- Learn - Make - Connect -
Precious Plastics Recycling Machines Under Construction!
With funding from the MESA Project, Cruces Creatives is building two Precious Plastics machines—an injection molder and a compression molder! Precious Plastics machines are open-source technologies that function like small-scale recycling and manufacturing centers, making it possible to recycle plastics like water bottles, milk jugs, etc., into almost anything: chair seats, art, replacement parts, toys, you name it. They’ll be mighty helpful tools at the makerspace, and they also offer a hands-on education in recycling!
Prototype Cloud-Connected Soil Temperature Sensors Operational and Out for Field Testing
Cruces Creatives has completed a full working prototype for open-source, cloud-connected soil temperature sensors that can help farmers and gardeners know when to plant different crops! The prototype is currently undergoing field testing, and the results will help refine and improve the next iteration of the design. Thanks to the Thornburg Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation for funding, and congratulations to Jon Simmons and John Miller for all of the hard work behind the designs!
Registration Opens for Youth Maker Days
Make spring break a time for making! From March 24 to 27, K-12 students and their families can participate in over 35 classes on subjects ranging from armor making to book making to hot air balloons. Several of the classes are free thanks to support from the NM STEM Outreach Center! Registration is now open, and for more information or to sign up, you can visit the Cruces Creatives Event Calendar at www.crucescreatives.org/events and look for classes whose titles start with “YMD” (Youth Maker Days).
Free Model Rocketry Classes Starting at Cruces Creatives!
Starting this month, the Fellowship of Las Cruces Area Rocketry Enthusiasts (FLARE) will be offering four free model rocketry classes each year at Cruces Creatives! The first class is on Saturday, February 29, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. For more information or to register, visit http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3759605.
Call for Plastics for the STEAM Team and Youth Maker Days
Do you have clean bottle caps, transparent plastic (colored is especially good), or translucent plastic? Think water bottle caps, milk jug lids, peanut butter jar lids, 2-liter soda bottles, baby shampoo bottles, etc. All of these materials would be helpful for the STEAM Team and Youth Maker Days! Donations are welcomed at the Cruces Creatives kids’ classroom during open hours.
Free Learning Activities for Kids: Disassembly Days
Next Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22, there will be free disassembly activities for K-12 students. Participants will take apart broken machinery and learn new ways to build and create. More information and registration links are available at http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3740774 and http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3740776.
Reminder: You Can Teach a Workshop at Cruces Creatives!
Do you have a making-related skill that you’d be willing to share? We’re looking to expand class and workshop offerings this year, and all sorts of creative projects are welcome. To propose a class/workshop, complete the event proposal form at http://www.crucescreatives.org/Propose-a-Program, and a volunteer will be in touch.
First EP Album from the Cruces Creatives Recording Studio
Local musician Adrian Bautista just recorded an all-original EP in the Cruces Creatives A/V Studio, and it’s fantastic: jamming, lyrical alt-pop with a touch of Caribbean beat. You can check out the songs for free on Soundcloud to hear some great music and get a sense of what’s possible right now in the makerspace studio!
As usual administrative work has been busy keeping up with all the amazing activities y'all have been leading while setting the path for new programs, activities, Job Shops, and partnerships. Here are a few plans in the works:
Reimbursement Forms - The extra time focused this past week on reimbursement forms has helped fill the backlog. This upcoming week Lea will be doing a bit of the same to finish the previous month and to get ahead for the rest of the program year.
Been Out Sick - Lindsey has been out sick most of this past week, and we're excited that she is starting to feel better.
Data and Financial Manual - Lea has also been working on one other large project recently, a step-by-step with pictures manual for handling data and financial entry to Wild Apricot. A good portion has already been complete, but once the reimbursement forms are finished expect Lea to hunker down again to push through the rest of the manual.
Programs in Progress:
Programs in Progress:
STEAM - Instructors Brittany Ontiveros and Sandy Smith finished their first semester last December and have officially launched their second semester! The students are launching into new projects and new learning objectives. Expect to see volunteer opportunities by the front desk when they need a little extra help preparing.
Facility Updates and Special Activities
Cruces Creatives is constantly changing, growing, and becoming a better place because of the great work you're doing. Here are a few updates to know about:
Photo Printer - Cruces Creatives received a generous donation of a Epson P7000 24" large-format photo printer from Mark Clune. Additionally, The Doña Photography Club, one of our monthly groups, purchased the needed ink and now the printer is almost ready to go! If you've had photos you've wanted to print, it's almost time!
