Collaboration and creativity coexist

In the last year or so, the idea of a makerspace has come up several times as community stakeholders discuss the future of Peterborough’s artist landscape in various community talks, including the recent Peterborough Vision Forum. The concept realized would create a space for local artists and artisans to share. The space would house a variety of equipment that is either too rare or too expensive for the average up-and-coming starving artist to purchase on his/her own, like 3D printing technology. Theoretically, it would attract people from around the region who’d pay, perhaps a membership fee, to get a crack at using that technology without having to shell out the full sticker price.

Peterborough’s long been known as an arts hub for the Monadnock region. The ability to draw some of the most creative and artistic minds in the area — not to mention those nationally- and internationally-recognized artists who flock to places like the MacDowell Colony and the Peterborough Players to hone and ply their craft — has long been the hallmark of our fair town. Another opportunity to bring together artists of all sorts sounds like just the thing to inject another boost of creative edge into our area. What this might do for the area economically is equally enticing. Imagine the possibilities.

There are already local artists chomping at the bit to explore and expand the limits of 3D printing. What if the next major innovation in that field was cooked up in Peterborough? How many young artists out there, wandering junkyards in search of twisted metal for a sculpture, would benefit from access to welding equipment they’d normally have to beg for or borrow? How many former high school students developed a love of woodworking in shop class that has lain dormant ever since, as they lack the opportunity to get back on a lathe? Even aspiring computer programmers or software engineers could benefit from a bank of computers to create the next big app.

The most exciting part about this whole idea is the fact that as the space drew in artists from all around the region, they’d all be in one room, working side by side, eating together, talking together, sharing ideas, hopes and dreams. The possibilities for innovation and creation that might come out of such a community of collaboration are immeasurable. The good these creators and creations could bring to the world — and to our little town — is just what we need right now, as our arts scene teeters on the line between its rich history and a stagnant status quo.

There are countless minds out there bursting at the seams with seeds of ideas, seeds of creativity, seeds of change — all they’re lacking is the fertile soil in which those seeds can take hold, grow and blossom— the greenhouse where those plants would incubate. Let’s give them that chance to bloom.

Community Conversations, a collaboration of the Monadnock Center and the Ledger-Transcript,will take up this topic on May 13 at 7 p.m. Bass Hall. We hope interested parties will join us.

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