The Quad Cities area, a stretch of Mideastern Iowa and Northwest Illinois with five major metropolitan regions, is a hotbed of artistic activity and a growing technical sector. These qualities combine make the perfect setting for a makerspace and QC Co-Lab has created just that.
Created in March 2010, this non-profit organization is meant to be “a haven for technologists, entrepreneurs, engineers, educators and hobbyists to meet and create their wildest dreams.” It operates out of a 4,000-square-foot space with industrial and electrical workshops, dedicated conference rooms, an audio-visual studio and a classroom.
Though it may be newer, the club is working hard to gain a strong foothold in the area and promote creativity between many other groups. It wants to build strong relationships with other makerspaces, and tries to entice members of other groups in by offering them free t-shirts or coffee mugs if they bring one from their own club. QC Co-Lab also tries to stretch its reach beyond just makerspace projects. In the fall it is hosting a multi-day video game tournament where teams compete to finish levels of the MegaMan series. Classes offered at QC Co-Lab also run the gamut of interests, like a screen printing class held earlier this year where participants made their own t-shirt designs.
Members of QC Co-Lab get round-the-clock access to the space, and the club gives ample opportunities for non-members to check it out as well. Dues are $35 per month for an individual or $45 for a family.