Photo by Robbie Mehling
MadJax Maker Force to Help Create a Makers’ District in Muncie’s Gilbert and East Central Neighborhoods
MAP has helped facilitate at least two neighborhood plans annually with the leadership expertise of Ball State University Urban Planning professors and their students. Among them is Scott Truex, Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Director of Facility and Program Development, Sustainable Muncie. With the help of Sherri Cantos, Director of Muncie Arts and Culture Council, Truex helped to develop a live/work Makers’ District neighborhood plan for Muncie’s historic Gilbert/Goldsmith neighborhood in 2014 [http://matthewiannowlin.com/writing/samples/gilbert/gilbert_sm.pdf]
Two years later, Gilbert’s plan is successfully materializing. Truex is now populating the new maker force workspace, MadJax, with local artisans and business clients. MadJax, named after its location at the intersection of Madison and Jackson, was formerly known as Gearbox, and it serves as a cutting edge makers’ hub which will develop the local creative workforce, competitively advancing local entrepreneurship, arts and culture.
Truex says, “We believe the revitalization of the old Cintas building into a makers’ hub will be a catalyst for neighborhood redevelopment, bring a new energy to the east side of downtown which will help attract new residents to Downtown, Gilbert, and East Central neighborhoods. The maker movement has been an economic force providing entrepreneurship and innovation opportunity that attracts new talent (makers) to an area. The idea of a makers’ district can reinforce this opportunity and help foster a new energy to an area.” Where “Gearbox” represented the ghosts of Muncie’s industrial past, MadJax represents “Next Muncie.”