Thanks for the incredible giving and work you do to make Cruces Creatives an amazing space for learning, making, and community.
This week we'd like to thank Misha Bryan for her dedicated volunteering and community work. Misha has been a long-time volunteer with Cruces Creatives, and she opens every Tuesday and Thursday. Additionally, she is an active member of the Charitable Crafting group and has made many a beautiful item that has gone out to the community.
Seen at our front desk welcoming members and guests alike
Wearing one of her custom designed dresses that she made
Being an awesome Mom, and building shelves with her daughter for Cruces Creatives
Love of Art Show / First Friday Art Ramble
This month’s first Friday art ramble features a multi-artist exhibit for “Love of Art” month, hosted in partnership with the Artists Association of New Mexico. After visiting the gallery opening, stick around for the all-original open mic, which showcases the incredible music, poetry, and storytelling coming out of Las Cruces.
Cruces Creatives 2019 Activities Report Released
Want to catch up with what Cruces Creatives accomplished in 2019? Check out the 2019 Activities Report—there’s some great stuff in there!
The admin team has been getting back to the regular swing of things as the Holidays and New Year have passed, and have been working hard to get caught up on messages, projects, and normal to-do items.
Several small and medium Job Shop projects are underway right now. A big thanks to Lindsey McDonald for all her hard work coordinating Job Shop!
New Volunteer - Julianne Lackey, has been helping identify new grants and is looking into possible field trip options for Cruces Creatives. If you have ideas for a field trip program reach out to Julianne or Lea.
Paperwork - Lea is catching up on some hard core financing paperwork, so expect to see her either with her head in a 3" inch binder, or out of the office a little more as she catches up. Emailing ahead of time for appointments is recommended.
Seeding Regenerative Agriculture - This program has been renewed for another 2 years thanks to the support of the McCune and Thornburg Foundations! Patrick DeSimio has been leading this project, and we're excited to see his progress with sustainable / renewable agriculture! To read more about the project, see Pat's write up here.
Disassembly Area - The disassembly area (the area on the far wall of the Main Room by the art supplies) is going through a cleaning as the STEAM instructors plan for upcoming disassembly activities with their kiddos. Steve Colletti is teaching Lindsey McDonald how to best recycle our extra materials, and there should be some opportunities for monitors to help with our recycling efforts soon!
Art Show - February is the Love of Art Month and annually we host the Artforms Artists Association of New Mexico in our classroom / conference room. Couple of dates to be aware of:
This Sunday and Tuesday - artists will be dropping off their work
Tuesday afternoon - judges will be coming to decide the winners of the art show
Wednesday - they will be hanging the show
Friday - is First Friday and their art opening! Hope you can attend!
This week we'd like to recognize Richard Hausmann who has been a constant volunteer since we've begun. Richard has incredible talents and skills relating to understanding machinery and being able to fix them. He has been throughout the entire makerspace fixing and improving tools. Our makerspace runs better, and has more tools available because of Richard. Thank you Richard!
Deep in concentration from one end of the building to the other. Thanks for all the tools you've fixed, and all the projects you've built Richard! Deep in concentration from one end of the building to the other. Thanks for all the tools you've fixed, and all the projects you've built Richard!
Call for Artists for the 2020 Las Cruces Space Festival
Art submissions are now open for the 2020 Las Cruces Space Festival’s art exhibit, “Dawn of Discovery”: a multi-media exhibit of artwork inspired by the Universe and the excitement of space exploration. For more information and instructions about how to submit artworks, visit https://lcspacefestival.com/calling-all-artists-2/.
Call for Thin Cardboard for STEAM Team
The 4th and 5th graders in the STEAM Team are learning about different kinds of mechanical joints, and they could use a lot of thin cardboard—like cereal boxes, paper towel tubes, oatmeal containers, etc.—to support their project-based learning. If you have some thin cardboard to donate, please bring it to the Kids’ Room at Cruces Creatives, and it’ll be put to very good use!Call for Artists for the 2020 Las Cruces Space Festi
Free Teacher Training for Making in the Classroom
This spring, thanks to support from the NM STEM Outreach Center, Cruces Creatives is offering teachers free classes on making-related tricks, tips, and knowledge to take back to the classroom. The first two classes—the first covering basic electricity, meters, and soldering and the second covering motors—are scheduled for January 29 and February 26. More information and RSVP instructions are available at http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3692548 for the electricity class and http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3692550 for the motors class. If you know a teacher who might be interested, please share the links!
