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Build a Mobile 'Tiny House' and Learn How to Use Power Tools

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 4, 2017 12:20pm
 Queens women will learn how to use power tools while building a
Queens women will learn how to use power tools while building a "tiny house." The project is the brainchild of Yvonne Shortt of the Rego Park Green Alliance.
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Courtesy of RPGA

QUEENS — Time to get out the power tools.

A group of women will soon begin working on a mobile “tiny house,” an art project which seeks to empower women by teaching them how to use power tools, the organizers said.

The project is the brainchild of Yvonne Shortt, a Forest Hills resident and founder of the Rego Park Green Alliance, a nonprofit promoting community-oriented initiatives.

The goal, Shortt said, is to build a 140-square-foot wooden house, which will later be placed on a trailer and used as a creative studio and space to discuss issues that women in New York struggle with, such as income inequality and high cost of living, Shortt said. 

The project, Shortt said, serves to "empower myself and other women and to build our confidence with using tools and also to build our networks.”

The participants will first learn how to use various tools, including saws and drills, as well as skills necessary to build a house, such as plumbing.

The group is currently working on fundraising and designing the house which will cost approximately $15,000 to build.

The women will start building the project at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth in late May and it will take approximately five weeks to complete it, Shortt said.

The house will then travel throughout the city in August and September.

Shortt said that about 250 women responded to a meet-up page about the project she created in October, demonstrating the need women have to learn such skills, she said.

Marisa Lowenstein, 45, an Argentinian-born visual designer, was one of them. 

“Who knows what’s going to come out of it but I think that building this community and women talking to each other and helping each other is great,” she said.

“I’m hoping to gain more knowledge, some friends, more connections and more self-confidence of what we can do," Lowenstein added.

To learn more about the project, go here