2017 Yearly Meeting Notes

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Agenda for the 2017 yearly meeting. Saturday, February 11, 2017. 5:00PM to 9:00PM

(If this is a little tl;dr, you can always skim it for the "Action Items" sections to know what it is we are expecting people to help with)

Attendees:

  • Steve C.
  • Harpo R.
  • Alex H.
  • Hans K. (not a member - with his Dad, Vic K.)
  • Vic K.
  • Will Robot
  • ‘Laser’ Dan
  • Chet W.
  • Apple
  • Nathan H.
  • Jenett T.
  • Neal B.
  • Joey C.
  • Heath R.
  • Gavin W.
  • Jeff/Jean
  • Jimmy L.
  • Travis P.
  • Constance R.
  • Kyle Dirrim
  • Allen I.
  • Eric O.
  • Zach C.
  • Carrie
  • Mike
  • Joe

(26 people!)

Note taker: Steve Charlesworth (if you have more notes to add, please do! Or if you have a question about something I've recorded, please ask!)

For the record, donuts from Cresent Donuts, pizza from Sam's Club (surprisingly acceptable)

Contents

Financial Topics

Financial Report

Treasurer Jenett T. presented the Financial Report. It is available on request from the board.

Highlights:

  • We averaged out at about 39 members, considering dues.
  • Workshops brought in about $1K of Revenue
  • Overall we had $20K revenue and $19K of expenses.
  • Also a lot of Makevention info

Tax Talk

As a 501c3 org, Bloominglabs does not have to pay sales tax. However, to take advantage of this you must use Bloominglabs' money. You can check with the board for details if you wish to help with a purchase for the space.

There is info in the ‘Bloominglabs Tax Exempt Docs’ Green folder in the top drawer of the green cabinet.

Donations

President Nathan H. reminded all the donations receipts can be found in a folder by the coat rack. Please use these for donations.

Hardware Donations:

  • 4 donors
  • 7 receipts
  • Total items: 32
  • Total value: $1958.32

Cash: if under $250, you don’t need anything from us.

If over $250, that requires a letter from us.

You can ask for a letter either way, though!

Reminder: Dues are NOT tax deductible.

Insurance

Jenett reminded all that you should send her a list of items in the space you'd like to have covered. We were also reminded the insurance covers visitors to the space, but not members. FYI.

Membership Stats

  • 45 at the beginning of the year
  • 17 joined
  • 16 lost
  • 46 members at the end of the year (math!)

Workshops and outreach

There is a LOT of interest in another welding day. Neal just asks we don't hold it in August

  • Total workshops: 29
  • Total events (includes library and Wonderlab events, H2H Sale, Mending days, u.s.w.): 31

Reviewed the Annual Narrative

That is part of the overall report, along with the Financial Report, and is available upon request.

Nation of Makers Recap

Secretary Steve Charlesworth relayed the story of the board's visit to D.C. in August, the Nation of Makers meeting, and the aftermath. To summarize: it was a great opportunity to meet with other Makerspace organizers, and it evolved into a community (and 501c3 organization with Adam Savage and other luminaries of the making world on the board) that we can tap into for resources and expertise. Contact Jenett or Steve if you'd like to get connected with them.

Trebuchet Recap

Heath led up the Trebuchet project which was a lot of fun, and brought glory to Bloominglabs in terms of public exposure AND the trophy for accuracy. We are definitely doing it again next year. Daniel H. says we have an open invitation from a local pumpkin patch (Fowler) to test on their grounds and use some of their pumpkins.

The Warrant Canary

Our report includes a warrant canary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrant_canary Basically: 'A warrant canary is a method by which a communications service provider aims to inform its users that the provider has not been served with a secret government subpoena.' Nathan has the key and will pass it along to the new board.

Elections

There was much excitement with board members Steve and Nathan stepping down to create an opportunity for other Bloominglabs members to experience the responsibilities and satisfaction (power? not so much) of being on the board. 'Laser' Dan stepped forward to run for President, Heath R. for Treasurer, leaving an opening for Secretary and 2 At-Large positions. We received an email from Zach seeming to express interest in an At-Large position, however later it was decided because he could not regularly attend Wednesday public nights he would not put his hat in the ring for the office. Will 'Robot' boldly stepped forward to be considered for Secretary, and after a back-and-forth, Alex VH. and Gavin W. were persuaded to apply for the At-Large positions.

