Alumna Michelle (Ferris) FitzGerald ’09 founded Make South Bend, a maker space and art studio for local artists and makers. FitzGerald teaches classes, hires experts to teach, and opens up new experiences to students young and old. Her studio perpetuates the ideology of the Maker Movement – encouraging and empowering people to make anything – and is evident in her classes that range from textiles to 3D printing.
An English major at Bethel, she served as a tutor in the writing center, and as editor for The Beacon. As she was considering pursuing TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), she did a semester abroad trip to the Dominican Republic. Placed at an art school, she witnessed firsthand how art, education and evangelism can meld.
This idea of using art to reach people for Jesus was appealing and something FitzGerald carried with her when she established Make South Bend.
“I can serve people and give them valuable skills and be part of their lives, just by having this space and continuing to meet with them. This is a way I can do ministry.”