If you have been watching the progress at the Foundry on Northampton, you have witnessed steady and impressive growth in this East Side nonprofit organization. It’s especially remarkable when you consider the story of Buffalo’s resurgence. We have seen North Buffalo, the Westside, and recently South Buffalo respond well to the attention they have received. One can only hope that the East Side is next because Buffalo’s come back is incomplete without it. It looks like the Foundry is leading the way!
A 25,000 square foot makerspace, the Foundry provides access to tools, education and an entrepreneurial spirit. Emerging business owners use the space for production and showcasing their wares. On Wednesday, August 23rd at 11:00 a.m. until noon, the Foundry is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new metal shop. Funding for metal shop equipment came from the Garman Family Foundation, administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. In addition, the John W. Danforth Company made an in-kind donation of fabricated downdraft tables and installation of ventilation for the shop.
“With the support of grant funding and in-kind donations alike, The Foundry is excited to provide affordable access to metal shop equipment,” said Megan McNally, executive director of The Foundry. “Not only can people use our space to start a business, but students in our school programs can explore their interests and learn employable skills. We are grateful to the Garman Family and the Community Foundation as well as Danforth for their support of this project.”
In keeping with its hands on educational mission, students from the Mayor’s Summer Internship Program assisted in setting up the metal shop space. The new metal shop will coexist near spaces for woodworking, technology and fiber arts. With both individual and shared spaces in the Foundry, it is conducive to cooperative learning and peer mentorship. Businesses that have incubated and continue to grow in the Foundry include: Sit Buffalo upholstery firm and Buffalo Bottle Craft Zandra Cunningham started Zandra Beauty in the Foundry and the product is now available in national chain stores and she travels to present talks about girls’ empowerment and small businesses and social enterprises. Another woman owned Business, Knotty Moose Studios, was founded by Viktoria Clostek who now runs her business in her own space but returns to teach woodworking courses in the Foundry.
If you are interested in supporting emerging businesses as well as Buffalo’s East Side, come to the August 23rd ribbon cutting. If you cannot make that event but want to see what’s going on at 298 Northampton, come to a tour on Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. or learn a new skill by attending any of the workshops described on the website www.thefoundrybuffalo.org. Find out for yourself how the Foundry is bringing vital growth to the East Side and lend your support! Donations are welcomed.