Traditionally, April is known as Iskigamizige-giizis (boiling sap moon). For over 800 years the ininaatigoog (sugar maple trees) of this region have been tapped by the Anishinaabeg people in order to produce sugar. This Saturday, you can learn about iskigamizigan (the sap boiling process) and enjoy a traditional feast made by instructor Ryan Bajan. 

Following the lead of the Ely School District, we are postponing our Poetry Reading that was scheduled for tonight, April 5th. The new date is Thursday, April 20th at 7pm. Local poets DyAnne Korda and Cecilia Rolando will share their poems then turn the mic over to the community! 

This past weekend, EFS staff traveled to Duluth and met with other staff and board members from folk schools in the Lake Superior watershed. Through funding from Lake Superior Living Labs Network acquired by Antiquary Folk School, our goal was to meet and gather information from one another in order to better serve our organizations and participants. We look forward to developing more of a relationship with Antiquary Folk School, as well as other folk schools in our region, and utilizing their research. 


Alexia Springer, Program Coordinator 


View full list of classes online.


Thursday Makers Mornings
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Join other makers and crafters weekly at the Ely Folk School for a relaxed morning of creativity and sharing. Whether you crochet, quilt, solder, write, or weave, any project is welcome. This space is also excellent for students who did not finish a project during their class.

 Drop in whenever as you like, for as long as you like. 


Monthly Sisu: 2022-2023 Community Dances

Between September 2022 and March 2023, we hosted four Community Dances at the Ely Senior Center, bringing Ely together in dance and reminding ourselves that fine arts don’t have to be intimidating. We had so much fun dancing with you all that we want to commemorate it here. 

The Dances: 

What does an Ely Folk School Community Dance look like? An EFS Community Dance always features live music. The band often consists of a mandolin, keyboard, accordion, fiddle, and/or banjo. The dances played vary between the waltz, polka, schottische, two step, foxtrot, and square styles. While the band plays, one person, the Caller, teaches the dances to all assembled. Each step is rehearsed before the whole song is put together. 

We often host the dances at the Ely Senior Center. This year, thanks to the dedication of volunteers, we decked the senior center out in string lights and mood lighting prior to the start of each dance. 

Continue reading!


This month EFS got a new stove. We’d like to thank the anonymous donor that made this possible!

We invite you to become a Friend of Ely Folk School through your donation. Thank you so much for helping us accomplish our mission of building community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of the people of northern Minnesota.

The Ely Folk School is made possible by: Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, Lake Country Power, Minnesota State Arts Board, Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment, and Rotary International.