From Imagination to Innovation: Mixxer’s Mission to Empower Forsyth County’s Youth

Mixxer Community Makerspace, a Winston-Salem based non-profit, is a haven for creatives, artists and innovators, or anyone who wants to be. Their mission is to grow a creative community that provides equitable access to tech, tools and knowledge regardless of experience or background. The 7500-square-foot facility is located in the Industry Hill neighborhood of downtown Winston-Salem boasting a variety of amenities including a woodshop, 3D printers, metalworking shop, industrial laser cutter and so much more. Mixxer believes that, by improving access to these resources, people can build more meaningful lives, pursue rewarding careers and strengthen their communities.

Providing leadership and guidance to Mixxer is Director of Wake Downtown and Chair of Mixxer’s Board of Directors Alana James. James, an Ohio native, fell in love with Winston-Salem as a student at Wake Forest University and has been a proud member of the community ever since. During her tenure as Mixxer’s Board Chair, Alana has championed the growth and development of Mixxer STEAM Education, the organization’s programming for middle and high school students designed to introduce them to STEAM fields and highlight career pathways. Her commitment to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education is rooted in the belief that these disciplines are key to preparing young people for a rapidly evolving future. 

Alana emphasizes the importance of adapting to the changing economic landscape, particularly in Winston-Salem, where traditional industries are giving way to technology and innovation. “I think STEAM, in particular, is the next frontier. Allowing kids to have early access to these subjects, and to see that there’s a way for them to get there is really important.” she explains. “You also want to ensure that people who are growing up here know that they don’t have to leave to do some of the most incredible groundbreaking and fulfilling work.” This forward-thinking approach is about ensuring that children understand they have a place in the future of their community and the broader world.

Alana and the team at Mixxer are on a mission to cultivate a generation that is curious, capable and creative. They see the potential in every child to become a maker, an innovator or a problem-solver. As the community looks ahead to the summer, the invitation to join Mixxer’s STEAM Summer Camps stands as a call to action for parents and children alike to embark on a journey of discovery and learning. These camps offer a diverse range of subjects that cater to varying interests, from Drone Innovation to Fashion Design to Coding, ensuring that every child finds something that sparks their curiosity. Borrowing a common refrain from Mixxer’s Executive Director Elaine Lamson, Alana shared “You want to create that SPARK, that moment of inspiration that can set off a chain reaction of ideas or actions. Then you want to IGNITE it and create a catalyzing process that leads to increased activity, excitement and growth. Finally, that creates an INFERNO, the highest level of impact, evoking a strong and memorable impression, which allows students to take what they’ve learned, add in their own ideas and creativity, and make it their own.” Mixxer STEAM Summer Camps are just one part of Mixxer’s enduring commitment to empowering the next generation of leaders, thinkers and creators. 

For those looking to give their children a fun, transformative summer experience, Mixxer’s STEAM Summer Camps are an unparalleled opportunity to ignite passions and unlock potential. To learn more about Mixxer, STEAM programming and summer camp experiences, go to Enter Promo code FORSYTH24, and receive a 10% discount on any summer camp registration.


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