Starting a nonprofit, particularly in the art world and as a college student, can be tricky. But thanks to Serve Here CT, entrepreneur John Curran hasn’t been alone.
In 2015, Curran had an idea to found Spark Makerspace, community-run workshop and learning center in New London, CT. Members would contribute monthly dues to share a full woodshop, commercial kitchen, 3D printers & electronics, art spaces, shared office, and classroom space.
Shortly after opening his Makerspace to the public in the summer of 2016, Curran became a Serve Here CT Fellow.
Serve Here has helped Curran develop and grow into his formal role at Spark Makerspace, and it has pushed him to partner with other local nonprofits, including the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition, Hygienic Galleries, and the Connecticut Children’s Museum in Niantic.
“Through Serve Here I have been able to make important connections with other fellows from this year and past years,” said Curran. “Serve Here has helped Spark become a stronger part of the local New London community and has helped me position Spark to receive outside funding.”
Curran is originally from Austin, Texas. In 2011 he joined the Navy and was transferred to Groton in 2013. During his time in the Navy he became attached to the growing art community in Connecticut. After being medically discharged in 2015, Curran decided to move across the river to New London and make Connecticut his long term home.
Curran is currently a first semester junior at UConn and is working towards earning a degree in Materials Science Engineering. Due in part to the financial support of Serve Here CT, Curran will graduate debt free.