After over half a decade of fostering creative minds in Springfield with a maker space jam-packed with the tools and materials necessary to pursue projects in STEM, painting, robotics, cooking, music and much more, Make-It Springfield is making its way over to Bridge Street. Its an expansion that looks not only to grow the space for creatives in the city but also develop more programs thatll allow anyone in the city to create to their hearts content.

Make-It Springfield is a non-profit community organization that provides a space for everybody and anybody looking to tap into their creative side. The organization prides itself in its free and low-cost workshops and creative spaces that are tailored to the desires and pursuits of creatives.Read More: Make-It Springfield celebrates 5 years of empowering and fostering creativity in community

Roberta Wilmore, Make-It Springfield executive director, said the non-profits purpose is to ensure that people who come from low-income communities and marginalized communities have the ability to be creative.

We will not turn away anybody who wants to be creative, Wilmore said.

After six years of assisting the community with their creative art and projects, Make-It Springfield has outgrown its original 186 Worthington St. location.

Theres so much more we want to do, so much more we want to offer, Make-It Springfield co-founder Michael DiPasquale said the new space will give the organization the opportunity to venture into other realms of creativity and artist development.

Make-It Springfield invited friends and creatives to a preview event on Thursday evening, showcasing its newest location at 286 Bridge St. The new space opens up a two-floor 2,700-foot space for creatives in and out of Springfield Make-It Springfields former Worthington Street location was less than a quarter of the size.

Operations Coordinator Sheldon Smith facilities the different workshops and creative spaces Make-It Springfield offers.

God were just gonna be offering so much more, Smith said. Carpentry, knitting, 3-D printing, music production and of course painting.

Film production, fashion design, quilting and forge-working are another handful of creative workshops Make-It Springfield hopes to incorporate into its creative space in the near future.

Smith took time during the preview event to sit in one of the corners of Make-It Springfields newest space to create. The local Springfield artist began working on the buildings first creative project.

Make-It Springfield invited friends and creatives to a preview event on Thursday evening, showcasing its newest location at 286 Bridge St.

Im just painting a little bit about who we are, Smith said as he stroked his brush across a multi-colored canvas, Just trying to show why creative outlets are so important. For the mind, for the body, and soul. It all goes together for a persons maturity, mental state, and were providing that in this space.

State Rep. Carlos Gonzlez joined Make-It Springfields preview event on Thursday and welcomed his new neighbors. The elected officials office is directly above one of Make-It Springfields new Bridge Street creative spaces.

Rep. Gonzlez presented Make-It Springfield executives with a certificate, on behalf of the commonwealth of Massachusetts State House of Representatives, thanking the organization for its service to the Springfield community.

I just wanted to acknowledge your service in the past and in recognition of your new space, right in the heart of our city, to provide a multicultural home that invites creativity, invention, and artistic experimentation, the state representative said.

Make-It Springfield invited friends and creatives to a preview event on Thursday evening, showcasing its newest location at 286 Bridge St.

DiPasquale aspires to continue supporting the community through a new focal point. He wants the organizations newest space to focus more on engagement with younger people, providing learning opportunities for younger people through art.

You can learn math, you can learn science you can learn a lot of things through making art, said DiPasquale. Were currently developing after-school program options with a couple of school districts.

Executive Director Wilmore said recent funding will allow the organization to integrate teenagers from Franklin County, Hampshire County and Hampden County into their creative space.

Wilmore hopes connecting students across multiple Western Massachusetts counties will assist in erasing negative stereotypes attached to Springfield.

I really wish we could start writing about Springfield so that everybody outside of Springfield can start to change their perspective, Wilmore said. Because people are still conditioned to see Springfield in some way that is not correct, accurate, or realistic and its affecting our growth.

Kaleihia Kali Green stumbled upon Make-It Springfields vivid and paint-speckled front-entrance sign while walking down Worthington Street in November 2021.

I was like what is that place? Green said.

The 22-year-old West Springfield artists been drafting designs and painting portraits for years but she never had the opportunity to further her passion or view it as a realistic career path.

She connected with Operations Coordinator Smith and asked him how she can become involved with Make-It Springfield.

He told me there was a grant opportunity for a fellowship and I applied, Green said.

Shell eventually be brought along into the fellowship in February, spending her days painting honing in on her creativity and nurturing her passion.

Make-It Springfield invited friends and creatives to a preview event on Thursday evening, showcasing its newest location at 286 Bridge St.

They honestly gave me an opportunity that more people need to have, Green said as tears gathered in her eyes. It really was a life-changing experience, since then Ive been painting and painting and painting.

The fellowship opportunity allowed Green to quit her job and grow her own personal art business.

It eventually led me to a job as an art director at the Artist Cafe, Green said.

The Artist Cafe, located at 1365 Main St., recently opened on Oct. 13. Springfields newest caf has an emphasis on supporting local artists through its decor and events.Read More: The Artist Caf opens Thursday in downtown Springfield: Its a real Springfield vibe

Now I get to showcase different artists and put them on display and help them become working artists and send them to Make-It Springfield to keep the cycle kind of forming, Green said.

Make-It Springfields transition to its 286 Bridge St. location is expected to be complete by January 2023. The organization will be hosting workshops in both locations during the move.

Anyone interested in signing up for one of Make-It Springfields workshops can look at its website, the organization is also actively accepting donations and volunteers to help support the development of its classes and workshops.