About Us

How The Making Space Began

The Making Space was formed as a collaboration of four people’s independent dreams to have a community art studio where people could come and make art without needing expensive materials or experience. We responded to the sentiment we heard in our community and amongst our friends that, “I’m not an artist, but I wish there was a place where I could just go and make art with other people, without needing to buy all of the supplies or take a whole class!”

Our mission is to create a space where you do not need to have the money, talent, experience, or tools to make art. We provide the space, materials, and guidance. You bring the willingness to learn, create, and share.

We began in Staunton, Virginia, and eventually moved to Harrisonburg, Virginia, which has been our home base for the last two years. As of August 2019, The Making Space is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
The Making Space was featured in The Daily News Record in January 2020.

The Board of Directors of The Making Space

undefined Maria Paz Esguerra, President – Maria Paz learned about The Making Space (TMS) by complete accident, and now cannot imagine life in Harrisonburg without it. Her favorite things about TMS is making and creating alongside others as well as the people she gets to meet at every community event. Maria Paz enjoys working with paper and photographs, but also has a love for acrylic painting and art journals. In addition to working with the Making Space, Maria Paz teaches college history and serves as Co-Principal of the Kensington Strickland Group, LLC.

Malea Gascho, Vice President

Erin Conway, Event Coordinator – Erin first got involved with The Making Space as a participant and then volunteer, to support her friends and engage in regular artmaking activities. As an art educator, it is her joy to share in the creative process with others, and The Making Space is a unique opportunity for that to happen in authentic and meaningful ways. She does a lot of visual journaling, which suits this space perfectly, with its wide variety of materials, ideas, and inspiration. Erin is honored and excited to formally be a part of this organization, which emulates many of her personal values and aspirations.

Barbara Byer, Secretary – All of Barbara’s life she’s been drawn to the process of crafting. It’s not a surprise that this passion is still going strong today; Barb always has a knitting or crochet project at hand or a tray of beads ready to be strung for jewelry. Her home is filled with her art. During the day, she works at EMU as a dean’s administrative assistant. Barb shares her home with her husband, two college-age kids, and a dog and a cat.

Marcia Rempel Weaver, Treasurer – Marcia has been the treasurer since June 2019. She loves fabric arts and enjoys quilting and making banners for the worship arts at her church. She is seeking ways to create openings for more creativity and fun and The Making Space is just the place to find those opportunities.

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