Emporium April 2017 Update

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Recently Austin Howard and Morgan Snyder became the Leads of the Spark Emporium. This is the retail storefront run by the Spark community located at 13 Golden St. in New London showcasing an extensive range of original products created by artisan makers who live in southeastern CT. Spark Members get a 70 / 30 commission split while non-members get a 50 / 50 split.

The Emporium is revamping in the month of April, taking new inventory and re-arranging. There are two drop offs this week between the hours of 4 - 8pm on Friday April 28th and 12 - 5pm on Saturday April 29th as well as by appointment by emailing emporium@spark.coop.

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Communication & Conflict Resolution Workshop

As a cooperatively organized community, Spark runs on collaboration and trust which requires healthy communication and a clear process for conflict resolution.
There are two identical sessions planned in May to introduce nonviolent communication skills and help those present come up with process to use when issues between members arise. Having a set method for how we move through disagreement and charged situations is critical and overdue. This workshop will introduce shared language and frameworks that will benefit all participants in and beyond their involvement in Spark.
Alejandro Melendez-Cooper from the Hispanic Alliance will lead the session at the Provenance Center. He has been leading trainings and facilitating conflict resolution for decades.
We anticipate that these sessions might be open and available semi-regularly for the benefit of not just Spark but members of the wider community as well.

Spark Collaborative Membership

Spark has focussed its first year getting membership established for individuals to access the shared workstations for projects, classes, meetups, and community collaborations.

We are now at a place of development where it feels appropriate to formalize membership for organizations. We are calling this Collaborative Membership because this invites thinking about how we can all work together, not just the entity and Spark, but the group of entities that will become Collaborative Members of Spark.

The plan is also underway to support individual Members to start organizations that can become Collaborative Members with revenue-sharing in some way.

Stay tuned for an introduction to each Collaborative Members as they join the Spark community.


Edible Landscape Project

There is an Edible Landscape Exhibition opening in Spark Coworking on Thursday May 4tg from 6 - 8pm showcasing a partnership between FRESH New London, Spark, and Connecticut College’s Public Practice Design Studio that resulted in artfully produced and interactive tools to help activate the natural environment in New London, particularly with plants that produce food.

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Spark is part of CONNECT to support local business

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Got an idea?!? Spark is helping to produce an event this Thursday called CONNECT meant to help people find just the right people for questions or challenges related to business development and operations.

In addition to networking over food and drink, there will be professional service providers present at tables for free 15 minutes consultations. 

Register here.


Chocolate Covered Strawberries!!

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Got a sweetheart or maybe just a sweet tooth? Or both?!

Spark is making chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine's Day. At $20 / dozen this is a great deal with all proceeds going to support Spark.

Pre-orders are LIVE NOW!! for pick up from the Spark Kitchen at 86 Golden St. on the days leading up to and including Valentines Day. Go to:  http://www.spark.coop/chocolate_strawberries to preorder your Chocolate Covered Strawberries. 

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Spark is on TV!

Check out this great clip from the CT Style show on WTNH:


Spark highlights of 2016

Spark has come a long way in 2016. There are now 4 people on staff with 25 volunteer Leads overseeing the various workstations that make up Spark as a community-run workshop and learning center enjoyed by over 100 Members from throughout southeastern CT.

Below are some of the highlights of 2016 following the seasons:

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Drop in Open Sew hours in Nov & Dec

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Welding Leads visit the Steel Yard in Providence

On Wednesday October 19th the Spark Welding Leads went on a field trip to the Steel Yard in Providence, Rhode Island. They were hosted by Executive Director Howie Sneider whom Hannah met at the White House visit in August. Hannah was also present for the tour.

Here is a write-up of the experience from Ashby Carlisle, a member of the Welding group:

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The Steel Yard is awe inspiring. The nearly 4 acre-large facility led Jesse Good, Diane Barcelo, and myself to conclude that our dream of occupying the the old lumber building called Alexander Miner at 150 Howard St in New London ought to stay on the radar screen.

This aside we experienced a successful alternative community-based model that shares many goals and community objectives with Spark.

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