• Kellie Sink

Downtown Developer Organizes A Special Fathering Event

Jessica Ackerman, a Minot native and downtown developer, hosted Gathering 1.OH!, an event supported in part by a grant from the ND Change Network, a project of the Bush Foundation—last week.

The event ran from 5-11 p.m. on the block between Central and First St. SE in downtown Minot. It featured a variety of live music performances, art demonstrations, artisan vendors, and a farmer’s market.

“The beauty of this block is that it offers an opportunity for an inclusive destination for residents, visitors, and building entrepreneurs,” Jessica Ackerman, Aksal Group founder and ND Change Network participant, said.

Aksal purchased property on the block last year and is currently working on renovations to provide multiple business spaces. The Minot City Council approved the block as the location for the community gathering space in January as part of the National Disaster Resilience Program.

“It’s in a pretty raw state, but it’s good location, and so we’re hoping people come down and enjoy it, start talking, start seeing what it could be, and keep the ball rolling,” Spring Bakke, co-event planner, said.

“I would encourage people to participate in Gathering 1.Oh! to really get a sense of what this block could become. Walk around the block, take it in from eye-level view outside of a vehicle and experience something unique to this space. Bring your imagination and share your ideas,” Ackerman said.

Both Ackerman and Bakke said this is just the beginning of the future of downtown Minot.

“This is a vision for downtown Minot,” Bakke said. “This vision, this particular event, started earlier this spring, to use the potential space to show what the potential is, and here it is coming to creation tonight which is fantastic. The energy that it has already in just this short time (. . .) this is exactly what we wanted it to be — an organic space created by people bringing their craft, their talent, their energy down to the space, which draws other people with a space to gather. Minot has this fantastic opportunity to build a pretty glorious downtown gathering space, and so this is just one idea that it could be. There’s been many meetings about it there’s been a lot of opportunity for people to give public comment and now this is an opportunity for them to actually be in the space, feel how it actually could be and then give their input.”

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