Charitable Crafting This Saturday
From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. this Saturday, the Charitable Crafters will be meeting to make scarves, hats, and mittens for people at local homeless shelters. If you'd like to help, come on by! The program is free, and no previous experience with textiles is needed. More information and an RSVP link are available at http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3687851.
Cruces Creatives Awarded $180,000 Grant to Promote Regenerative Agriculture
With the success of last year’s pilot program for the Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project (http://www.crucescreatives.org/news/8088615), the Thornburg Foundation and McCune Foundation have awarded Cruces Creatives an additional $180,000 over two years to promote regenerative agriculture, which improves soil health by cultivating diverse soil microbes and sequestering carbon in the ground. In consultation with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural scientists, Cruces Creatives will be developing technologies that make regenerative agriculture easier to practice and coordinating the efforts of multiple partner organizations, including the Arrowhead Center, the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research at New Mexico State University (NMSU), and NMSU’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde.
Cruces Creatives Welcomes First Full-Time Employee
Lindsey McDonald has joined the Cruces Creatives team as the makerspace’s first full-time employee! With support from New Mexico Workforce Connections, Lindsey will be helping Executive Director Lea Wise-Surguy with administrative tasks, supporting the day-to-day operations of the makerspace, and leading the Job Shop. Welcome aboard, Lindsey!
With the success of last year’s pilot program for the Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project (http://www.crucescreatives.org/news/8088615), the Thornburg Foundation and McCune Foundation have awarded Cruces Creatives an additional $180,000 over two years to promote regenerative agriculture, which improves soil health by cultivating diverse soil microbes and sequestering carbon in the ground. In consultation with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural scientists, Cruces Creatives will be developing technologies that make regenerative agriculture easier to practice and coordinating the efforts of multiple partner organizations, including the Arrowhead Center, the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research at New Mexico State University (NMSU), and NMSU’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alca
Lindsey McDonald has joined the Cruces Creatives team as the makerspace’s first full-time employee! With support from New Mexico Workforce Connections, Lindsey will be helping Executive Director Lea Wise-Surguy with administrative tasks, supporting the day-to-day operations of the makerspace, and leading the Job Shop. Welcome aboard, Lindse
Photo Boot Camp Starting Jan. 18!
Would you like to learn more about photography and how to use the Cruces Creatives photography studio? Join the Dona Ana Photography Club’s Photo Boot Camp! From 9:00 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of each month (starting January 18 and running through May) you can learn about basic techniques, explore camera functions and controls, and get applied practice with the guidance of instructors from the Doña Ana Photography Club. Each class is just $5 per person!
The content in the January-May classes will serve as a foundation for more specialized training sessions later in the year, including a Photo Boot Camp on photographic light, which will cover the theory behind lighting, and a Photo Boot Camp on how to use the Cruces Creatives photo studio and its tools to get good results. With all three Photo Boot Camps, you can get a good background in how to plan and create high-quality photos in the makerspace studio.
Registration for 4th and 5th Grade Half-Year STEAM Team Program Now Open!
Do you have a 4th or 5th grader who’d enjoy project-based learning in coding, electronics, sculpting, hydraulics, measuring, conductivity, using vinyl, and much more? Sign them up for the half-year STEAM Team program at Cruces Creatives! This is a free program sponsored by the NM STEM Outreach Center. To register, visit http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3677503.
New Mexico Arts Survey
NM Arts, one of the largest art funding agencies in New Mexico, is looking for input! Their survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/New_Mexico_Arts is a great chance to share the art needs of our community, and it’s also a chance to let NM Arts know that, with support, Cruces Creatives could do even more for the arts! If you have five minutes, please take the survey and share your input!
SeedShare on Saturday, Jan. 11!
Whether you are a beginner, new to desert growing, or a seasoned pro, SeedShare is an opportunity to collect seeds, solve problems, learn seed saving skills, and meet other growers. If that sounds good to you, come out to Cruces Creatives between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11! All seeds are free, but please take only what you will use—and If you can, please bring some seeds, seed starting supplies, bulbs, cutting, or tubers.
This free event also includes kids’ activities and a display of the new seed cleaner developed at Cruces Creatives as part of the Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project. For more information or to RSVP, visit http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3687040.