The PVD Young Makers initiated from an investment of $425,000 from Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office in 2018. The goal is to provide local youth with free and unlimited access to advanced digital tools and a supportive community and growProvidence’s reputation as a design-centric creative capital from the ground up. Free programs run in all 9 Providence Community libraries on a rolling schedule of studio time, workshops and classes. Programs also run free of charge at the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art while the Providence Public Library undergoes renovations. Programing emphasizes youth, but adult learners and volunteers are welcome to participate in programs if space is available.
Programming is managed by FabNewport in collaboration with the Providence Community Libraries, Providence Public Library, Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art and Young Voices. In addition to running programs in the libraries, the PVD Young Makers team of educators, library staff, interns and volunteers, works with schools, recreational centers and other community groups to provide access to equipment and training. The program teaches kids how to make stuff with an emphasis on coding, design and fabrication, but it is most interested in inspiring youth to grow their skills and confidence so they can make their lives.
Youth who engage with the program are encouraged to register at a library. One registered students are provided with a digital back pack. As students gain skills they earns Tools and Pathways badges which are stored.