“Maker” Groups in the Rochester Area


American Sewing Guild – Rochester NY Chapter – The American Sewing Guild is a national non-profit organization dedicated to people who believe sewing is a rewarding and creative activity. The Rochester Chapter welcomes sewers of all skill levels. It has approximately 210 members and 10 neighborhood groups that meet monthly to learn and share new sewing skills and participate in community service sewing projects.

Antique Wireless Association – Founded in 1952, the AWA members are interested in collecting, restoring and operating antique radio receivers, transmitters and related items. They hold regular meetings, organize a large annual convention, and operate a museum in Bloomfield NY.

Arena Art Group – “The purpose of the Arena Art Group is to foster community interest in exploratory art forms through the exhibitions of its members’ works and to maintain an active, viable, and professional arts presence.” The AAG was was formed in 1951 by a small group of artists who met at the Arena Theatre to display their work and it became the first art group in Rochester to promote contemporary art. The group currently has about 50 active members and it usually provides its members with two or three opportunities to each year to exhibit their work.

Artists’ Breakfast Group – “Rochester’s open forum for the arts since 1988.” Painters, musicians, writers, photographers, glass artists, sculptors, poets, and all other kinds of artists are welcome. This group meets on Tuesday mornings from 8 to 9 AM in the cafeteria of the Bausch and Lomb Building, located at Clinton and Court Streets. Just come to a meeting and meet friendly fellow artists. No invitation is needed.

Creative Arts Club at the University of Rochester – “We strive to strengthen the art community on the University of Rochester campus by providing an equipped studio, various activities that take place both inside and outside of the studio, and an environment that is conducive to creating, exploring, and appreciating art.”

Creativity Shell Rochester – “The Creativity Shell is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to use creative trades to educate and inspire the next generation of makers. Our organization teaches sewing/textile arts classes to students in public libraries, schools and shelters that rescue children from homelessness and human trafficking. Sewing/textile arts classes are designed to educate and inspire children by teaching them essential life and practical skills.”

EAA Chapter 44 – A group of home built airplane builders and aviation enthusiasts. Located at Ledgedale Airport near Brockport

EAA Chapter 95UL – Rochester Ultralight Fun Flyers (RUFF) – Many of the members of this group of “ultralight” aviation enthusiasts have built their own aircraft.

Edgerton Model Railroad Club – This group of volunteers works to preserve, repair and enhance the City of Rochester’s four O scale train layouts that depict Rochester and the surrounding areas in the early 1950s. The club is located in the Edgerton Recreation Center at 41 Backus Street and it meets on Tuesday nights.

FCTT HiRailers – A modular Hi-Rail Model Train Club located in Rochester New York

Finger Lakes Live Steamers – This club builds and operates several “large scale” model railroads with locomotives that are powered by steam, internal combustion, or electric batteries. They welcome anyone with an interest in their hobby and a desire to learn about railroading, machine shop practice, model building and related activities.

Finger Lakes Woodturning Association – “The premier woodturning club of the Western NY and Finger Lakes Region”

FIRST Robotics – Many of our schools have FIRST robotic teams that combine “the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.  It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.”

Genesee G Gauge Railway Society – “The GGGRS is a “Large Scale” model Railroad club based in Rochester, NY. The club was formed in 1991 and has over 50 members. Most members are in the Monroe County area, but we also have members who live in the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and other far-flung areas. ”

Genesee Valley Aero Modelers – R/C Flying Club located near Honeyoe NY.

Genesee Valley Handspinners Guild – “Promoting the art of spinning and promoting spinning education in upstate New York since 1985 – more than 25 years. We welcome all spinners and all who are interested in spinning.”

Genesee Valley Woodcarvers – GVW is a carving club based in Rochester, New York. The club was founded to provide a forum for woodcarvers to meet, exhibit their work, share experiences, and exchange information. It also teaches classes, hosts informal carving groups and it has an extensive lending library of books, periodicals, videos and other reference materials.

Interlock Rochester – A hackerspace located at 1115 East Main Street, Rochester, in the Hungerford Building

IPMS Rochester Historical Scale Model Association – Builders of plastic scale historic models of all kinds

Ikebana International Rochester – Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arranging. The Rochester Chapter was formed more than 50 years ago and its goal is to promote and teach this art form. It also wants to “promote “friendship among members from diverse backgrounds, and to promote goodwill in the community, through sharing a love of nature and of ikebana , thereby striving to create an atmosphere of harmony and tranquility.” The chapter has about 50 members and regularly has exhibits and events.

