About Us

The Fresno Ideaworks Workshop

Our Vision

The Fresno Ideaworks community is the heart of creative change for the Educational and Economic Landscape of Central California. We provide an accessible resource center for innovative and traditional pursuits to retain and attract the best and brightest to the region.

Our Mission

As Central California’s heart of creative and technical communities, Fresno Ideaworks provides resources to help individuals realize projects, develop ideas, and discover their hidden potential. We welcome individuals of all skill levels and provide instruction, equipment, and community. We serve all of Central California, from education to industry, and children through retirees. The combined knowledge, skills, and abilities of our community bring each individual greater power than the collective attributes of the group.

Goals:

  1. Provide instruction on a variety of creative and technical disciplines.
  2. Provide a space for people to discover their hidden potential and develop skills.
  3. Provide equipment, space, and other resources that would otherwise be unattainable for individuals or organizations.
  4. Cultivate collaboration among Central California’s creative and technical communities.

History

Following the 2012 San Mateo Maker Faire, a small group of Fresno engineers, artists, and geeks met in the back room of a mexican restaurant to explore the idea of starting a hackerspace in Fresno. There were plenty of unknowns, everything from finding tools and members to paying for space and insurance, but one tenet was established that day that has never wavered: if someone can help another member learn or grow, that’s job one. This collaborative ethos is as the heart of everything we do, because together we’re smarter than any individual.

One way we knew we could begin making a change in Fresno and get our fledgling project on the map was to bring a Mini Maker Faire to town. By October of 2012 this aspiration was fading in the face of the enormity of putting on a public event of this scale. Renting a location, security, insurance, ticketing, food, restrooms, and everything else involved with the idea became overwhelming and clearly outreached our abilities. The following month the Fresno Grizzlies reached out to us offering to host a Mini Maker Faire with us, we just had to find the makers. The result was the April 2013, Fresno Ideaworks Mini Maker Faire. The event was nominated for Minor League Baseball’s promotion of the year award and put Fresno firmly on the maker movement map.

The exposure of that first Mini Maker Faire bought the offer of a physical location to build the Ideaworks. It was ten thousand square feet with a three ton crane located in the heart of Fresno’s Cultural Arts District. In short, it was perfect.

It’s only been onward and upward from there. Tools and equipment donated by members, companies, and local non-profits. Partnerships with everyone from the Fresno Art Museum to the Fresno Grizzlies. Collaborations with the Fresno County Libraries, schools, artists, and local businesses have placed Fresno Ideaworks square in the middle of Fresno’s brightest and best.

The work goes on, in April 2014 the City of Fresno proclaimed April “Maker Month” in honor of our two flagship maker events; the Fresno Mini Maker Faire and Fresno Ideaworks Day at Chukchansi Park. This move made Fresno the first city in the world to proclaim a Maker Month and lead to an article on Make: Magazine’s blog.

What began as a few maker enthusiasts hoping to share resources has become an engine of change.

Join us, we are the change we want to see!

Our Nonprofit Status

Fresno Ideaworks incorporated in California on November 14, 2012. The following July 2013 we completed our Form 1023 and sent it in. On August 23, 2014, the IRS confirmed our Exempt Status making Fresno Ideaworks an official 501c3 Nonprofit Tax Exempt Corporation! Fresno Ideaworks is also California Exempt. You can access our Bylaws here.