We visited a couple from my old high school, Lea and Patrick, who moved out to Las Cruces and started a community makerspace called Cruces Creatives. They were kind enough to put us up for a couple nights and then give us a tour of their venture. Let me tell you, they are doing something really special. More than a makerspace where folks can simply create (and it certainly is just that with AV equipment, a dedicated children’s area, a full woodshop, electrical shop, a mushroom incubation chamber, bike shop / partnership, spray painting tank, and more), it is a place for sharing ideas. Together, Lea and Patrick are bringing parts of the community together—from agriculture scientists and ranchers and farmers to business developers and artists. The impact they are having on the community is being felt in real ways. Farming practices are becoming more sustainable and environmental impact is lessened. In my conversations with them (which were wildly entertaining and informative), they remained realistic and humble about their work, giving credit to their staff and volunteers, the community at large and their local government. I can’t say that I knew either of them particularly well in high school, but I think the secret to their success is them. They are hardworking, forward-thinking, risk-taking individuals who believe that seemingly disparate parts of the community have a lot to teach each other. Having studied makerspaces for my dissertation and TEDx talk, I can say as an expert, that they are doing it right. If you’re anywhere near Las Cruces, look them up, pay them a visit. You will be amazed at what they are doing for the community. I am proud to say that I know them.
Both Lea and Patrick are creatives outside of Cruces Creatives. Patrick is an accomplished singer/songwriter who has international exposure. Lea has her MFA in sculpture and we spent an evening talking about her work. Again, if you’re looking for inspiration to create, check them out.