Vision & Values


Makers Mill exists to enrich rural lives and foster fulfilling livelihoods by bringing people together to discover, cultivate, and share their unique gifts and skills.


We envision a future where people find fellowship, purpose, and joy as they apply their creativity and craft to nurturing thriving economies, healthy ecosystems, and vibrant communities.

Our values serve as both compass and map for creating the culture we aim to cultivate at Makers Mill.

There is a difference in a place that people use and a place where people feel they belong.  Getting that culture right is important - creating an open, supportive culture for exploration, risk-taking, creativity, and personal development. A good makerspace can be transformative for its community.

Free To Make, Dougherty & Conrad

Service & Placemaking

We are committed to improving the quality of life and strengthening community resilience here in the Mountains and Lakes Region of New Hampshire.  We draw upon local experience and knowledge to generate place-based solutions that reveal and celebrate our region’s unique character and identity.

Equity & Trust

Everyone has unique gifts and skills to share. Some of these gifts and skills  are shaped and influenced by our social identities. Whether it is learning differences, physical ability, race, culture, gender or another social identity, we are committed to offering a space and programs that honor our differences and work toward equity. Doing this well builds trust and a sense of belonging.

Access & Collaboration

We celebrate being part of a maker movement that increases people’s access to technology, workspace, mentors, and creative peers. We believe in open-source methods that facilitate cooperation and collaboration. This exchange of ideas and resources builds a culture of generosity and accelerates innovation.

Self-Reliance & Responsibility

When we start learning how to make or repair the things we use most, we replace a feeling of dependence with that of empowerment. We strive for this sense of empowerment to also generate a greater appreciation and responsibility for how the things we use are made, maintained, disposed, or repurposed.

Resourcefulness & Creativity

We take our Yankee ingenuity seriously. This ability to make-do with materials on hand helps us live within our means, both economically and ecologically.  Waste not, want not.  This practice requires creativity.  Through creativity, we expand our capacity to overcome complex challenges and solve our most pressing local, regional, and yes, global, challenges.

Gainful Employment & Meaningful Engagement

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to be engaged in work they find fulfilling, be it professional or personal.  The economy thrives when people are gainfully employed in work they are motivated by and appreciated for.  The community thrives when people are meaningfully engaged in applying their skills to support the people and places they care about.

Experimental Play & Experiential Learning

Play lies at the core of creativity and innovation, two indispensable qualities for thriving in our changing economy.  At the makerspace, tinkering, disassembling, and reassembling, inventing, designing, building, and iterating, are all forms of experimental play and experiential learning. These activities help people take risks, appreciate failure, and establish new neural connections, essential not just in childhood but throughout our lives.

Growth Mindset & Self-Efficacy

We believe that knowledge and skills can be developed over time through practice and persistence: this is a growth mindset.  As we build competency and mastery in our area of focus, we develop the self-perception that we can respond successfully to challenges: this is self-efficacy. Together these qualities strengthen our mental resilience and emotional coping skills, in other words, these qualities help us embrace and effectively navigate our experiences.

Agency & Effort-Driven Rewards

Our brains are programmed to derive a deep sense of satisfaction and pleasure when our physical effort produces something tangible, visible, and meaningful.  Making is a way to exert that effort and reap those rewards.  Through this process, we also learn that our ideas and expression of those ideas have an impact on the world around us.  After we understand this, we want the next question to be, “How can I have a positive impact on the world around me?”

Social Capital & Community Resilience

Social capital refers to the stock and quality of social relationships based on cooperation, reciprocity, good-will, and trust.  By using the makerspace to nurture social capital we help people resolve problems more easily and foster awareness of the ways in which our fates are interlinked.  Strengthening the weave of our relationships leads to community resilience, the ability to navigate and overcome any challenges we may face.

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