Generator Members Meeting
Minutes June 11th, 2018
Meeting Facilitator: Jake Blend
In attendance: Jake Blend, Steve Mermelstein, Karen Freeman, Jon Weisbecker, Ezra Ranz Schleifer, Jean Cherouny, Gary Shores, Leif Hunneman, Lucie de la Bruere, Craig Lyndes, Linda Beal, Jonathan Landell, Sarah Sprague, Beth Robinson, Alex Constantino, John Cohn, Alex Hahl, Tim Woos, Jody Brown, AJ Rossman, Seth Rossman, Mark Sherwin, Elliott Katz, Daryl Stutz, Ross Zipper, Kyle Werner, Jim Shields, Leif Hunneman
Welcome: Jake Blend called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. Karen Freeman is taking minutes.
Minutes from May 14, 2018: Jenni Bower had taken minutes (thanks Jenni!) but since there were not copies available at the meeting, members agreed to review and approve the minutes from May and June at the July meeting. The May minutes will be posted again, along with the June minutes, prior to the next meeting on the Generator wiki page. (LINK)
Introductions and Updates: Attendees introduced themselves and shared updates and information. Jake welcomed Elliot, the new Generator shop operations manager. He is a sculptor, originally from Cabot, has created public art including the colorful metal/fiberglass trees outside the Hilton Garden in Burlington, and most recently was adjunct faculty in the sculpture department at the University of Hartford. Steve noted how well-organized the space has become since his arrival. Elliot said that he wants to make the shop areas are lean and efficient, and encouraged members to reach out to him with any ideas and/or concerns. AJ noted that equipment available to members through the work VEIC and Burlington Electric are doing that can measure and conceptualize energy spikes, and could be useful in looking at energy loads. John C. asked about the status of the forge, noting the popularity of the forge classes. Elliott said that that he is working on plans for a safe outdoor work space that can also store tools and hopes to have that area running within the next 3 months. AJ mentioned the “Vermont IoT Conduit”, a new Generator business member which aims to be a living laboratory for IoT and AI. He also mentioned the citywide sensor network that will employ Long Range (LoRa) radio technology. The project sponsors are interested in finding out what the public wants to get from the initiative. John C. suggested that incorporating art and mischief into the sensor project could lead to something fun, beautiful and unexpected. AJ invited the members to IoT Conduit’s upcoming July open house at 12 North Street, and he will post more info on the Generator wiki. Steve noted that the 2018 Champlain Maker Faire will run for only one day (Saturday, September 22) but will go into the evening and offer nighttime events and activities this year. Maker booth and ChampBot registration have started for the event. There was interest in a Generator collective activity coming together for the Maker Faire. Steve mentioned that in addition to the ongoing photography meetup at the Generator on the 4th Tuesday of the month that a new meetup for beginners on the 3rd Tuesday is starting. Lucie let the group know that she will again be renting the Generator space this summer for the Create/Make/Learn class she is leading for 50 teachers week of July 23rd. And similar to last year, she will offer a free workshop for Generator members to be held after 4pm during that week. Members who volunteer to help her some time during the week can take a class for free. She also encouraged members to join the teachers during the lunch time for “Meet the Makers”. Leif described the affordable modular synthesizer system he is building for under $300, with similar commercial systems costing closer to $3,000. He plans to make his design available for public use. He has a working prototype and after he is done beta testing, will offer a class at the Generator. Jake reported that there are now 4 functional VR stations and there will be a dedicated spot in the learning lab for VR. Policies pertaining to the VR usage will be finalized soon. The King Street afterschool program participated in a VR program at the Generator recently, and Dealer rented the equipment for an event. He mentioned that there are two new laser bed guides, a new lens and a backup lens. There will also be a multi-material upgrade kit coming for the laser that will handle up to 5 materials. He hopes a second laser cutter can be acquired after the upgrade is added. Scheduling for the laser was discussed, and people need to be reminded that there is an existing policy that users need to reserve the laser and 3d printer on the Google calendar.
Directors Report: Chris out of town this week, no report this month.
Board and Board Representatives: Board member John Cohn was at the meeting. Jake, Jean and Ben are the Member Representatives to the Generator Board and members are encouraged to contact them about any Generator related items.
Educator in Residence: Lydia and Jenny have finished their residencies, Julia and Leif are the incoming Educators-in-Residence.
Member Build Proposals: Jim gave an update on the Precious Plastics project, reporting that with the most recent $300 the members approved for this initiative the students were able to rebuild the injector barrel and the unit now has a functional injector. He thanked the members for the funding, expressed his appreciation for the member expertise and temporary storage made available at the Generator and said that the students have learned a great deal.
Jake summarized the intent and process of member builds and funding (has been $1,000/month set aside in Generator budget, coming from member dues). Members can propose projects that will promote member collaboration and result in creating something of benefit to the Generator community. There is $1,000 left in the budget for this fiscal year ending July 1, and while a number of possible projects were mentioned at the meeting (including an Art Hop collaborative build) none had gone through the formal process. Following discussion on ways to encourage more member proposals and make the process clearer and easier to access, the group agreed to table any action on the remaining funds. Jake and John C. assured the group that not spending the last $1,000 in the current fiscal year does not show lack of interest in this opportunity to continue next fiscal year. John C. and Jake agreed to bring this topic up at the Generator board meeting the following night.
Member Communication: A better communication tool than the current google group form was discussed, with Discord mentioned by a number of members as a better alternative. Gary S and Kyle W volunteered to pursue this topic with Chris and Beth.
Adjourn Motion to adjourn approved and meeting adjourned at 7:00.