Where Kids Can Go to Make Works of Art

FRESNO, Calif. -- In a time when vocational skillsets are seemingly becoming less common, maker spaces provide a place for people to learn and grow their skills.

"The maker movement grew out of the lack of opportunity for kids over the last 20 or 30 years to learn vocational arts in school," said Janelle Ozeran, president of Ideaworks in Fresno, California.

"The mission of Fresno Ideaworks is specifically to not only to bring maker culture to the Central Valley, but to provide the space and the tools and the community for makers to learn, to grow their skills," she said.

Ideaworks, located on H Street near San Joaquin Street, provides a space for people to do just that. The building features a room to weld, one to woodwork, one to sew, and one to work on computers - in addition to rooms for other skillsets spread throughout the building.

"It was daunting like the first couple of times I did it but you know as time goes on, you stop looking at the sparks and just have fun with it," said Natalie Ketter, who took a welding class at Ideaworks. She's now planning to pursue welding as a career.

"To think that, you know, we were able to do that for somebody, especially a young person - that's good, that's the whole point of the maker space," Ozeran said.

Ideaworks is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is completely run by volunteers and members.

Ketter and other women will have their art on display on Thursday, February 6 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. as part of "Women of Welding" at Ideaworks. The public is invited to attend and see the women at work.
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