The Flashbulb Institute began in August of 2009, with a two week course in bicycle mechanics, carpentry, urban permaculture and small business skills in a garage in a residential neighborhood in the Old North End of Burlington.
In 2010, the garage was given a makeover adding 500 square feet of finished floor space and a 6 stand bicycle shop. The same courses were offered again, but separately at different times throughout the spring, summer and fall. The business skills course was transformed into one-on-one Project Development Training. The garage space began to be offered to neighborhood residents to use for events, bike repair and yoga.
In 2011, The Flashbulb continued to offer Bicycle Mechanics courses, including a custom course for ONE-Revolution bike couriers, and the Project Development Training. A 70 hour Wilderness First Responder Certification with SOLO Schools was offered in the spring and the Community Learning Hub was launched in the neighborhood garage and our new office on Main Street. The garage saw regular community bike days and open yoga times, as well as a few ongoing workshops like Intro to Gun Safety and Performing Activism. An downtown office hosted new discussion groups and workshops like Anarchy Summer School and Deconstructing Gender. This space was also available to the community free of charge and local activists were able to meet here.
During the summer of 2012, the Flashbulb Institute offered a limited number of Project Development Courses and a Community Learning Hub to promote social and ecological justice educational projects. Our neighborhood garage was available as a community space, with a community bike shop, book discussion groups, tango & even a self-defense class. Our Main Street office was scaled back & relocated to a shared office with Rising Tide Vermont, where Project Development Courses met. The bike shop and bicycle mechanic classes moved to Pine Street Studios in the South End, with bicycle repair classes in the spring & a bike frame construction course in the fall. We co-organized a Direct Action Camp at Wheelock Mountain Farm with the
Global Justice Ecology Project, Gears of Change and the Red Clover Climate Justice collective (now Rising Tide Vermont)!
In 2013 & 2014 Project Development Courses continued to be our main offering. Several new classes in Wellness Development, Integrated Book Arts, Reimbodiment Training, Bookkeeping & Grassroots Organizing and Campaign Strategy were created.