Panel: Building a Community of Makers and Creators

Sunday, September 18 / 1:45pm–2:35pm / JBL Theater

Moderator: Elisheba Johnson (Seattle Office of Arts & Culture)

Panelists: Sam Farrazaino (Founder, Equinox Studios), Sam Hightower (CEO/Founder, 3D Buildtower), Charles Ihler (President, Snohomish County Makers Group), Eric Renn (SoDo Makerspace), Kenny Shelton (Entrepreneur in Residence, Hack Nation), Colette Taylor (Seattle Attic Community Workshop), Ethan Toth (Founder, Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire), Matt Westervelt (Owner, Metrix Create:Space)

Hear from local maker culture leaders on how they are building community, sharing resources, and making space for makers, startups, novice tinkerers, and community collaborations to thrive.

About the Panelists

Samuel Farrazaino, a sculptor by nature, has combined his 28 years of construction industry experience and 30 years of working in and with the arts to found Equinox Development Unlimited LLC, a development company dedicated to creating space for artists and artisans. As the Principal of EDU LLC, and its predecessor Sapphire Design & Construction, Sam has developed more than 185,000 sq. ft. of artist space, here in Seattle and across the country. With more than 20 years as a Design/Build General Contractor, Sam has been able to capitalize on his design experience as well as his extensive knowledge of construction techniques and building codes to give new life to historic buildings from the 1890s to the 1980s. Sam’s goal is to create thriving spaces, focused in the arts, that support and sustain people and their art through creativity, collaboration, and community.

Sam Hightower is Founder of 3D Buildtower, a local provider of 3D printed products and services. 3D Buildtower are artists that love to create things and want to share that passion. This new 3D shop will allow them to connect with the community with the goal of bringing local 3D printing to everyone they can reach. They started online with 3D Hubs and now are opening a storefront in Everett, WA.

charles_ihlerCharles Ihler is President and Co-Founder of SnoCo Makers, a 501(c)(3) corporation providing a recently-expanded makerspace based in Snohomish county. His hobbies are wood working, robotics, and RF electronics. Charles served in the USAF fixing avionic electronic systems and has been an industrial automation programmer for the last 15 years.

Eric Renn is Co-Founder of SoDo Makerspace and its chief visionary. Through his drive to realize a creative space open to all of the Seattle community, the SoDo Makerspace has become an integral part in Seattle’s arts, science, tech, and educational communities, contributing ideas, expertise, and manpower in rendering ideas to objects and projects to products. Reach out to Eric at to see what SoDo Makerspace can do for you and your community.

kenny_sheltonKenny Shelton is a Southern California native who currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at Hack Nation. Hack Nation is a collective of social innovators empowering entrepreneurs of African descent throughout the world to build community through technology, education, and design. Previously, Kenny served as a marketing coordinator for a photo sharing startup in the valley named Blisspic, where he was responsible for growing the app from beta to critical mass. Prior to that, he worked as a case analyst at a criminal and civil rights law firm in LA. Kenny also graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and minor in Economics. There he was heavily involved in event planning and outreach coordination with the Black Student Union and ASUO (student government).

colette_taylorColette Taylor is the president of The Seattle Attic Community Workshop, a feminist makerspace in Pioneer Square. She is an obligate maker, finding the creation and building of objects, clothes, and characters to be necessary for her existence. Her passions include bees and beekeeping, molecular biology, learning, and teaching. She can usually be found stitching something together, driving excessively strong coffee, and/or hanging out with her cats Doctor Patrick Fibonacci Waffles and Mollybee Yoyodyne.

ethan_tothEthan Toth is a freshman student at University of Washington. He organized and produced the first annual Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire in 2015, making him the youngest producer of a maker faire at that time. He has participated in multiple conferences across the country regarding making in the community including a roundtable conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., as well as a producers’ roundtable in San Francisco. Currently, Ethan is in the process of transitioning to the making community of Seattle and has left the Wenatchee faire in the hands of another generation of eight high school students.

Matt Westervelt is Founder of Metrix Create:Space, a modern prototyping and fabrication lab focused on digital and distributed manufacturing technologies in Seattle. With a complement of additive and subtractive machining technologies, its scope runs from electronics to architecture.  With its pcb laser structuring and pick-and-place assembly equipment, Metrix is the most advanced walk-in electronics prototyping facility in the US. The primary goal of Metrix Create:Space is to enable the public at large to hack, make, build. and create new and awesome things by providing easy access to tools and rapid prototyping services for the general public. Established in 2009, the retail hackerspace has a community of creative engineers, professionals, and enthusiasts who push the limits of the technology available and create prototypes, products, and businesses.