The Hacktory

[The Hacktory is no longer a project of Nonprofit Technology Resources, so this page will no longer be updated as of 10/8/2012. It remains here for historical purposes.]

Repurposing Technology, Making Art

The Hacktory was formed in November 2007 by a group of art and technology enthusiasts who frequented monthly MakePhilly meetings. This group wanted to provide formal instruction in technical topics and a central meeting place with accessible, sophisticated tools. The first course offered, “Microcontrollers for Artists and Makers” was an instant hit. Stan Pokras, the Executive Director of Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR), quickly saw how The Hacktory could further his organization’s mission of bridging the digital divide and reducing e-waste and offered space to hold events, store shared equipment, and become The Hacktory’s fiscal sponsor.

The Hacktory has continued to provide classes and events that build our mission to inspire and empower people to use technology for their own personal expression. We want to reinforce the idea that our world is malleable – the devices and spaces we interact with everyday can be repurposed and modified to create new experiences.

The Hacktory promotes the use of technology in the arts through:

  • Classes
  • Community Events
  • Shared Facilities and Equipment
  • Artist in residence program
  • Art and Technology promotion
  • Materials Exchange

A sample of what the Hacktory does at NTR can be seen in this photo gallery.

The Hacktory Mission Statement

Our goal is to empower people and give them a sense that technology can be a tool for personal expression. We want to reinforce the idea that our world is malleable -- the devices and spaces we interact with everyday can be repurposed and modified to create new experiences. We would like to instill a sense of confidence in people's ability to build things, alter pre-made objects for the better, and teach the skills necessary to do so.

Long-term, we want to establish a diverse community of hackers that benefit the Greater Good and foster a general excitement about technology and the arts. Our classes, activities, and events serve to bring together people with the skills, connections, and resources to achieve this long-term goal.

Happy Hour Concert

Experience it all: Hear the sounds. See video and pictures of our Happy Hour Concert that filled NTR's parking lot with experimental and electronic music on October 6, 2011.

Eggcellent Egg Drop Eggstravaganza

See video and more from our Eggcellent Egg Drop Eggstravaganza, held at NTR on October 2, 2010.


For more information about the Hacktory program, do any or all of the following:

Press and Other Sources

Philadelphia Magazine. 2011.
Best of Philly 2011: Adult Classes

Technically Philly. October 10, 2010.
DesignPhiladelphia gets technical with The Hacktory and Electronic Ink

Philadelphia City Paper. October 10, 2010.
Shine a light: The Hacktory brings new meaning to the impermanence of graffiti

12oz Prophet. October 3, 2010.
Illuminating graffiti

The Temple News. October 7, 2008.
Hacktory offers geek-friendly classes

Philadelphia Weekly. July 23, 2008.
Authentic Geek by Lit Gloss

Philebrity. June 11, 2008.
Technology Special Report: IgnitePhilly

Philadelphia Business Journal. June 6, 2008.
Ignite Philly offers rapid-fire pitching

City Paper. May 8, 2008.
Just do it. Brain machine workshop

Geekadelphia. April 25, 2008.
Josh Kopel of MakePhilly Says Goodbye, Sells You His Stuff

Philadelphia Business Journal. April 18, 2008.
Grassroots groups nurture creativity

City Paper (cover story). March 27, 2008.
Hack to the future

Make Blog. March 7, 2008.
The Hacktory open workshop

Philadelphia City Paper. January 29, 2008.
In the event that ... You're a love-struck tech geek

Philebrity. January 22, 2008.
You can dance if you chiptune, you can leave your friends behind

Artblog (Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof). January 18, 2008.
So you want to make a robot...

Geekadelphia. January 17, 2008.
Microcontroller ... it's back

Off the Hook. January 16, 2008.
Bernies talks about The Hacktory 30minutes into the program

UWISHUNU. January 2, 2008.
The Hacktory

Philebrity. December 18, 2007.
Proof that geeks that make stuff are sexy

Geekadelphia. December 18, 2007.
This weekend in photos

DesignTheory431. December 9, 2007.
Home manufacturing and community fab

Philadelphia City Paper. August 9, 2007.

Philadelphia Weekly. April 25, 2007.
Art Buggy Derby 2.0