3rd Ward: Making Future Makers in Brooklyn
This article was written by Heather Bailey, part of CustomMade’s Maker Success team.
Makers helping makers. It’s a simple philosophy everyone here at CustomMade can support and get excited about. So when we stumbled upon the Brooklyn-based artist community 3rd Ward, we were thrilled to discover the work they were doing. Plus, when we come across another community whose vision is in line with ours, who “wants to do everything they can to help makers succeed” just as we do at CustomMade, we just can’t help but applaud them for their success.
Nestled on a quiet street in East Williamsburg is a 30,000 sq. foot warehouse belonging to 3rd Ward. Its cold, industrial exterior deceives any passerby, for inside is a thriving mecca for an ever growing artistic community. As a true resource to foster talent, 3rd Ward describes themselves as an “incubator for innovation and possibility.” And since their doors opened in May of 2006, they have held true to that statement.
3rd Ward provides two valuable resources that serve artists and craftsman alike, classes to educate and work spaces for freelancers. Boasting a seemingly endless list of classes from upholstery to silver-smithing for the beginner to the experienced, students are able to tackle just about any subject. By offering comprehensive classes in design programs (such as 3D modeling) that are quickly becoming the standard in industries such as woodworking and jewelry, they are ensuring their makers’ success well into the future.
Beyond classes and workspaces, 3rd Ward also hosts a variety of events from the totally unusual to the extremely useful. They routinely hold networking events for members and non-members to meet and share their ideas and experiences. There are also regular seminars on topics that any maker, no matter what their ﬁeld, would find useful (such as copyright law). These seminars are run by industry professionals and cover a wide range of topics that are often vital for independent artist.
The Wednesday night “Drink N’Draw” is one of their most popular events, and it is exactly what it sounds like. They provide the boozy refreshments and the models, while you’re responsible for the drawing materials and creativity. 3rd Ward markets this as a great way to unwind after a long day at work—and who would disagree? Participants are able to relax in a casual, yet creative, environment. It’s a wildly successful event that allows 3rd Ward to showcase one of CustomMade’s driving principles: creation should be fun!
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