#GivingTuesday Updates

Grateful and excited for what's coming...

After more than a year we have finally opened up to public gatherings (more info further down). It has been extremely powerful to welcome groups back to The Space. Once we could open to the general public, both our first Artisan Market and our first All-Day Board Gaming Day I caught myself overwhelmed with renewed energy reflecting, "Oh yeah, THIS is why The Space is so important and THIS is why we need to keep going." It is an incredible thing to watch people of so many different ages, backgrounds, and towns interacting, laughing, supporting and learning from each other. The most powerful moments were those where new Vermonters shared that they were referred to us from over an hour away as a safe space to meet new people and to try new things. You have no idea how incredible it was to hear these stories. I cannot wait for what's next. January brings full-time programming and multiple rooms with resources that will be completely new to our region. Our four pillars of programming will center around economic development and entrepreneurship, civic/community engagement, the arts, and technology/STEAM. We will bring in more partnerships, more expertise to share, and more fun activities to participate in. This will come in the form of events and workshops (hybrid as much as possible) to teach new skills, new technologies, and to foster learning at all ages (workshops for youth, adults, and elderly). We cannot wait highlight all that our community has to offer!

As you read, you will see that I mention several grants, every one of those was for equipment, curriculums, and consultants. The downside of the majority of grants that are available are for restricted purposes, often equipment or construction. Although memberships have increased significantly, as a nonprofit, we will always have a great dependence on donations. We hope you will join us in supporting this community space! 


Become a Sustaining Spark (or Bark) Member!

Looking to support The Space On Main? Become a Sustaining Member for $15/month! You will get: That Fuzzy Feeling, Inbox Treasures, Invites to Member-Only Gatherings, Membership Directory Access, Stylish Swag, Bumper Bling, The Magic of Automation, and All The Discounts. Visit our website to learn more. It may not seem like a lot of money, but when we have multiple people sign up, it adds up fast! We would love to add you to our membership!

What Have We Been Up To?

Supporting Remote Workers With COVID, the rise of remote work, and increasing numbers of people moving from cities to Vermont, we have seen a huge increase in coworking memberships. During the summer months we got up to 50 members (which had maxed out at 20 pre-COVID). Right now we are hovering around 35 members. Members span from 18 to 80 years old and have a wide variety of roles, including, but not limited to independent bloggers, photographers, graduate students, human resource admins, GIS developers, project managers, engineers, architects, bookkeepers, graphic designers, tech workers, video producers, authors, online workshop/webinar instructors, and more.

While you're here, I wanted to share a testimonial that our member, Ben, sent me after our last newsletter went out: I just wanted to send a note letting you know just how valuable The Space On Main is to me and my family. I live in Colorado and have visited Bradford almost every year since I was born. In recent years, my visits were limited by how much time I could be away from work because internet connectivity issues made remote work difficult. The last couple of years, now that I have this amazing new option, have meant that I have stayed in Vermont for four weeks each summer. Both my wife and I were able to work at the Space on Main and extend our time in Bradford. We are now looking at the possibility of visiting in other seasons as well. We are also happy to be able to support all the other local businesses in Bradford when we are in town. It’s more than just access to the internet, though. The Space is a very comfortable place to work with lots of options for meetings and calls. And it’s great to be part of a community and see some fellow workers during the day. You have done an amazing job making all of this happen. I’m impressed and grateful. People like Ben keep us going and we are so thankful that The Space is proving to be useful for so many people.

REACTUV Business Accelerator We are currently accepting 2021-2022 applications for REACT UV, a FREE 10-Week Upper Valley business accelerator at The Space On Main (Bradford, VT with remote option) offered in partnership with LaunchVT and the Center for Women & Enterprise. Supporting entrepreneurs with a business idea that they've always wanted to try, but are not sure where to start. We’ll provide everything they need to figure out how to turn their idea into a reality. We are running 3 cohorts from January 1 to July 1 starting in January, February, and March. Enrollment provides: mentorship, drop-in hours, the CO.STARTERS curriculum with binder, online resource portal, 6-months of LivePlan, and discounts on coworking memberships. Made possible with support from The Vermont Community Foundation, US Department of Agriculture, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Wells River Savings Bank. Find out more!

Monthly Artisan Markets Featuring artisans from Vermont and New Hampshire, live music, and tasty food options. We host these markets 11am–3pm every 2nd Saturday of the month. Markets feature 15-20 artisans, bringing in 100-150 attendees. Since we started hosting markets pre-COVID, nearly all of our vendor businesses (with several exceptions) have been women-, LGBTQIA-, veteran-, and/or BIPOC-owned. We are so proud of our artisan community, many of which are testing out selling direct to customers for the very first time! Find out more!

All-Day Gaming A new event, we are hosting monthly all-day board gaming events on the last Sunday of each month 9am–9pm. Our first two events brought in individuals of all ages (including a baby!) from our local communities as well as more than an hour away. Events are inclusive, welcoming, and a great way for people of different social circles to come together over a love of tabletop board games. Find out more!

Equipment & Facilities Updates

New HVAC System We applied for a Community Development Block Grant through the State of Vermont for a new HVAC system. Some of you even supported SOM when we had to ask for the town to support an increase (as a pass through). Thank you! We got it and installation is expected for March 2022!

Digital Fabrication & Electronics Lab (aka Makerspace) We had applied for and received a USDA Community Facilities equipment grant in order to build out the makerspace. With the paperwork all submitted, we've been ordering equipment. Everything should be in place by January 1, but nearly all of the equipment will require the HVAC improvements to happen first. After January 1, we will kick things off with classes in 3D modeling and computer programming for both youth and adults. After the HVAC system is installed, we'll be able to offer classes in using the 3D printers, laser cutter, electronics equipment, microcomputers, soldering stations, vinyl cutters, and more!

Consultation & Media Room (fka Meeting Room) We had applied for and received an equipment grant from the Northeast Heritage Economy Program through Preservation Trust of Vermont. This was actually a pre-COVID grant that was extended and we held out on as long as possible to see how COVID was going to go. We decided to move forward and have been ordering equipment. What was once the Meeting Room is now both a Consultation Room and a Media Lab. This room features video and audio recording and streaming equipment, light kits, sound dampened walls, and editing software. This is nearly complete and will also be available by January 1 at the latest.

Music Events Yet another part of the Community Facilities Grant was for sound equipment so we can have living room style shows in the open coworking area. We are working on hosting regular music events most likely starting in February!

Restaurant & Ethnic Food Events It has been so much fun to watch how popular San Song Kitchen's Korean food (which is amazing) has been for the Artisan Markets and it has inspired us to work on a series of weeknight dinner and weekend brunch events for next year. Each event will feature a variety of food from local farms and food vendors in a sit-down style setting. We cannot wait to taste test the flavors of local chefs!

If you would like to keep up with events, workshops, and other opportunities to engage, please feel free to reach out, check our website, and follow us on social media! Thank you so much for all or your support!

Monique Priestley (she/her)
Executive Director & Founder, The Space On Main |
802-449-MAIN (6246) | Personal cell: (802) 222-1909
Copyright © 2021 The Space on Main, All rights reserved.

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