Department of Making + Doing

University City Science Center

Funding Received: 2013
Philadelphia, PA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 25, 2015

I wanted to share with you news about the Department of Making + Doing (DM+D). After a successful three-year run, Public Workshop, The Hacktory, University City Science Center and NextFab have decided to end the DM+D collaboration. While we’re disappointed to see the physical space close, we’re proud that each of the partner organizations has evolved to the point where the next logical step is independent growth.

As you know, DM+D was established in 2012 as a collaboration among the four member organizations, with support from the Knight Foundation, ArtPlace America and the Barra Foundation. The partnership has been successful in growing the capacity of all of the organizations, and we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to achieve this success in collaboration with one another.

Here are just a few of the examples of the milestones and successes achieved since 2012:

  • The Hacktory and Public Workshop are now operating as independent 501(c)3 organizations
  • Public Workshop is activating more public spaces than ever, in the city and across the country
  • NextFab successfully launched a second maker-space in Kensington and continues to successfully incubate early-stage companies
  • The Science Center has grown its Breadboard program into FirstHand, which recently received the US2020 2015 STEM Mentoring Award. FirstHand will continue to offer out-of-school-time educational activities for middle school students, focused on the STEAM disciplines

…and a few collective accomplishments of DM+D over the past 20 months:

  • 1,500 program hours
  • 600 programs & workshops held
  • 6,000 program participants
  • Drop In + Do, a weekly open project night, has consistently attracted a steady stream of attendees

As DM+D Program Manager, Mike Darfler puts it, “the DM+D partnership built a space where all of the partners could explore and grow their organizations, their impact and their capacity. In that regard it was wildly successful.”

“We’re proud of the successes we’ve accomplished through the DM+D partnership and as individual organizations,” adds Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “Similar to companies that graduate from an incubator or accelerator, we view DM+D as having served as an ideal launching pad for many exciting things to come.  We remain open to having a new maker space at the Science Center in the coming years, in conjunction with our campus expansion.”

We owe the success of DM+D to people like you who offered us much-needed financial and program support in making DM+D a place for the community to not only make + do, but explore + think big.

Thank you, and we look forward to the next chapter in building Philly’s maker community.


Monica Cawvey

Vice President of Development

University City Science Center