MCMA LogoMaine, particularly the city of Portland and surrounding areas, is currently experiencing a building boom.  While more conservative than the one of the 1980s, there is definitive growth and expansion happening right before us.   This is often credited to the city government’s emphasis on preservation and the entrepreneurial and maker spirit of Maine residents.

Maine Charitable Mechanic Association

The Maine Charitable Mechanic Association (MCMA) plays a key part in both preservation efforts and supporting Maine makers, for which we are particularly grateful.  We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to this valuable organization and encourage you to learn more.

As you know, the creative maker community is thriving in Maine, and it is hungry for additional places to gather beyond the walls of the OBP, to network like-minded people, and to exchange ideas and useful knowledge. MCMA aims to play a part in filling that need and to do as it has done in the past:  providing social support and a place for gathering, particularly from the older generation to the younger generation. Its goal is to serve its membership with mentors, education and knowledge resources such as lectures and workshops, advocacy, and networking opportunities.

The History of MCMA

This tradition of support is not new to MCMA. The Maine Charitable Mechanic Association was founded in 1815 as a social organization that promoted and supported the skilled trades and their practitioners. Its original members were master craftspeople and entrepreneurs (then called mechanics) and their apprentices.History of MCMA

“In 1815, the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association was the fellowship for Portland’s creative community: the blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters, and more. Today we’re working to connect that history to the modern makers movement. Our mission is to inspire and enrich the community by promoting ingenuity, creativity, innovation and the diffusion of useful knowledge.”

Today’s Makers

Today’s mechanics are the members of the current “makers” movement. They are the innovators, inventors, and artisans that make up the community of the creative, the ingenious, the skilled, and the entrepreneurial.  MCMA strives to inspire and enrich this community by promoting ingenuity, creativity, innovation, and the diffusion of useful knowledge.  They also combine successful traditions with new ideas to build a vibrant community of users, members, organizations with common interests, and the general public.

Of particular interest is the on-site library that has over 30,000 volumes addressing general interests but also specialized collections on Maine, and maker arts. The collection is organized under the Dewey Decimal system, allowing easy browsing through the historic shelves.

Learn More

We encourage you to learn more about this wonderful organization and stay tuned for future developments.  Click here to learn more about membership options and click here to explore upcoming events at MCMA.  In the meantime, the Open Bench Project is excited to be developing a strong relationship with MCMA and is working to provide all OBP members with an MCMA pass through membership. We hope we’ll see you in the library.

And then some,

Your Friends @ OBP