In this spring season of awakening, the Ely Folk School is taking inspiration from nature. We are clarifying where we have been and where we are going. 

Where we have been: planting seeds for sustained joy and freedom within a strong, resilient community. Where we are going: A vibrant garden of interconnected blooms that make each other stronger. 

We need your help to continue nurturing these seeds to fully blossom. 

For eight years Ely Folk School instructors, volunteers, board members, and staff have been tending to the seeds of a big idea – building community by providing learning experiences.

We have grown into a sturdy sprout. In June 2015, the Ely Folk School was in dialogue with 117 people via our email newsletters. Today, we share our work and vision with 4,000+ community members. With a lot of love, intention, patience, and trust, our school has grown into a place where people can find and create what they need. 

In 2023 we hosted 162 classes, serving nearly 1,000 students – which is to say nothing of the hundreds of people who engage with our community events and our mercantile. In recent years we have intentionally expanded our curriculum to more intentionally serve children in our community. Furthermore, investment in our ceramics studio, forge, and private classes/rentals program continues to expand our ability to serve our mission. 

Help us raise $30,000 by our 9th birthday! 

Our mission is to build community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the Wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of the people of northern Minnesota. 

Our vision is to be a gathering space where all Ely area residents and visitors forge new connections, build a stronger community, and develop as individuals through experiential learning that honors the crafts and cultures of our region. 

Our birthday weekend will be a celebration of the past, present, and future of the Ely Folk School. Please join us for one or all of the festivities.