Because Alex may not be staying in Bloomington through the year, if he leaves, Zach may take over for him. Stay tuned.

Votes were unanimously in favor of the applicants, so your 2017 Bloominglabs Board is:

  • President: 'LaserDan' Halsey
  • Secretary: Will 'Robot' Wright
  • Treasurer: Heath 'Roush in the Housh'
  • At Large: Alex 'AVH1' Van Hoene
  • At Large: Gavin 'Give Me a Nickname' Whelan

For reference: ordinarily an organization would have a Board of Directors and Officers. We fold them both together.

There is a guide re: the responsibilities and expectations of officers on the Wiki (Officers Guide)

Bloominglabs First Annual Membership Survey

Secretary Steve Charlesworth put together the survey with some help from President Nathan, who covered the New Member/Onboarding questions, and a board member at 'Make Haven' in New Haven Connecticut, who he met via the Nation of Makers and had some surveys and survey reports from his space. The report with infographics and commentary can be found here.

Highlights

  • 17 people responded, which is a reasonably good response rate considering there are 46 members (37% - this was better than in other Makerspace surveys Steve saw)
  • Most complaints were around messiness and not taking responsibility, THE ETERNAL HACKERSPACE STRUGGLE. We will try to address via cleaning days, shaming, and Jenett will follow through with a poster of 'Expectations' to remind people what is expected in terms of being a good workshop citizen.
  • People mentioned Bloominglabs could do better in the diversity department. We are doing a bit better in terms of gender balance although we can always do better. Jenett mentioned possibly holding workshops and events that might specifically appeal to (but not bedirected at or limited to) women. Constance praised the members of Bloominglabs and the culture for being free of 'mansplanation', and reminded us that reaching out and involving the art community could also help address this imbalance.
  • On that note, Bloominglabs' Community and Culture got Rave Reviews from respondents.
  • Overall, satisfaction is high.
  • There's a lot of interest in: CNC, Blacksmithing, and more as new topics
  • People really love the wood shop and it was one of the most highly used and rated areas

A couple respondents expressed interest in 'a directory of Bloominglabs members, with their picture and possibly a listing of their special skills and knowledge'. The discussion resulting from that led to the formation of the 'New Bloominglabs Web Team': Constance, Joey, Hans, Ryder and Jeff. They are going to meet Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 5pm to get this effort underway.

Bloominglabs Exit Surveys

President Nathan H. presented on this topic.

In summary, people leave because:

  • They move away
  • They don’t have time to use Bloominglabs

While people occasionally comment on the mess in the space, we haven't really seen major red flags in these surveys.

The Instructables Contest

Steve C., Nathan H., and Joey C. submitted instructables on behalf of Bloominglabs for Instructables' Makerspace Contest https://www.instructables.com/contest/Makerspace/. While we couldn't keep up quantity-wise with the likes of YuKonstruct, our submissions were high-quality so we achieved the prize level for 10 or more Featured Instructables. Prizes included t-shirts and most importantly we applied the $200 Makeblock gift code toward a Laser Engraver that's now at the space, in the laser room. Whether a contest is running or not, posting a project on Instructables (or hackster.io, or hackaday, etc) is a great way to both share your knowledge with the community and to promote Bloominglabs.

Makevention 2017

Crudload of Makevention talk.

  • Steve B. left his position at the Library so it's gone back to being totally Bloominglabs' baby
  • We are going to use it as a fundraiser, specifically to raise funds toward a new space. Jenett says let's shoot for $10K at the door. The budget is $2800.
  • Jenett put out a call for volunteers.

Bloominglabs' Next Location

Lots of discussion on this topic. Jenett mentioned a spot, and Joe stated that there was 'asbestos raining down from the ceiling'. Jenett is sure Bloominglabs can 'make it better'; Steve can be considered the asbestos canary. His presence in the next space will indicate the absence of asbestos.

