ARTISANS ASYLUM INC

We make creativity a way of life.

aka Artisan's Asylum   |   Somerville, MA   |  http://www.artisansasylum.com

Mission

Artisan's Asylum is dedicated to the teaching, learning and practice of fabrication.

Ruling year info

2012

Executive Director

Lars Hasselblad Torres

Main address

10 Tyler Street

Somerville, MA 02143 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-2604571

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Vocational Technical (B30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Artisan’s Asylum is a community studio and fabrication facility that generates value at the intersection of art, technology and social practice. Since 2010 we have provided access to the workspaces, tools and training that drive community learning, creativity and innovation, and entrepreneurship. Our mission is to support and promote the teaching, learning and practice of fabrication. Artisan’s today is an arts service organization with $1.4M in annual revenue; we are home to 595 members including artists, engineers, craft manufacturers and hobbyists. We provide access to 160 studios that are complemented by 15 unique workshops including woodworking, jewelry, metal and machine shops, a rapid prototyping shop, fiber arts studio, and a design lab. Artisan’s hosts more than 30 classes each month, providing hands-on instruction in a range of trades as well as income for more than 40 instructors.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Lifelong Learning

Each month Artisan's Asylum offers more than 30 classes across a range of disciplines in the arts and sciences. We provide hands-on instruction for learners of all backgrounds who want to learn basic skills and safety all the way to advanced manufacturing techniques. Disciplines include jewelry, digital fabrication, metal work, and woodworking.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents
Artists and performers
Self-employed people

Artisans's Asylum provides affordable workspace to nearly 600 artists, hobbyists, tinkerers, designers and entrepreneurs. We offer an unmatched intellectual community fueled by a passion for creativity, learning and collaboration. Members have access to studios, storage spaces, and 14 workshops from wood to metal, digital fabrication to jewelry, fiber arts to photography.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents
Self-employed people
Artists and performers

We provide support to early stage innovators who need a place to carry out research and development into new projects and products. We support independent craftspeople and startup teams, lowering the barriers to risk-taking within a feedback rich environment. Through networking, workshops and entrepreneurial support services Artisan's Asylum helps entrepreneurs launch new ventures.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents
Artists and performers
Self-employed people
Adults
Adolescents
Artists and performers
Self-employed people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Urban Manufacturing Alliance 2018

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Today the Artisan’s Asylum business model is built around three central propositions:
1) Innovation thrives with density. Artists, hobbyists, and engineers are inspired within shared community where serendipity and creativity collide.
2) People are enlivened by lifelong learning opportunities. Innovation is a restless pursuit, and learning is at its root.
3) Sharing lowers entrepreneurial risk. We help creative projects and new ventures succeed when we lower the barriers to talent, tools and spaces essential to the startup journey.

We translate these propositions into value in three ways:
1) Through affordable membership, storage leases and studio contracts Artisan’s builds a vibrant and dynamic community of aspiration.
2) With more than 30 certification courses and skills-based classes each month, Artisan’s trains members on the safe operation of tools and equipment, fosters skills development for all through advanced courses, and provides income support to more than 40 instructors.
3) Our shared shop environment is the engine that powers ingenuity and fabrication. We provide members free access to all of our workshops, enabling creativity to thrive through the production of new and original work, from artwork to prototypes, outdoor sculpture to commercial fabrication.

Over the next five years, Artisan’s Asylum is positioned for growth. We will increase the physical footprint of our home and explore the potential of satellite spaces that expand our brand while delivering value in new communities and to the organization. Artisan’s growth strategy turns on our ability to become a world-class destination for immersive maker experiences in the greater Boston region.

To do this Artisan’s will:
1) Grow our membership 10 percent per year and expand our inventory of studio space 25 percent while increasing the size of our largest studio spaces. To accommodate growth in membership Artisan’s will also expand our workshops by at least 50 percent, allowing higher and safer use of equipment.
2) Become an unmatched center of excellence in lifelong learning and workforce development, partnering with industry, community-based organizations and higher education to deliver the region’s most accessible hands-on learning opportunities in the creative industries.
3) Increase our value to early stage innovators, art-based enterprises, and startups. This includes targeted service offerings – coworking, networking, and mentoring for example – and strong partnerships throughout Boston’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
4) Provide irresistible public engagement experiences that attract new talent while promoting our culture of radical ingenuity at the intersection of art and engineering. One part DIY museum gallery, one part interactive adventure to the future of creativity.

Over the next five years, Artisan’s Asylum is positioned for growth. We are both excited about the positive economic indicators of the region, and we are compelled by the evidence of a widening opportunity gap. Central to our strategy for growth is coordination and partnership with municipal agencies and the philanthropic community to position ourselves for greater impact tied to specific goals and outcomes. Chiefly, to expand creative and economic opportunity for all residents – with a focus on those within our targeted markets of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

To achieve our impact Artisan’s will increase the size of our physical presence by roughly 50 percent – from 42,000 sf. to 60,000 sf. and explore the potential of satellite spaces that expand our brand while delivering value in host communities, our members, and to the organization. Artisan’s growth strategy turns on our ability to:
1) Increase our inventory of affordable studio and workshop space, expand the area occupied by our shops, and grow membership.
2) Become an unmatched center of excellence in lifelong learning and workforce development.
3) Increase our value to early stage innovators and startups.
4) Provide irresistible public engagement experiences that promote the culture of radical ingenuity at the intersection of art and science.

