Sunday Skill Shares
MakerLab Sunday Skill Shares are a social skill-sharing project started by Paige Saez and Anselm Hook in 2008. They were developed as a way to reach out to other people in the geek & creative communities and foster a dialogue around education, and collaboration on projects with specific attention to merging online and offline activities.
The project grew out of a frustration to get big complex projects off the ground. We knew there was a way we could contribute and collaborate with others and in turn get help with our projects.
We decided on a model of dedicating an entire day- once a week or once a month to focusing on our work. The easiest (and most fun) way to do this was to outline a simple social get-together at Paige Saez's house on Sundays. To this aim we declared our work-party 'Sunday Skill Shares' based on Paige and Anselm's firm belief in alternative pedagogical models of creation being a way to understand how to build a world outside. A lot of people have asked us how we did this so that they can do their own event.
The goals are simple: Sunday Skill Shares are a social environment where people can get together in real life and collaborate together on projects. The skill shares are about making things happen. They are for people who want to work so its crucial you bring something that needs help or you come prepared to contribute to a project.
We all know anybody can host a party; anybody can have friends over to work on projects. Our model for the Sunday Skill Share is a bit more prescribed than this.
Makerlab Sunday Skill Share Guidelines
- Be prepared to contribute. If you are hosting- have food and drinks. If you are a guest bring something to share- projects, food, drinks, movies, games.
- People need to bring a project. Or at least bring an idea for a project. Do not show up empty handed. The event is social, but it is about making things.
- Makerlab Sunday Skill Share events are free. But donations are gratefully accepted.
- We hold fast to the idea of creating a safe space for creative collaboration and ideation. Being critical is good, being constructive is divine.
- You must help teach those that do not know. If you are hosting or attending a Makerlab Sunday Skill Share you are implicitly agreeing to teach what you know. What does that mean? It means if someone asks for help and you know how to help them you are obligated to help them.
- Participation and activation are important, not passivity. Less talk more action.
- The venue should be social and 'equal'; structured as people gathering as equals together, where everybody has a chance to participate, talk, present and work together. Everyone that is collaboratively working at a Makerlab event is expected to spend 5-10 minutes presenting to the group on their project for review.
- People that attend the Makerlab events should be prepared to help cook, clean and host. No one should be stuck bearing the burden for the group. Everyone is expected to help one another.
- Makerlabs are for exploring different kinds of Making. For example: For every two hours spent working on computery projects there should be two hours devoted to real world projects. Cooking or going for a walk. Sewing or painting with acrylics.
- Makerlab Sunday Skill Shares are open to Makers of all kinds; they exist as a social pedagogical space for cross-discipline collaboration. Artists, musicians, scientists, researchers, farmers, knitters, and politicians are encouraged to attend, participate and bring projects to the table.
All of these rules must be followed if you want to call your event a Makerlab event. None of them have to be followed if you don't. Feel free to take this list and adjust it, add to it, strip parts away. But! If you want to use these guidelines we are happy to help get the word out about your event; we have an active mailing list which will post your announce to.