Emma Loomis-Amrhein is a maker. She’s done straw bale construction. She loves woodworking. And she is a published poet. She’s also the new manager of the Community Makerspace.

“I see the Makerspace as a jumping off point for people,” Emma says. “One of our great opportunities is engaging people who are new and have a lot of interest but want business and organizational training to support themselves as creative makers. They can learn that here from classes and community partnerships and then move to create their own space.”

Emma comes to Rural Action from Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice in Yellow Springs, where she served as Land Manager and Naturalist.

“I grew up working on farms, doing odd jobs for people,” she says. “That’s how this unfolded. I love hiking. I’m a quasi self-taught naturalist. I learned some trade work on farms.”

While Emma was doing straw bale construction after high school, her parents convinced her to go to Antioch, where she earned a literature degree. In April, she published “evening primroses,” a book of poems rooted deeply in nature and her experience as a queer trans woman.

Emma grew up in Yellow Springs and likes the idea of remaining in Ohio.

“People of my generation are taught that to be successful you have to grow up and move out to the coast.”

“There’s something really radical about committing to your community, about staying in your community.”

Emma is used to spending a lot of time outside given her land management background. “I’ve never worked inside quite so much as I have in this position, but I think that it will be a nice change for me. I’m excited to learn together with this community of makers, menders, crafters, and creators.”