Irondequoit Art Club – Founded in 1958 the IAC has monthly demonstrations by professional artists that cover a wide range of art forms including painting, sculpture and printmaking. They also hold two major art shows each year along with workshops and other events.

Memorial Art Gallery’s Creative Workshop – Offers a variety of art classes for all ages.

Monroe Astronautical Rocket Society (MARS) – “Membership to MARS is open to all adults, families and children who are interested in the hobby and/or science of rockets. We are a family oriented club that encourages activities in all aspects of the hobby. Our members include people who have been flying rockets for less than a year and more than 40. We enjoy low power to high power rockets and everything in between. MARS is the club for you if you want to: re-live your childhood and fly those classic Estes models again, go big and fly M powered monsters, learn about using the latest electronics for deployment and tracking, enjoy flying with a family friendly group!”

NY Figure Study Guild – “A contemporary artist guild committed to providing learning and collaborative opportunities to figurative artists of all skill levels.”

New York State Steam Engine Association – Promotes and encourages interest in the operation, ownership, and preservation of antique vehicles powered by steam or otherwise. Their annual 4-day “Pageant of Steam” held in August on Gehan Road in Canandaigua covers more than 100 acres. In addition to steam engines and vehicles, the show includes a very large exhibition of antique tractors, bulldozers, steam shovels and other farm and construction equipment, a huge flea market, a tractor pull, food, and live entertainment.

New York State Designer Blacksmiths (NYSDB) – This nonprofit perpetuates, promotes and teaches the craft and art of blacksmithing. They have several regions throughout the state that meet monthly.

Pastel Society of Western New York – Founded in March 2015, the society meets bimonthly, has an annual exhibition and it also hosts workshops. Their mission is “To build and strengthen a connection among pastel artists. To benefit the artistic development through instructional activities and exhibition opportunities. To encourage and foster creative pastel painting. To promote public awareness of pastel painting as a fine art medium.”

The Print Club of Rochester – “An organization devoted to fine art printmaking. It has been in existence since 1934, and has an unbroken string of commissioned prints and successful shows. Many of the artists we commission are of international stature. We also have educational demonstrations, and lectures given by visiting artists.”

Radio Control Club of Rochester (RCCR) – “The purpose of the Radio Control Club of Rochester is to encourage interest in the design, construction and safe operation of radio controlled aircraft, boats and cars.”

R Community Bikes – Makes good bicycles out of broken bikes that have been donated to them and then gives them away to individuals and organizations that need them. In 2013 a total of 152 volunteers worked more than 14,000 hours so they could give away about 2,500 bikes. In addition, they did about 3,800 repairs to bikes they had already donated.

Rochester Aeromodeling Society (RAMS)

Rochester Amateur Radio Association (RARA) – One of the largest amateur radio clubs in the north America with more than 700 active. Many ham radio operators build sophisticated electronic devices in addition to enjoying the educational, recreational and public service aspects of this hobby.

Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum – (Industry, NY) Preserving Rochester’s Railroad heritage since 1937.  We are NY’s only operating Railroad Museum.  We own our own track and maintenance facilities.  Our projects are volunteer run and in that sense we operate similar to a makerspace.  Our track interchanges with the LA&L (a commercial railroad) and we share a track with the NYMT (http://nymtmuseum.org).  Opportunities abound: http://www.rgvrrm.org/volunteer/

Rochester Area Model Yachting Association – RAMYA sails and races radio-controlled model sailboats at local-area ponds.

Rochester Art Club – One of the oldest continuously active art groups in the Uninted States, the Rochester Art Club’s purpose is “to advance the artistic growth of its professional membership and to contribute wherever possible to the cultural enrichment of the community.”

The Rochester Arts Center (formerly The Genesee Center for the Arts and Education) – Classes and facilities rental for pottery, photography, printing & book arts.

Rochester Engineering Society – A professional group for engineers, engineering firms and schools.

Rochester Folk Art Guild

RIT Model Railroad Club (RITMRC) – “founded in early 1996 to promote the hobby of model railroading and to preserve the history of Rochester’s railroads.”

Rochester Knitting Guild – “The Rochester Knitting Guild is an organization in Rochester, NY that exists to promote learning about knitting, provide a social context for knitting, and encourage the public to learn to knit!”

