Over the last 3 years, I have resided in Nelsonville, Ohio. Being from another small town, Carroll, Ohio, myself, the setting is nostalgic. This is a small town in Ohio where everyone in town makes their way to the high school football stadium under the Friday night lights to watch the pride of Nelsonville. Win or loss, you can expect a large turnout. One thing does seem to be missing. A place for the community to go and exchange ideas or collaborate on projects with other community members. I have researched the town, and through some friends, I learned that Nelsonville did have a sort of community building at one point. My friend, Dylan Price, was happy to let me interview him and discuss how the Hocking Makers Network’s future makerspace in the square could be a new spot for the whole community to come together and grow.
Q: Do you think Nelsonville could use a Makerspace?
A: Yes, I think it would be great for the town! We have a lot of artists anyway and giving them a new space to work could really help them.
Q: How do you think it would benefit the community?
A: I think it would give the local artists and craftsmen a new place to work on their projects but it will also help people find ways to make things they always dream of making but never have a place or the right equipment to do so.
Q: Do you think makerspace could help bring new businesses or improve current ones?
A:I’m sure it could. I think if it sells stuff like the emporium or works alongside them, the makerspace could really help out businesses.
Q: Do you think students would benefit from the makerspace?
A: Yes, students need to be more creative and work with their hands. I know not everyone is on the same page about that but I think that students with the opportunities and resources could make some cool stuff or find out they have a skill they didn’t know about.
Q: What is something you would like to use the space for?
A: I would want to make a forge and learn to blacksmith.
I was really thankful that Dylan would let me interview him on this. Getting opinions from the community and those who have lived here their whole life really helps show how something like this can be a hugely positive impact on a small town. It gives people the resources and time to do great things. With somewhere the people can call their own and share with the community, the town can have a sense of ownership of the space. The makerspace could even become a catalyst for a business incubation boom. Who knows what will show up or who will create the next great thing. All we can do now is just wait and see how far this town can go.
The Hocking Makers Network is devoted to empowering people to find their passions through an introduction to tools; approachable, affordable classes; and workshop membership opportunities to pursue their interests on their own. Pipelines to (1) workforce development, (2) higher education, (3) entrepreneurial endeavors, or (4) avenues to explore new hobbies all contribute to the value that the HMN provides to Nelsonville and surrounding communities.