Visual arts

The Lorain Public Library launches the Maker-In-Residence initiative

Thanks in part to a grant from the Nord Family Foundation, the Lorain Public Library System is launching a Maker-in-Residence program in March, according to a press release.

Two residencies will take place simultaneously, each in the branch of the Lorain Public Library System best suited to the artist or creator, according to the press release.

Each residency will last three months and consist of six specific hands-on public workshops as well as two blocks of studio hours per week during which the creator is available to informally meet with clients to discuss and demonstrate their craft.

“We want each residency to be unique and include exhibits, programs or performances,” said Donna Kelly-Sprinkle, Avon Branch Coordinator and Manager. “Ideally we will have various art forms represented such as theater and performing arts, visual arts, technological arts, media arts, written arts and music.”

The first residents will be local children’s author Raquel M. Ortiz at the South Lorain branch and local Glowforge 3D laser printer maker Carida Diaz at the main library.

Ortiz is an Emmy-nominated writer, anthropologist, storyteller, educator, lyricist, and children’s book author.

She was born and raised in Lorain and teaches at Lorain County Community College.

Ortiz creates educational materials and conducts author tours, writing workshops, professional development training, and family literacy programs for the New York City Department of Education, Chicago Public Schools , behind the book, the Brooklyn Public Library, Literacy INC, Arte Publico Press, the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network and Cleveland Public Library.

She wrote a song and the screenplay for “Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure” which screened at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for a 2021 Emmy.

Ortiz says her lineup will include theater and production demonstrations using what she learned after one of her books, “Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural,” was turned into a puppet show.

She is also planning a workshop around Kamishibai, a Japanese storytelling technique.

“There are so many things we are passionate about,” Ortiz said. “This program gives a stage for other people to help me in my process and learn for themselves.”

Clients can visit Ortiz during studio hours on Wednesdays 5:30-7:30 p.m., March 2, 9, 16, 23; April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18 and 25.

His practical workshops will take place on Thursdays and Saturdays March 12, 24; 2 Apr 28; May 19 and 21.

Registration is required for workshops at

Diaz is originally from Chicago and studied fashion design at the Rhode Island School of Design.

She now works at Lorain Community College Campana Center for Ideation.

Diaz is involved with the FireFish Arts organization and painted Black River Landing’s “Waterfront Blooms” mural last summer.

Besides being a talented designer, painter and jewelry artist, she creates art with Glowforge and will share her techniques and methods as she deigns, engraves and cuts in the creative space inside the main library, according to the release.

Clients can visit Diaz during studio hours on Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on March 1, 15, and 29; April 5, 19; May 3, 17 and 31 and Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on March 8, 22; April 12, 26; May 10 and 24.

His practical workshops will take place on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on March 8, 22; April 12, 26; May 10 and 24.

Registration is required for workshops at

The Create Space is free and open to the public.

To see the full list of available amenities, visit

Equipment reservations are required and can be made by calling 440-244-1192.

For more information about the Maker-In-Residence program, contact [email protected]