact us to talk with us about our vision, and what types of investment/sponsorship makes sense: (connections@theforgeinitiative.org)
  • People interested in joining the Board of Directors as we switch away from a working board of directors (board@theforgeinitiative.org)

So, if you'd like to be involved for this amazing and exciting move ahead, let us know. We'd love to have more people on the journey!

Linda Whipker
President/Founder
The Forge Initiative
linda.whipker@theforgeinitiative.org