NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Innovation Hub welcomed its second week of summer campers on Monday and also reopened to its community members, the adults who use it as a creative space to work and build.
The Arkansas Innovation Hub closed its doors for 415 days when the pandemic hit.
Errin Stanger, the executive director at the Arkansas Innovation Hub, talked about the struggles that were brought on by the pandemic and how they changed to help during that time.
“We closed our doors on March 13. It seems like so long ago. over a year ago obviously,” Stanger said.
The Arkansas Innovation Hub did what it does best, it innovated, creating the Arkansas Maker task force made up of staff and volunteers across the state that used sewing machines and 3D printers to provide PPE to the community.
After being closed for so long the hub has been slowly opening its doors to ease into reopening.
“It’s been like turning the volume knob on. We keep cranking it up each week. More and more people are coming into the hub,” Stanger said.
Now that the hub is open they have many adult classes range that from pottery to jewelry making. 3D printing where you can make just about anything. Screen printing where you can design your own tee shirt and bag logos.
There’s also wood working and welding with shop foreman Adam Kittrell.
“They’ll come in, learn how to weld, make a little project. If they’re a member, they can come in and they now have access to these tools. they’ve learned how to use them safely,” Kittrell said.
There is a lot of opportunities for kids to explore different creative outlets with new ways being introduced all the time.
“Kids learn something new. They didn’t even know they liked it, didn’t know they were good at it. But when they’re given the tools and resources, they just instantly light up and then they just want to do it more and more,” Stanger said.
With plenty of open spots for summer camp still kids can be registered HERE.