It was a rainy and humid afternoon and the kids were entertained and no one was fighting. Actually, they were engrossed in a project and working happily while they learned something new. Their mom was sitting nearby, relaxing. The entire project was free and totally educational and really cool. This is where you want me to say, “Time Out!” like Zach Morris used to in Saved By The Bell and then I would tell you that this is clearly just some cruel summer fantasy. Good news bad news. The good news is, this totally happened. The bad news is, I don’t know Zach Morris.
This week, I visited the Ignite Studio at the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers. This dedicated maker space and art studio just celebrated its first anniversary. Located in the lower level of the Fishers Library, the Ignite Studio is an incredible and cutting edge facility. Families can check out kits, utilize equipment, book time in the A.V. Studio, visit a Maker In Residence, participate in drop-in art classes and so, so much more. You don’t have to be a professional or an expert to visit Ignite. Let’s breakdown everything that Ignite has to offer.
Kits and Equipment
Ignite has two awesome kit libraries, one geared toward teens and adults and another geared towards kids 5-13. Families can browse the kit library to choose a project to work on, then check out the kit at the welcome desk and get to work. Kits are free to check out with a library card (kits can also be checked out without at HEPL library card. Just ask the Ignite employees how.) and can be used onsite at Ignite. Some of the kits are best used in the Messy Art area of the studio and others can be used in the Clean Art Area. Check out the list below for an idea of some of the kits in stock. Each kit has an information sheet, books, supplies and a link to more resources on the Ignite website.
Teens and Adults
Relief Cut Printmaking
Paper Engineering Pop-Ups
Stop Motion Animation
Color Mixing Kits
The Teens and Adults kits are seriously cool. Consider checking out a kit if you want a cool bonding activity with your teens or want to set your older kids up for a really cool hangout activity. These kits make it possible to try a new activity without any of the upfront costs that you would have at an art supply store. This is especially cool for kids that like to try lots of new things but might not stick with something for a long time. Hit up the Ignite Studio on your next Mom’s Night (or Dad’s Night!) Out and try a new art project with your friends.
The Kid’s Kits are educational and super fun. These kits make learning fun and are a great way to combat summer learning loss or to keep learning outside of school year round. The kid kits are also an AMAZING resource for homeschool families. Check out a kit to get hands on learning on all things STEAM without spending a dime. Our family loves Squishy Circuits, Color Theory and Found Art kits. While I was hanging out at Ignite I saw a few kids working on a Stop Motion Video Project. When they were done, they showed me the incredible stop motion video they made in under 30 minutes. It was so cool to see how proud they were of their hard work and it was honestly a very impressive video. Learn more about the kit library here.
Have you ever wanted to use a 3D printer? Well now you can. The FAB Lab has really nice equipment that you can use after completing a certification class at the Ignite studio. You can bring your own materials or purchase some through Ignite if needed. The FAB Lab requires that users be 16 or older and have completed a certification course for each piece of equipment needed. Users can even make a reservation for the equipment they need. In addition to the 3D printer, they also have laser engravers, vinyl cutting machines, and more!
Digital Media Lab
Patrons can book time on one of the four rooms in the digital media lab on Ignite’s website. Users must be in 6th grade or older to utilize the digital media lab without an adult. Users can book time in two hour blocks up to 4 times per week. Equipment includes: 27 inch iMac with Retina Display and Adobe Suite as well as post production software for A.V. post production.
The Ignite studio also has an incredible A.V. studio that allows users to run their own podcast, take still photography, shoot video or record an audio book or record. This studio is soundproofed and even comes with a fully stocked equipment closet and A.V. computers and other hardware. Users can book time in the A.V. room on Ignite’s website in two hour blocks up to six consecutive hours and 12 hours per week.
Audio Records/Music Records
So Much More
Maker In Residence
Connect with professional or emerging artists to learn about their craft, work on a collaborative project, sign up for a class or just get inspired.
Dedicated space for budding musicians, magicians, slam poets or anything else!
Local artists can work with Ignite to display their work and sell their art without commission fees. The art that is displayed throughout the studio is seriously cool. Take a walk around while there and you will be inspired. The walls also have a huge educational display about color theory and principles of art. Use the exhibits as teachable moments to reinforce those concepts and have kids show what they know!
Ignite Studio has awesome community events like Comic Book in A Day and Superhero University and much more. Make sure you book your calendar for Comic Book in a Day hosted by Nickel Plate Arts. This awesome event takes place on October 5 from 9am-9pm and includes activities for the whole family. Comic book fans can watch as local artists complete a whole comic book in a single day. If your kids are comic book or graphic novel fans, this is a can’t miss event. You can even head upstairs to the Hamilton East Public Library to check out some comic books to take home. You can check out their calendar of events here.
Seriously, you are going to love it
Excuse me while I obsess over the Ignite Studio. Katelyn Coyne, the Ignite Studio Manager, told me that if she makes anything at Ignite, it’s community. How cool is that? She told me that “Ignite is focused around building community, creating opportunities for engagement, making connections and powering catalytic experiences with art and making”. She shared that Ignite is focused on “Setting up opportunities for users to learn and develop their skills in a community focused atmosphere”. Doesn’t that inspire you to head to Ignite and get making and creating? I can’t wait to see what this generation of kids and teens that have had access to the Ignite Studio will grow up to make and create. I have no doubt that this incredible resource will inspire families to explore, learn, make and create together. Grab your library card, get your friends and family and check out a kit or learn about 3D printing or start a podcast. This place is amazing and should become a regular destination for your family.
The Ignite Studio is located at the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers at 5 Municipal Drive Fishers, IN 46038. Check out their website for more information.
5 Municipal Drive