October 2022 E-News

Fall is hustling and bustling at The Foundry. Check out what we've been up to - from semester youth programming, to exciting projects and announcements.

Now In Session - Semester Youth Programming

Youth Entrepreneurship Program

Our Youth Entrepreneurship program began Sept. 20 with 15 enrolled high school students.

These students meet twice a week for the next 3 months to discover new possible career pathways in making and entrepreneurship.
We're so lucky to have practicing entrepreneurs on-site as real life examples (see students learning with Keith of Keefer's Candles) that youth can talk to and learn from. And it’s not a one-way exchange - the entrepreneurs can get important feedback on how young people interact with their product.

Our youth entrepreneurship program is generously supported by Ciminelli Real Estate . If you/your company is interested in supporting these young people exploring what it’s like to own a company, get in touch! Always looking for speakers, sponsors, and other creative ways to build up our youth.


Read more

Recent Events in Our Community

To the Jefferson Community:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Foundry we want to express our profound grief and dismay of Saturday’s shocking event. As a board, we have long been committed to the Jefferson community, not only by the physical presence of our building, but by personal investment that impacts the lives of others. Be assured that we won’t turn away during this very challenging time. In fact, we are further driven in our work.

To our students, we want you to know that while you may not know our names and faces, we support you. More importantly, you are beautiful and wonderfully made. From your struggle will come triumph.

To our entrepreneurs, the products you are producing and the relationships we enjoy at The Foundry are key to our community and generational wealth. We will continue to support you in as many ways as we can.

Lastly, to our staff under the steadfast leadership of our Executive Director Megan McNally, we understand the weight and pressure that exists every day to provide services to our clients, and can only imagine how that weight has grown.  Please know that we are praying for you as you try to both work through your tremendous grief and sense of loss. Know that our support of you is unwavering and will long surpass the cameras and national attention.

The Jefferson community is our community, and we stand in solidarity and genuine support.

Trina Burruss, Board Chair


A message from our Executive Director:

I spent the last several days intensely engaged in my own thoughts. About our students who walk to Tops for a snack before after school programs. Mayor summer youth running to Tops in between painting murals and building bike racks for community groups. I was thinking about our maker businesses who pop over to Tops on lunch break. Staff who swing by to pick up items for our STEAM sessions. Our board members who live just down the street. I think how central this grocery store is to our community and how I'm there with my daughter shopping several times a week.

Any one of us could have been there this past Saturday. By the grace of whatever higher power you believe in, we were not. We were celebrating the achievements of our amazing teen entrepreneurs and spreading the word that The Foundry is a place for everyone - to find the joy in making, to pursue career interests and to engage with a broad range of people. Because diversity and inclusion makes us all stronger.

But 10 people lost their lives this Saturday - targeted by a white supremacist intent on murdering people in our community. Having lived next to The Foundry for over a decade, I've always appreciated how accepting and friendly our neighborhood is. That a person from outside of our community was filled with so much hate that he took advantage of our neighborly, welcoming attitude - it's unacceptable.

This stems from a long history of violence and racism that we simply do not support. I write this with continued commitment to bringing people together and uplifting the amazing talents of our students and makers. Celebrating the partnerships we’ve developed across organizations. Sharing resources and skill sets within the Buffalo community - finding collaborative ways to build planters, bike racks, benches - whatever folks need. And to actively bring people together from all walks of life to learn and bond over making things.

I hope if you're reading this, you feel the same. We all need to have hard conversations, to be actively anti-racist and  to work towards a bright future for everyone. To be a mentor, to raise our kids to be accepting, to expose people to different points of view. We get through this by working together and addressing systemic racism in whatever way each one of us can. Small actions add up.

We have so much work to do as a community, as a region, as a nation. Know that The Foundry remains committed to this community and I love and respect you all.

Megan McNally, Executive Director


MakerFest '22 (ToolFest)

The Foundry

With winter beginning to fade (let's hope) and April right around the corner, it is time for MakerFest '22 (formally ToolFest). You're invited to show off your maker skills and have a bit of fun in support of The Foundry! Visit our website for more information and join us on April 1 to learn what the design theme is for this year. If you haven't seen the winning video from last year - be impressed by Team Pierogi's skills!

The next time you're at The Foundry - you'll see some new faces! In November, we hired Brian Fuss as Development Coordinator. Brian is working on fundraising. Reach out to him and make a donation, or welcome him by buying a ticket to MakerFest!

In January, Amina Boyd was promoted to Director of Curriculum and Instruction. She'll continue to inspire students and is dreaming up all sorts of fun maker activities!

In February, Sherman Webb-Middlebrooks was hired as Director of Youth Development. Sherman brings to The Foundry a wealth of experience working with the youth of Buffalo.

As the Education Team, Amina and Sherman will be working alongside each other to continue to strengthen the best youth programs Buffalo has to offer. Will you congratulate and welcome them by sharing info on The Foundry's youth programs and connecting them to your network?

Corporate Sponsorship

Is your company looking for an opportunity to help the community? Are you willing to show your passion for The Foundry by asking your company to financially support The Foundry? Is your company looking for a year-long partnership? Contact Brian at [email protected] for more information on our corporate sponsorship packages. The Foundry is a 501c3 - all donations are tax-deductible.



Celebrating Black History Month

The Foundry is proud to have Makerspaces for All. As we celebrate Black History Month we are reflecting on some of the amazing Black makers and businesses in our community and also in history. 

Emma Brittain-Hardy is a tenant, instructor, and staff member at the Foundry. She works in many mediums but this month she is most excited to teach a free sewing class to celebrate Black History Month. The class will talk about Gee’s Bend quilts and their impact on Black History. “These quilts were sold to fund voting rights campaigns. Quilt making was a form of empowerment; I’m excited to be involved in the Foundry’s Makerspaces because I see opportunities for empowerment through making happening here as well.” 

"Retooled ToolFest" coming in April

Keep your eyes peeled for our renamed team competition centered around an interactive team-building challenge (think escape rooms and scavenger hunts) with a ridiculous "April Fools" backstory.  



Do You Support Public Art? 👩‍🏭

This week, we’re featuring stories of students, entrepreneurs and community groups using The Foundry’s Metalshop to highlight why it’s so important to have Makerspaces for All.

For more content - check out The Foundry's social media - FacebookInstagramTwitter & Linkedin.

Read more

Tell Us What The Foundry Means to YOU! 🤔

All month we've been featuring stories of students, entrepreneurs and community groups using The Foundry - highlighting why it’s so important to have Makerspaces for All.

Read more


This week, we’re featuring stories of students, entrepreneurs and community groups using The Foundry’s Textile Lab to highlight why it’s so important to have Makerspaces for All.

Read more

Do You Tinker with Technology Daily? 👩‍💻

This week, we’re featuring stories of students, entrepreneurs and community groups using The Foundry’s TechLab to highlight why it’s so important to have Makerspaces for All.

For more content - check out The Foundry's social media - FacebookInstagramTwitter & Linkedin.


Read more

WOOD You FeedBuffalo?

Every year, The Foundry commits to building a certain number of community projects - built with and for the WNY community. In 2019, founder of Feed Buffalo, Drea d’Nur approached us with a request: Can you build little free pantries to locate city-wide to increase access to healthy, halal food for families in need?
Read more

Got Plans this Saturday?

Rain or Shine! The Foundry will be hosting a (re)Open House during the East Side Garden Walk this Saturday, 7/17 from 10am - 3pm. Come for a visit if you've never been, or stop by and say hello as a Foundry friend.

Read more