Women's Rural Entrepreneurial Network Expands, Opens Artist/Work Center In Berlin

Jun 12, 2015

For a little over two decades the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network – based in Bethlehem - has helped artists and business people in the North Country. Thursday night – in Berlin - it opened its second center.

The WREN Works Maker Studio is focused on artists and people who would like to be artists, says Marilinne Cooper, WREN’s executive director. And, its 4,000 square feet is filled with equipment to please them.

“We have a clay studio in the basement, we have a fab lab with 3-D printers, we have an art studio, we have photo equipment, we have a fiber studio.”

There are also work spaces for others tired of working from a home office, people who yearn for a bit of company and what Cooper calls “an interchange of creative ideas.”

Computers can be used - free - to access the internet. However, there are charges for other uses, which Cooper says is necessary to help cover operating costs.

Mark Belanger, the head of the chamber of commerce, was particularly optimistic.

“WREN is an outstanding organization that can help people turn their hobbies into a living.”

The project cost about $200,000, including $125,000 for the building. It was funded by the Northern Borders Regional Commission, The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund and Coos Economic Development Corporation.

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR