Achievement unlocked: 501(c)(3)!

After several years of slow-but-steady work, with contributions from all number of brave and generous individuals, we have at last gained our official 501(c)(3) status!

What does this mean for us? First, it sets in stone our goal to be a valuable community resource, making Ann Arbor smarter! Secondly, it means more opportunities for financial sponsorship, as donations can now be fully recognized as tax-deductable.

More sponsorship will help us keep the lights on, get better tools and equipment, etc.. We are always looking for extra help in this area, whether you know of potential sponsors, are a potential sponsor, or have experience finding sponsors. :) We’d love to hear from you in any case — drop us a line on the blog here, or send us an email:

Today, the hard work really starts!

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Holy Cow! It’s already July!!!

Happy 4th of July!!!!

The first week includes LIVE Scorpions, Art Party!, Thursday Open Build and the ever-popular 3D Printing class on Saturday.

Check out the AHA Events page for details (fyi – Google Calendar is always up-to-date.)

Enjoy the holiday!

FYI – AHA public hours may be shortened due to the holiday.

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Music Night!

In case you missed Music Night yesterday – Making Beats!  Check it out.  New comfy chairs, new laser engraver, and new faces making some awesome new beats!

Music Night July 25th will be LIVE Music.  So dust off your instruments, clear those pipes and be ready… going to be a jammin’ good time!

Making Beats! Having Fun!

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A2 Skatepark Now Open!

7 years in the making and AHA was right there at the finish line.

So go check it out, skate it if you can, and when you’re done, come visit AHA.

Open hours are from Thursday-Sunday 2pm-10pm.


Opening Day Story here.

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Backyard Brains Journal Club

Journal Club is a summer activity for interns working with Backyard Brains.  They will meet daily Mon-Fri from 1pm-2pm at All Hands Active to share and discuss their neuroscience experiments.  Anyone is welcome to participate.

Today’s topic:   “How Scorpions respond to Predators!”

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Product Photography Workshop

Monday, June 16th from 6pm-8pm at All Hands Active:

Learn to create an attractive and color-accurate image to portray your cool stuff to the world.

Impossible Object Printed @ AHA!     –  But that’s another class. ;-)

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Happy Mother’s Day!!!

IF you find our door open today, here’s what you can do…

Make something for your Mom!  Wrap it in newspaper or a brown paper bag just like a little kid.  She won’t mind if it’s late.  Oh the memories she’ll share…

What?  You’re Mom’s a Maker???  Check this out.

IF you find our door locked today may we suggest…

  • Visit your Mom.
  • Call your Mom.
  • Or even do those with a friend’s Mom.

Don’t care to celebrate Mother’s Day?  No problem.

Lot’s to do elsewhere.   Enjoy the day!

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AHA closed to public – 4/20, open again – 4/24!

Per Josh Williams, shop manager…

“Sorry for the short notice, AHA will not be staffed today, doors will be locked. Staff will be out hunting for rabbits and Digital Watches.

As always the shop remains open for those with the magic key.

Have a good one!”

FYI – We’ll be staffed and open to the general public again next Thursday 2pm-10pm. As always, The Thursday Build Night (6:30-10pm) is a great time to do OR watch others do.

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Art Party Tonight Wednesday 4/2

From 7pm to 10pm tonight 4/2 Art Party returns! We’ll have extra supplies. Take a night off from reddit and netflix and enjoy some art!


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April Board Elections

ETA: further information of the Powers of the Board

Elections to determine the newest members of the Board of Directors are coming up! Beginning today is the nomination period for prospective board members.

The pace has been picking up in the last six months: the 501c3 application has been submitted; we have reworked the organizational structure of AHA with the last round of Bylaws and Standing Rules changes; and we have been working with our members to identify where AHA should focus more of its efforts.

Part of the Bylaws changes mentioned was the extension of board member terms to a one-year appointment (up from six months). We have also opted to stagger the board terms so that we don’t have the possibility of wiping out all current board knowledge after an election. This should make it easier to get new board members up to speed at the start of their term. Finally, we have limited board members to serving three consecutive terms, so that we may keep our perspective fresh and minimize burnout.

That having been said, we are looking to fill two of our board member positions at this time. If you (or someone you know!) want to make a difference directing the development of a friendly and creative non-profit, and have a real dedication to helping make people smarter and more creative, then we invite your consideration to join our Board of Directors.

The powers of the Board are explicitly laid out in the AHA Bylaws (see “Powers of the Board” here), and since Directors take responsibility for financial activities so they must:

  • have no financial conflicts of interest
  • make an unrestricted financial contribution each term
  • engage with and support the standing committee activities of Fundraising (development), Financial (operations), and Governance.

Here are the details on how this election cycle will run:

  • Today – April 17 at 11:59PM: People can start nominating themselves or others over the ahashop_members at mailing list.
  • April 17 at 11:59PM – NOMINATIONS: If you nominate yourself or wish to accept someone else’s nomination, send an email explicitly and clearly stating that you are running to board at before midnight! Any confirmed nominees might also want to send a note to the ahashop_members at list so that people know they are running. The current board will also send out periodical updates of confirmed nominees as we collect them.
  • April 18 – April 24 at 7:00PM – ABSENTEE VOTING: If you know that you are unable to make it to the voting party at AHA on the evening of the 24th, let us know ASAP and we will do our best to accommodate your vote with an alternate voting procedure.
  • April 24 at 7:00PM until 10:00PM – ELECTIONS: We host a themed Build Night in which the goal is to build a board! Converge on AHA at 7:00PM, eat potluck-style foods, and cast your ballot. We will tally votes promptly at 10:00PM.
  • April 25 at Midnight: New board members are put into place!

The actual voting process will involve assigning each nominee a number from 1 to N (N being the number of nominees we have by the end of the 17th). Higher numbers represent the nominees you favor most, with 1 being your least-favored. We will add up all of your ranking values and pick the two highest-scoring nominees, who will become the newest members of the board.

If you are a fully-paid Standard Member ($50), Reduced Membership Member ($20), or 4 ‘n’ 4 Staff Member ($0) in April, you are entitled to vote. You may become a member at any time up until the 24th if you would like to be counted for this election.

And here’s the current board:
Dana Nelson
Larry Works
Martin Sager
Nathan Yost
Tyler Worman

Please leave a comment here or on the Board Elections mailing list thread with election-related questions, or nominations. If you have matters of a sensitive nature, you may also email the board directly at board at

Thank you, and see you for elections on April 24th at 7:00PM!

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