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April letter from the Executive Director

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

Framing for a model house made out of wood.
Making a model house in the mixed media shop

April 19, 2021

Dear reader,

Last month, we announced the news that the long-anticipated move from 1916 Isaac Newton Square has a final deadline of January 31, 2022. On April 6, we announced at the member meeting that the Board has chartered a new committee, Fundraising, Outreach, and Nova Labs x.0 (FŌN) to search for the Nova Labs 3.0 location, raise additional funds, build it out, and communicate progress to our membership. The Search team, led by Brian Jacoby, has found several properties to seed the list of twelve which will be presented to both members and leaders and then whittled down to the final two for feedback and selection of a final site. The Build-out team, led by Bill St. Amant, has put together our makerspace requirements and sent an RFP to several architects to get a first round of anticipated build-out costs. Our Fundraising team, led by Jay Jayamohan and Liza Pierce, has created a list of fundraising goals and options. The Communications team, led by Jeanne Marshall, has created a Nova Labs 3.0 Progress section within Notion, our replacement wiki, so that any Nova Labs member can log in to our member portal see what the current state of the 3.0 Project is. This is an exciting time to be at Nova Labs. The money spent on the renovation last year mostly funded new tools, new equipment, better storage, new shop capabilities (mixed media and the studio!), all of which we can take with us to Nova Labs 3.0. We are looking forward to designing a space from our current requirements, and our vision for the next 3-5 years, rather than what’s reasonable to spend on an aging structure destined for demolition. It does require money. We have $710,000 our Treasurer, Jim Sweeney (we're thankful he's agreed to take on the role once again), feels comfortable spending on closing costs, build out, and new equipment. We need to fundraise an additional $300,000, and we need to continue growing our revenue. Thus, for the first time in Nova Labs’ ten year history, we will be raising rates by $25/month at each membership tier this summer. We are reading and listening to member feedback carefully, and re-aligning the proposal as we can. In order to effect these rate changes in our member management system, we need all members who pre-date November 2020 and have not yet transitioned to the new Wild Apricot system to navigate to our member portal at, click on the Invoices tab, and follow the directions to start your new recurring payment. If it is your first time logging in, please enter your email and select “forgot my password”. Joyously,

Karen Shumway Executive Director | Nova Labs, Inc


Show Us What You Got

A monthly selection of some of the images shared to the #show-us-what-you-got channel on Slack.


Call for Volunteers

Nova Labs is an all-volunteer organization. We need your help if we are going to keep this space and community thriving.

We still need event coordinators for several shop areas! We welcome anyone comfortable with technology and interested in curating the classes offered in metal shop, blacksmithing, laser cutting, or electronics, and working with instructors and stewards to make them happen.

For a more comprehensive list of our current volunteers, see If you are interested in volunteering for any of these positions (or any other) please email or post in #volunteer-here on Slack.


Looking for Knowledge?

Our new wiki is a great place to find answers. It has an excellent menu and search feature. You can find how-to pages for badge replacements, system access, getting an email account, policies, governance docs, and shop information. You can also find updated information about our move later this year to NL 3.0. Nova Labs Wiki on Notion.

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