Garner Holt

Garner Holt and friend.

When animatronics manufacturer Garner Holt moved his company from San Bernardino to Redlands in April, it was sure to bring exciting projects to the small town.

One of the biggest unveilings of the year happened at Clement Middle School. Clement is the only middle school in the nation to have its own AniMaker Space.

The AniMaker Space is a lab where students learn the skills of manufacturing and engineering.

Students work with electrical circuits, robotics and coding.

“The AniMaker Space is our way of taking a classroom and turning it into a place where kids can work with modern tools,” said Holt.

“Kids can work with 3D printers and laser cutters.”

Holt makes the education of students a priority.

This year also brought Education Through Imagination to Redlands.

Education Through Imagination is a division of Garner Holt that provides educational programs and resources for students.

One of these programs is the Animatronics Academy.

During the academy’s summer showcase in July, 27 kids spent five days creating seven original animatronic characters.

The five-day camp allowed kids to design costumes for their robots, code and program their movements and voice the characters.  

Director of Education Bill Tynan said Education Through Imagination aims to inspire children to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Holt recently announced the creation of a nonprofit foundation in a press release.

“I am pleased to announce the creation of the Garner Holt Foundation,” said Holt.

“It will help us further our goals in supporting the youth of our communities in the area of career education.”

Debbie Brown, Bob Botts, Char Burgess, Mark Edwards, Gary Miller, Beverly Rainbolt, Joe Richardson, Mike Stull and Stan Weisser will serve on the board of directors.

Holt, Ryan Rainbolt, Michelle Berg and Carole Mumford will also serve on the board.

The planned 8,000-square-foot Garner’s Garage is a part of the foundation. It will be a facility where youth in the community can attend classes, seminars and workshops.  

Holt brought his “Reflections on the Face of Lincoln” exhibit to Redlands’ Lincoln Memorial Shrine in July 2018.

In nine months, some 8,000 visitors watched the 10-minute show in a wing of the shrine, watching the remarkable expressions of our 16th president.

The final show was in April 2019.