Hack for Western Mass is an event of, by, and for the community. If you attended, volunteered, sponsored, told a friend, brought your kids, submitted a challenge, or covered our inaugural event last year, you’re the reason for its success.
In 2014 we want to make the community even bigger. To do that, we’ve made some changes, and the biggest one involves our location. If you were at Hack for Western Mass in 2013, you’ll remember our venue: the Integrated Sciences Building donated by the UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences. It was the perfect place for a hackathon, but it’s not where the people are.
More people live in Hampden County than Franklin, Hampshire, and Berkshire counties combined. It has greater racial and ethnic diversity, more young people, and more people that were born outside the U.S. than its surrounding counties. So we’re going where the people are and heading to Holyoke in 2014.
We’re partnering with Gateway City Arts, an innovative community arts space on the canal in the heart of Holyoke’s Innovation District. Mayor Morse will be there to welcome us. We’re working with Girls Inc., a non-profit that inspires girls to be strong, smart, and bold, to introduce girls to civic hacking.
Doing all this means we’re asking a bit more from our community of sponsors and attendees. It means hackathon teams won’t have quite as much room to spread out, and parking won’t be quite as convenient. It means we’re raising extra money to cover the costs of wifi, easels, and other amenities that were built into last year’s academic space.
It’s a small price to pay for breaking down barriers to civic hacking in Western Mass. As always, the hackathon is free for the volunteers and non-profits who are generously donating their time. However, if you’d like to help defray the costs, we’ve added a “supporting registration” ticket option.
Either way, we hope to see you June 6-8 in Holyoke: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hack-for-western-mass-2014-tickets-11215547003