1. Expand Physical Capacity
Over the next five years Artisan’s Asylum will expand the physical footprint of our facility from 42,000 sf. to at least 60,000 sf. This expansion will require an additional .25FTE to manage, increasing our studio count by at least 25 percent and yielding at least $122,400 in additional revenue.

2. Excellence in lifelong learning and workforce development
Artisan’s Asylum manages a growing portfolio of education offerings. Most of what we do falls into one of four revenue-generating buckets: a) paid courses, b) teen training program, c) professional development courses, and d) corporate training and off-site programs.

3. Early stage innovators and startups
In the next 3 to 5 years Artisan’s will a) create a coworking offering, b) document and promote startups within Artisan’s Asylum; c) foster strong connections with guidance and mentoring organizations; d) establish working partnerships with startup accelerators; and e) provide better physical space in which startups can grow.

4. Irresistible public engagement
With nearly ten years of public engagement through arts fabrication, education and presentation under our belt, the time is ripe to combine our talent and capacity into an irresistible public offering that demonstrates the creative power of our community, excites and inspires the public, and generates revenue for our artists and the organization. Our public engagement offering will be designed and produced by our members, integrating the experiential qualities of immersion, escape, aesthetics, and education into an unforgettable and awe-inspiring window on the talent and culture of DIY creativity.

Since 2010 Artisan’s Asylum has grown from a 2,000 sf. outpost in the Brickbottom area of Somerville into a 42,000 sf. refuge for makers of all backgrounds. Along the way Artisan’s incorporated as the nation’s first non-profit makerspace, moved and expanded twice more, and increased revenue from $450,000 to $1,340,000, contributing over $43M in local economic development impact over the last decade. Of Artisan’s $1.4M in FY19 revenue, 96 percent was earned income, 4 percent corporate and individual giving.

Today Artisan’s mission is simple: to support and promote the teaching, learning and practice of fabrication. We do this by offering an irresistible value proposition: foster the conditions of spontaneous serendipity that enable creativity and innovation to thrive. These conditions are 1) member density, 2) the velocity of learning, and 3) the infrastructure of creativity.

What makes the Artisan’s program work has been an investment in the spaces, tools and materials of creativity. Through massive member support, corporate and institutional donations, and careful resource stewardship over the years, Artisan’s has stocked each of our workshops with the basic tools – and a few extraordinary ones – necessary to training, prototyping, and production. While most members bring in their own consumables, Artisan’s Asylum does carry a limited supply of personal protective gear, parts and pieces, and material stock that facilitates productive use of the equipment.

Artisan’s Asylum’s shops are free to use for all of our members and anyone paying to take a class. While we do not charge usage fees on top of our membership rates, Artisan’s shops are essential to giving ideas their material form.

Driven by development and economic trends as well as strong evidence of demand growth in the arts service sector, Artisan’s Asylum is poised for transformation over the next five years. There are three reasons that greater Boston is a ripe environment for Artisan’s Asylum to thrive as a business: the region’s appetite for the arts and culture, its dense higher education community, and the pervasive entrepreneurial spirit. Each condition is essential for Artisan’s Asylum’s success; combined they comprise a vibrant and enabling ecosystem.

Day-to-day operations at Artisan’s is run by a team of 3 full-time staff, 16 part-time support staff, 30 volunteers, and 47 registered instructors. Governance, strategic planning and financial oversight are overseen by a board of 11 community leaders.

To date Artisan's has contributed an estimated $43M in local economic impact including:
1) $30M in venture capital to member companies
2) $10M in Kickstarter funding raised for member companies
3) 150 small businesses supported
4) 100 jobs created

Artisan's has provided more than 10,000 hours of instruction that has:
1) Trained more than 8,600 individual in the arts and trades
2) Provided supplemental income to more than 420 individuals
3) Directed more than $800,000 in livelihood support to working artists

Our community has supported events across the country, from Fluff Fest to Burning Man, Boston Design Week to Illuminus Festival. Our members have launched products that changed the world, from the world's first device that draws in three dimensional space (the 3Doodler) to a revolutionary, interchangeable electric bicycle wheel (the GeoOrbital wheel).

Looking to the future, Artisan's Asylum has a transformational vision: we are going to become the premier platform for lifelong learning and joy through creativity. We're on a path to dramatically expand our footprint, our fabrication capabilities, and our studio environment. With a fully modernized production line in each of our essential studios, Artisan's will become an essential asset for workforce development and training where anyone can acquire the language, skills and networks of creativity, entrepreneurship and collaboration essential to success.

Financials

ARTISANS ASYLUM INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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ARTISANS ASYLUM INC

Board of directors
as of 6/21/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Steve Derezinski

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/14/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data