[KwartzAnnounce] RFC: Events to which the public is invited & Board Meeting Announcement: Friday, Nov 27
Kwartzlab Members Announce List
announce at kwartzlab.ca
Sun Nov 22 11:00:39 EST 2009
The Board has been continuing the conversation about having the public
(incl. semi-external groups) in the space, and the only conclusion we've
come to so far is that it's very difficult to come to a conclusion. As
a result, we wanted to make this a bigger conversation than just among
us (and those members that show up at Board meetings).
I'm going to outline the considerations we've talked about so far, and
then invite you to participate in the conversation. I'd like to take
this opportunity to remind everyone about a few things, first:
1. There are no wrong answers. There are only answers you like more or
2. The goal here is not to have everyone come out of this process liking
the solution, but to have no-one come out of the process *dis*liking the
solution. I will assume that the logically astute bunch of people you
are can properly interpret that sentence. (Hint: like vs. dislike is
not a binary choice).
So now, what the Board has already talked about:
1. What's the scope? Are we only talking about events where the public
is invited? Or are we talking about all events in the space? How much
structured time are we comfortable having? (Which leads into...)
2. Preservation of the space for members: The members pay $50/month.
In return they get 24/7 access to the space. If this time is taken up
by scheduled events, how does that impact the ability of the members to
use the space?
3. A mandate to spread the gospel of hacking: Our corporate objects
have a clause in them about spreading the spirit of the space to the
community. How do we build that into our work?
4. Safety of property: If people other than members are coming into
the space, what happens if something that belongs to the lab is broken?
What if it belongs to a member?
5. Admission: Given that the public aren't members, and aren't paying
for the space, we're giving something up to invite them in. How much,
if at all, do we want to be compensated for that? Do we charge
admission for events, do we offer "suggested donation" amounts, or do we
just trust that pop sales and coins in the donation jar will cover the
expense of bringing in the public?
(Note, if the public is coming in for a workshop where there is actual
cost for each participant, of course they pay. But do they pay more
than members do for the same workshop?)
6. What's the difference: What is the difference between an event that
brings out some people from the public and a member who brings out a few
friends to an event?
7. Potential new members: Every person that comes in the door is a
potential new member. Some, however, will just show up to hang out.
How does this factor into our decisions?
8. Tuesday Open Nights: We already open our doors once a week on
Tuesday. How does that change our opinions? Is that enough for the
public to use?
9. Incidentals: Should the public be allowed to use incidental
materials? (Solder, tape, etc.)
I think that about covers it, but as you can see we're covering a lot of
bases: guests, property, community, supplies, events, but perhaps
centrally, members vs. non-members.
Now, I want to make sure that we all understand that no-one is proposing
any of the following:
- Allowing groups unconnected with the lab to hold events in the space;
- Allowing any member of the public to be in the space unsupervised;
- Allowing the public to attend events for which the members have to
directly pay for.
The Board is going to be discussing this as the only item on our agenda
at our meeting on Friday, Nov 27th (7:30 PM). As always, all members
are invited to attend, and we encourage anyone who cares about this
topic to do so. Largely, how we proceed on this will be determined by
the feedback we receive on this topic, and especially by those at the
After all, history is made by those who show up.
Thanks for all your help with this.
P.S. My personal opinions on this topic will follow shortly in a
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