Meet The Foundry's Education Director Deb Sarlin and Executive Director Megan McNally as they walk through The Foundry on a tour of their space in Buffalo, NY.
The Foundry is a creative makerspace and business incubator located in Buffalo, NY. The Foundry uses an inclusive approach to advancing individuals through hands-on learning, entrepreneurship, and exposure to possibilities. Working with youth to explore various career paths, hands-on skill-building and new digital literacies involved in making is a priority for our organization. We facilitate youth opportunities through STEAM sessions in our shops and labs, job training partnerships, part time employment at The Foundry, job shadowing with The Foundry entrepreneurs, and youth entrepreneurship programs. We believe that creating the opportunities and conditions necessary for self sufficiency and economic stability promotes a healthier community. We accept budding entrepreneurs from throughout the city, but we’re especially excited to welcome low-income, minority, women-owned and neighborhood-based businesses into our mix! We assist with business incubation by providing affordable rental space, connections to mentoring, business classes or workshops, and connections to local support services.
Megan McNally is co-founder of The Foundry, a makerspace in Buffalo, NY. She holds a degree in Environmental Policy from Barnard College, has experience in green building construction and worked at Yestermorrow Design/Build School. She moved back to Buffalo to run a woodworking business from 2011-2014. From her own experience as a woman business owner in a non-traditional trade, she was passionate about creating The Foundry as a place to support other women and people of color exploring the possibilities of making and entrepreneurship . She has been the recipient of Women Who Move The City Award, BizJournal's 30 under 30 Award, Protege of The Year from University at Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and a finalist for the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo Centennial Awards.
Deb has worked in urban settings (at schools in East New York in Brooklyn and in the Bronx) and rural setting (in orchards and inoculating chickens), and a twisting path across the northeast has led her to Buffalo. After receiving an MFA from Columbia University, she promptly accepted a fellowship in a foundry (Tallix in Beacon) and then another as a Blacksmith (Peter’s Valley in the Delaware Water Gap National Park). She has provided educational leadership at the Shelburne Craft School; taught in Art, Education, and Computer Science departments; and has toiled in libraries to support college professors developing strategies for using technologies and tools for teaching, analytic mapping, and 3D printing or scanning. Deb stepped away from Higher Education to work on community maker projects and an augmented reality application, and still can’t quite believe how lucky she has been to have landed at The Foundry.
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