'The Warehouse' came up, too. Historically, Bloominglabs members were wary of throwing their lot in with a group whose mission is trying to convert people to Christianity. As far as diversity goes, Bloominglabs does succeed in having a lot of diversity on the religious front.A couple people observed that 'Habitat For Humanity' also has a mission of converting people to Christianity via affordable housing. Bloominglabs continues to strive to be neutral on both political and religious matters. If you're a maker, come on down! We're not going to judge or exclude. We most definitely don't want Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or other individuals to feel unwelcome.

Jenett is going to redevelopment meetings.

There was discussion of the Mill/Kiln building, which is ~5K sq ft.

There was reference to the 'ESD' (Economic and Sustainable Development).

Jenett proposes buying a space outright as opposed to renting. Fundraising (Makevention?) and crowdfunding (Gofundme? Other?) would factor in heavily.

There was discussion of the Bloomington//Monroe County Foundation being asked‘Could you give us money to help’? and the answer being: 25K and they would match it. (need to circle back to confirm).

Finally, the deadline for Letter of intent for foundation grants is September (Bloomington/Monroe County Foundation).

The search continues!

Check in on specific areas

Car Lift

How is it working out for people? The lift has gotten a lot of use, and to members' credit, we haven't had issues with mess or fluids. Still, all are reminded to check for drips and clean them up. Apple observes that sawdust is very useful toward the end of cleanup and keeping this under control.

HAM Area

There is a small but very enthusiastic contingent of HAMs at Blabs. Check the Wiki for info about the scanner.

Grants?

This comes up every year. Yes, we've thought about it. Yes, we have people among our membership with experience writing grants. We are wary of the reporting and accounting requirements associated with such grants. Bloominglabs is a do-ocracy. If you have a good idea, ask about it, if it hasn't happened or isn't being worked on currently, congratulations, you are now in charge of that project.

Workshop Ideas

Nathan and Steve had an idea for a workshop around encryption and good practices for protecting yourself online.

Along those lines, Jimmy suggests hosting a 'Crypto Party'.

Jeff (aka Jean Francois) suggests a workshop about telescopes.

Jenett's Cluster Admin class is already bringing in $950, which is super-cool.

Daniel and Jenett suggest a Screenprinting workshop.

As before, by popular demand Bloominglabs will likely host another Welding Day - just not in August!

LaserDan is eager and enthusiastic about hosting another Laser Cutter Workshop, including teaching people Inkscape design skills.

Allen I. offers to teach a SketchUp class.

Alex H. is game to teach 3D modelling: Blender, SolveSpace, etc.

Ryder offers to teach a web dev course.

Nick has mentioned doing a power generation workshop - let's encourage him to do that!

The guy behind the 'plant tower' may be available to help us have a workshop related to that topic.

Joey C. suggests a medieval weapons workshop. For example, a bow he and Jimmy made recently at the space.

If you are interested in hosting a workshop, Nathan H. will help with logistics.

Get it on the calendar! In the words of Henry Rollins (by way of the Pink Fairies) 'don't talk about it - do it!'!

Other Projects

Jenett: Power Wheels race

Steve and Dan: Power Tools Dragstrip racing. We saw it at the Louisville Mini Make Faire, and were inspired.

'Hebotics Hackathon'

Demolition Derby

Drone Racing

More Trebuchet? Yes, please!

Miscellaneous

We really need to get Christian's tools moved out.

Would Bloominglabs like to apply funds toward a Tig Welder? Joey C. reminds all that there's a 'wish list' on the whiteboard in the main area. Let's consider that and consult with the group before pulling the trigger on a Tig welder.

That's all folks, keep rocking in 2017!

Action Items

  • Steve to write up notes on the meeting - done, you just read it (2/19/2017)
  • Jenett to finalize and print up the 'Expectations' poster
  • Everybody to keep an eye out for our next location
  • Steve, Jenett and Nathan to work with the new board to give them info they need and answer their questions.
  • Steve to break out the Survey into a Member Survey and New Member Survey. The New member survey will be sent to members after their first month is complete.
  • 'New Web Team' (Constance, Joey, Hans, Ryder, Jeff) to have a meeting Sat Feb 18, 2017 at 5pm to work on the new improved web presence including a 'member directory' - done, they met (2/18/2017)
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