As we enter our fourth year of classes, we’re proud of how the Ely Folk School is “building community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of northern Minnesota.” 120 classes and events are set for the summer with more being planned. From woodworking to knitting, soap making to pottery, poetry to potica, there’s something for everyone. You can learn to make a hardbound book, create rustic furniture, build a custom fishing rod or carve a diamond willow walking stick. Taking a class at the Folk School offers new learning opportunities, and the coming together with old and new-found friends to explore and share unique experiences. EFS is your connecting point. “Thank you” to many of you who have supported us in the past, you’ve enabled us to further develop meaningful programming.
This year we’re excited to announce four new initiatives:
- Thanks to the Northland Foundation we’ll be expanding our birch bark canoe building project to include Native youth from the Bois Forte Community and youth from Ely. It’s hoped that this project will create fun, together with the space and opportunity to promote greater understanding between cultures.
- Back by popular demand, the Ely Folk School will bring a variety of lively contra dances to our community. Thanks to the Gardner Trust for enabling us to provide four dances. Please watch our website for dates and times!
- While last summer we launched our EFS teaching kitchen, this year we’re very excited to debut our new Blacksmith Shop. We’ll be offering metal-working classes for the first time. Many thanks to those who donated forges, tools and time.
- And last but not least… a large kiln was gifted to the Folk School. This will make possible a whole new world of ceramics classes!
We’re very appreciative of these project grants and gifts for our new initiatives. But they’re not enough to keep our doors open. For that we rely on your support. We’re still finding our financial footing. This is a very challenging year for the Ely Folk School. This year more than ever, your financial gift is directly related to the courses and events that we’ll be able to provide. We’re in the process of building a strong foundation of individual, business and foundation supporters during our annual membership drive which will end on June 16th with the Annual Meeting and Pie & Ice Cream Social from 3-5 pm.
We ask you to please consider a membership gift of $25 or more as outlined here. If you would like to become a Sustaining Member of the Folk School, you can have a minimum of $10 deducted automatically each month through PayPal. Your total yearly donation will determine your level of membership. Please donate online or send checks to Ely Folk School, 209 E. Sheridan, Ely 55731.
Ely Folk School Board