Our Mission (By Rod Northcutt)

So, if MAKETANK chooses to buck convenience and eschew habit, and if we additionally champion issue-based work over the habitual making of things, then what is the issue around the work we make? Well, there are three (the magic number) and our mission was drafted to address them. One: there are many people in this region who, for many social reasons, just don’t interact with each other. Two: there are skills our brothers and sisters have that we believe, if shared, will make for a stronger community and richer lives. And Three: there are many, many of our fellow citizens who feel like they are not creative or, more often, don’t give themselves the permission to be creative (often for ridiculous reasons, such as thinking that they can’t draw…really? Like drawing is needed to make engaging work? Yikes!!). Regarding that last issue, MAKETANK strives to be a “permission engine.” So, when we make these issues active, they became our concepts: Connect the people who don’t normally connect, create opportunities for people to share the skills they have learned with each other, for FREE, and make sure that everyone can learn to be confident in their creativity. No bronze sculpture, painting, or print could ever do this as effectively as participatory, on-the-gound, engagement. And because the issues are so huge, and because participatory engagement is such a colossal concept, it needs a tremendous event—hence our vast year-round programming and our sweet, brobdingnagian Oxford Kinetics Festival!

But while the OKF may seem like the pinnacle, it is really just the showcase for all of the other initiatives. MAKETANK has programs going on all year and these projects are showcased at the OKF in the midst of all of the fun mahem that the OKF generates. Because we are invested in community (and we see community as an ever-expanding entity, not just Southwest Ohio), we work to create projects that intersect creatively with it.

Coming soon: a brief summary of what we did last year and a preview of what we have cooked up for the 2014/2015 season!