What is the Ely Folk School?

Ely Folk School builds community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of the people of northern Minnesota. What does that mean? We offer classes and events in traditional skills, knowledge, and craft – education that is intergenerational, non-competitive, and that embraces the body, heart, and mind. We encourage learning for life – being a lifelong learner of things that will enrich your life. Ely Folk School believes that craft is the foundation with which we, as a society, can build community, personal enlightenment, empowerment, cultural memory, and community resiliency. 

What is the Ely Folk School’s Cancellation Policy? 

Class payments are due upon registration. Class fees are fully refundable 14 days before a class starts, and are refundable minus a 25% administrative fee up to seven days before a class starts. Because instructors must arrange their schedules and order materials, cancellations in the last week before a class starts will not be refunded except in the case of true emergencies.

How can I visit the Ely Folk School? 

The Ely Folk School is located in the heart of downtown Ely, at the top of the hill on Sheridan Street. Street Parking is available year round, but restricted to two-hour intervals in the summer season. St. Anthony’s Catholic Church parking lot is located behind EFS, of which St. Anthony’s generously allows EFS use. 

The Ely Folk School is currently open Wednesday through Saturday from 9-6, Sunday from 10-3, and we are also open during classes outside of those hours.

Where do I register for class? 

The Ely Folk School upcoming class list can be found here. Follow the prompts to register for classes. For a calendar view of classes, please visit this link

How can I stay informed about upcoming classes? 

Want to stay in the know with all things EFS? The best way to do that is to read our twice-monthly email newsletters! You can sign up for the email newsletter here

You can also follow and engage with EFS on Facebook and Instagram @ElyFolkSchool  

What do I do if I want to teach a class?

Visit the “Teach” section of our website to learn more about instructing. Then, use the New Class Proposal form to think through a potential class and indicate your interest to Ely Folk School programmers. Staff will follow up with you to discuss feasible possibilities. Staff also are available to help you structure a class. 

How can I sell my art in the Ely Folk School Mercantile? 

The Ely Folk School Mercantile consigns art by our Instructor Artisans. If you have taught a class or are teaching a class within one year from date of inquiry, you’re eligible to consign your artwork! Occasionally, we will enter into wholesale contracts with artists or with art materials providers. Reach out to learn more. 

Can I bring my dog to class?

Well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome to come to EFS with you. If another student or event participant has an allergy or other conflict, we may ask that you keep your pet at home or outside. It never hurts to call and ask in advance! 

Can I bring my child(ren) to class?

Taking a class but have a kiddo in tow? We understand! A folk education is for everyone, no matter your age or ability to find childcare. Many of our classes are suitable for people ages 14 and up, and we can be flexible, depending on maturity and attention to detail. Kids under 8 are welcome to come with a guardian. Staff can help set kids up with an age appropriate craft while you focus on your class. 

I want to take a class, but I cannot afford it. Do you offer scholarships? 

The Ely Folk School does not offer scholarships. We do offer a sliding scale payment system for many classes.

Personal Property

The Ely Folk School is not responsible for the security of property belonging to students and instructors.

Can my group rent your space?

The Ely Folk School is available for rent! Pricing depends on seasonality, timing of request in relation to the event, and class schedule. Please reach out to lucy@elyfolkschool.org to submit an inquiry. 

What if I want to volunteer?

Fill out our volunteer interest form to learn about current volunteer opportunities. 

Is the Ely Folk School a nonprofit?

Yes! The Ely Folk School is a 501c3 nonprofit, established 2015. Our Federal EIN is 47-2706626.