Why Collaboration between Organizations is Important

What do an amateur radio group, a woodworkers guild, 4H, Michigan Jaycees, a Linux users group, and a Cub Scout pack have in common? They are examples of outside organizations who have utilized the Kzoo Makers space for their own activity in one of several different ways.

Meeting Space

Sometimes an organization is looking for a meeting space and has a connection to a Kzoo Maker member for a sponsor. Michigan Jaycees used this connection for a JCI training event. More recently, a 4H Drone Club utilized the meeting and workshop areas a couple of times as they learned about building quadcopters (drones). The first photo is the results from their last visit on February 10th. In both of these cases, the groups paid a fee to Kzoo Makers and ran their own activities, plus the sponsoring members offered tours. A win for everyone involved.

Field Trip

Organizations who meet regularly sometimes will take a “field trip” to a new location. They still hold their regular meeting and then add in a tour and presentation from the particular facility. Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club (KARC) visited Kzoo Makers last summer. This past Tuesday (2/13), the Woodworkers Guild of Southwest Michigan listened to Daniel Wilkins present about makerspaces. Then once their meeting ended, the Guild members, directed by hosting member Don Batts, checked out the entire facility. Both of these groups had at least one Kzoo Maker member as host.

Tools and Mentors

For the last two years, Cub Scout Pack 169 learned wood shop safety from volunteer mentors at Kzoo Makers. The Cub Scout pack brought their materials on a Saturday morning in January to create an entry for the Pinewood Derby race.  Kzoo Makers collected a small fee per person from the hosting Kzoo Maker member. The activity required a charge because of the use of machinery and mentors. The Cub Scouts also thanked everyone involved with a framed card.


If you have ever visited Kzoo Makers on a Tuesday evening, then you have probably seen the Kalamazoo Linux Users Group (KLUG). KLUG has been meeting regularly at Kzoo Makers since December 2016. KLUG pays a monthly membership to Kzoo Makers and also has several members who take turns sponsoring the weekly meetup. Part of KLUG’s growth has also contributed to the growth of the Kzoo Maker membership. KLUG also coordinates the snack area and they use the revenue to pay for the organization’s membership.

Whether used for private activities, informational meetings, weekly meetings, or access to tools and mentors, all of the organizations have benefited with the collaboration. Each organization has learned about the other and made new connections. Sometimes those connections come in handy when questions come up and the answer is a referral to a specific person or organization. The list keeps on growing, too. Whether you are a part of an organization or interested as an individual, you are invited to tour during open hours (listed on the website).

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