Educational Institutions


We make creativity a way of life.

aka Artisan's Asylum

Somerville, MA


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

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Lars Hasselblad Torres

Main Address

10 Tyler Street

Somerville, MA 02143 USA


education, makerspace, workshop, studio, art, artists, fabrication, design, manufacturing, economic development, entrepreneurship





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Vocational Technical (B30)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Artisan's Asylum provides affordable space for working artists, lowers startup risk for early stage innovators, fosters workforce training and lifelong learning, and sustains the cultural vitality of our home in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Fabrication Education

Studio Artists

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Artisans seeks to: 1) Sustain artists' livelihoods 2) Train the workforce of the future 3) Contribute to the economic vitality of our community 4) Foster restless, cross disciplinary collaboration 5) Delight the senses through creative production

To achieve our goals, Artisan's: 1) Works to expand the amount of physical space under management, currently 40,000sf. 2) Improve the studio and materials storage environment that sustains our community, currently at 421 members and 172 studios 3) Provide the tools and equipment necessary for traditional and contemporary creativity, currently 14 shops including jewelry, metal, woodworking, digital fabrication, 2D and 3D design, fiber arts, photography, electronics and robotics, and bicycle repair and customization 4) Organize monthly multidisciplinary classes that provide basic training and skills development, currently between 30 and 40 each month 5) Provide startup support to early-stage innovators including coaching, workshops, and networking 6) Host workshops, talks and community events that promote creativity at all levels 7) Participate in community events that foster collaboration and celebration

Artisan's has a track-record of a decade providing direct support to artists and innovators. We have a learned a great deal over the years, and that knowledge is enshrined in a powerfully creative, passionately generous and highly skilled community. This community is supported by 5 full-time staff who manage our education programs, our facility and shops, our IT and operations environment, outreach, and finance and administration. Our 14 shops are managed by 12 part-time employees who maintain the shop area, equipment, and supplies. Our community is supported by more than 30 volunteers.

Artisan's measures progress across several important indicators which include: 1) Growth of our facility: our we expanding our tangible value to members? 2) Growth of our community: is our service a compelling offering to more and more people? 3) Breadth of our reach: our we reaching more people through our classes and events? 4) Diversity of our customers: our we attracting and retaining people of many backgrounds and interests? 5) Distinctiveness of our offering: are we unique in the marketplace and pushing the envelope of possibility? 6) Number of products: are we continuing to help launch new ideas in the world each year? 7) Success of startups: are the startups who depend on us growing and thriving with us and on their own? 8) Is Somerville thriving: can we point to specific and enduring economic and cultural contributions to the city?

To date Artisan's has contributed an estimated $40M in local economic impact including: 1) $30M in venture capital to member companies 2) $9.8M 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.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

Urban Manufacturing Alliance 2018




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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
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