Rochester Model Railroad Club – This club meets every Monday night in the basement of the First Universalist Church at 150 South Clinton Ave. They are seeking new members, of all ages and all skill levels.

Rochester Museum and Science Center “TAG” Group Members of the museum’s Technical Advisory Group volunteer their time and expertise to design and construct interactive exhibits.

The Rochester Woodworking Society – “We are a group of men and women in Upstate NY dedicated to the enjoyment of woodworking. Membership includes lectures and workshops by renowned woodworking personalities and local professionals as well as free access to our extensive lending library of books and videos. RWS welcomes everyone interested in the craft whether professional or hobbyist. Join the company of hundreds of enthusiasts – carvers, turners, furniture makers, boat builders, and other skilled craftspeople and take your woodworking skills to a new level.”

SewGreen Rochester website / Facebook Page– Is a nonprofit in Rochester’s 19th ward that teaches classes in sewing, knitting, crochet, needlework and other fiber or fabric related activities.  They also accept donations of leftover fabric, yarn, notions, sewing machines and other supplies which are sold or reused in order to keep them out of our landfills.

Society of Women Engineers, Rochester New York Section – “provides significant networking and professional development opportunities to help women achieve their full potential as engineers and leaders. We also encourage and inspire girls and young women to explore careers in science, math, engineering, and technology through outreach events, guest speakers and scholarship opportunities.

TheSTUDIO – Jewelry & Metal Arts Learning Center –  “Our mission at TheSTUDIO…is to provide a welcoming and enjoyable environment where individuals can explore and expand their creativity. Our focus is on keeping the mind open and joyful so that we may all learn from one another and create beauty together.

Visual Studies Workshop – “committed to expanding the potential of the media arts, and their impact on contemporary culture, through innovative programs in education, exhibition, publication, research, practice, and community service.”

Webster Art Club – ” a teaching club with a mission of providing education, support, sharing inspiration, and opportunities to make new artist friends in our community. Monthly meetings of the Webster Art Club are held the second Wednesday of the month from Sept-Nov and Jan-May at 6:30 pm at the Webster Recreation Center on Phillips Road, Webster, NY. Each month we have a brief business meeting followed by speakers and demonstrations on various art related topics. We also have an open painting day every Wednesday from 9 am to 12 noon at the Webster Recreation Center during the months of Sept-May.”

Western Wayne Art Group – The WWAG meets on the third Tuesday of each month and its members range from hobbyists to professionals. The organizations was founded in 1973.

Weavers’ Guild of Rochester – “Enhancing Lives Through Study and Creative Expression in Weaving and Fiber Arts.” This 10+ year-old organization operates the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center in East Rochester

Businesses that provide instruction or studio rental

Art Center  (Irondequoit) – “Art Center is focused on meeting the artistic needs of our surrounding community. We specialize in providing unique art experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Our classes, camps, workshops, custom parties, events and clubs offer something for everyone.”

Bead Breakout (Monroe Avenue) – Beads, beading supplies & classes

Color Me Mine Pottery (Pittsford & Webster): Choose a piece of pottery, paint it with glaze and then pick it up after it’s fired in a kiln.

Eve Bothelho (Rochester) – A fiber artist who teaches embroidery workshops.

Honeoye Craft Lab (Honeoye) – Sells local art, crafts and craft supplies. Also offers a variety of art and craft classes

Let’s Bead (East Rochester) – A bead store that also teaches jewelry classes

Main Street Arts (Clifton Springs) – An art gallery that offers a variety of classes

OATKA Glass School (Batavia) – Offers a variety of classes and also studio rental

Quilting With Margaret (Various Locations) – Quilting classes

Rochester Arc & Flame Center (Gates) – Teaches classes in welding, glass and blacksmithing and rents studio time.

Studio 34 Creative Arts Studio & Gallery (Elton St / University Ave) – A public access studio that offers over 200 classes in the creative arts.

The Bricklab – “Located in Spencerport, NY, The BrickLab is an interactive learning center and child care center that provides a rich, colorful learning environment for boys and girls across all age ranges, primarily ages 3-14.”

“With LEGO educational products and toys as a foundation, we seek to deliver innovative project-based programs that interest, engage and challenge kids—while supporting the concepts of STEM education.”

Turk Hill Craft School (Fairport) – Adult & children pottery classes and studio rental