TechShop was founded on a do-it-yourself ethos, but the Bay Area-founded maker space has unfortunately discovered there’s no way it can go it alone on the planned relocation of its San Jose shop.
The move from TechShop’s current location at 300 S. Second Street to the old Zanotto’s grocery store — a 20,000 square-foot space at 38 S. Second St. — has run into unforeseen construction issues, leaving TechShop with a $1 million funding gap it can’t close on its own.
“We’re looking for support from the broader community,” said TechShop spokesman Michael Catterlin. “There’s not going to be a silver bullet. It’s going to take a federation of partners.”
Catterlin says existing partners like the city of San Jose and the Knight Foundation have already helped, but it’s not enough to get them where they need to be. TechShop Chariman Jim Newton sent an email “call to action” to its members in August detailing the problem and ways members can donate or even invest. (Find out more at www.techshop.ws/tssj_move.html.)
While the move had been expected to be completed this summer, TechShop members don’t need to panic about the current space — yet. TechShop has secured a lease extension through January and may be able to stay a couple months beyond that if needed. But if the funding doesn’t come through, somebody may have to make a “closed” sign.
“We have a strong, vibrant community here. We want to remain in downtown San Jose,” Catterlin said. “If we’re unable to raise this funding gap, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
CHANGE AT THE TOP: Jennifer Chen has been announced as the new executive director of Loaves & Fishes, the nonprofit that helps keep the hungry fed in San Jose, with current Executive Director AnnMarie Zimmerman stepping into a new role on Loaves & Fishes’ board of directors, where she’ll be co-chair along with Dan Barsanti.
Chen has 10 years of nonprofit experience, with roles at several organizations in the valley including the Humane Society Silicon Valley. But don’t expect Zimmerman to disappear.
“I’m still deeply committed and involved with Loaves & Fishes,” Zimmerman said. “My husband is the best thing that ever happened to me, but Loaves & Fishes is second best.”
And there are a couple of events on the horizon that should keep everyone busy. The inaugural Hip Hop Run — a 5K/10K race started by San Jose State alum Freddie Jackson, also the owner of downtown bar Freddie J’s, and his business partner Denise Chaisson — is set for Sept. 24 with Loaves & Fishes and Make a Wish Bay Area as beneficiaries (www.hiphoprun.com). And the Brain Food, Loaves & Fishes third annual trivia contest fundraiser, will take place at Bellarmine College Prep on Oct. 20. The quiz was won last year by a team that included Sheila Collins and her mom, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, so contestants should start studying now — and sign up at www.loavesfishes.org.
PARTY LIKE IT’S 1929: Hospice of the Valley will be letting its supporters step back into the Roaring ’20s with its 36th annual gala on Sept. 10 at the Los Altos Golf & Country Club.
The Gatsby Gala will include dinner, music and classic cocktails from the era of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. “It is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a glamorous evening while raising funds for local hospice care and grief counseling services,” Shannon Chastaine, development coordinator for Hospice of the Valley, says.
The invitation says guests are invited to dress as a flapper, a glamorous silent film star or even a gangster (if you do, take the fedora but leave the Tommy gun at home). “But cocktail attire is always in fashion,” Chastaine added.
Tickets are available for $225 a person and can be purchaed online at www.hospicevalley.org/calendar/event/gatsby-gala.
CELEBRATING A TREASURE: The Hakone Estate and Gardens continues the three-year celebration of its 100th anniversary with a Centennial Gala on Sept. 18 at the exquisite Japanese gardens in Saratoga.
The event starts at 5 p.m., but will last beyond sundown, providing guests with a rare view of the gardens. “Very few people get to experience Hakone at night, and the full moon will make it even more special,” said Hakone Foundation Executive Director Shozo Kagoshima.
This year’s event will pay tribute to Charles Lee Tilden, who owned Hakone from 1932 until 1950, and James Sasaki, the gardener there from 1932 until 1961. Descendants of both men will be on hand to share their insider knowledge about the estate’s history.
Tickets to the gala are $200 and are available online at www.hakone.com.
HONORABLE WEEKEND: State Sen. Jim Beall spent last weekend picking up some well-deserved community awards. On Friday night, La Raza Roundtable of California honored him as Legislator of the Year at its Spirit Awards, held at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, for his work on foster care, supporting minimum wage increases, equal pay and increasing affordable housing.
Beall’s also a big proponent for mental health issues, including increasing training for police officers to help reduce conflicts with mentally ill people, so it’s no surprise that he was in Burlingame on Saturday to receive the Legislator of the Year award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness California.
REAL ‘GRASS ROOTS’ PROJECT: There have been some positive changes at St. James Park this summer and another will be taking place Sept. 10, thanks to the Rotary Club of San Jose Silicon Valley and the San Jose Downtown Residents Association.
That Saturday, a group of volunteers will be beautifying the park’s dilapidated fountain by planting flowers and other plants in its tiers. “From Rust to Lush” will also feature a plant sale, DJ music and a pop-up maker’s fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There’ll be an official dedication ceremony at noon if you want to check it out.
“This is a project that has been a long time in the making and will once again make the fountain a focal point of the park,” said downtown resident Kymberli Brady, who has been helping shepherd this project.
MUSEUM’S UNION BENEFIT: Lots of businesses will be closed Labor Day, but the San Jose Museum of Art will have its doors open. And in honor of one of its current exhibitions, “Life and Labor: The Photographs of Milton Rogovin,” admission will be free to members of labor unions.