Welcome 2022

As we slow down and settle into the cold, now is a great time to write a list of creative goals for the coming year if you haven’t already done so. With winter comes crafting season! Whether learning a new skill, or finishing a half-started project, the Ely Folk School wants to be there to support you! 

Come to Makers Morning on Thursdays from 9:30am – 12:00pm, finish that sweater you started knitting last year and get excited for the next project. Expand your stained glass or ceramics skills with personalized instruction by signing up for a class. Or register for one of Lacey Squier’s cooking classes and learn to make a savory meal for yourself and loved ones. 

My personal goal this month is to attend Makers Morning, to finish porcupine quill earrings I’ve been working on for the upcoming Ely Art Walk

Stay tuned for more information about Ojibwe storytelling. 

What are your new crafting goals this year?

Alexia Springer, Media 

View full list of classes online.

The Ely Folk School invites you to participate in a game of Mystery Tracks!

When: Sunday, 6 February from 4 – 5pm

Where: Ely Folk School

What: A friendly competition (for prizes!) to figure out the stories in the footprints. On display will be ten plaster casts, each featuring animal tracks from the wild, for you to contemplate and try to figure out.….”What happened here?”

How: Acting solo or as part of a team, when the action begins you will have the opportunity to obtain clues to help you understand just what the casts depict. Those with the most accurate interpretations win the most points and prizes! 

Instructor Spotlight: Steve Engel

1. What is currently your favorite class to teach and why?
Animal tracking in snow because it’s now and because the class is structured to be outdoors the entire time, exploring, observing, and questioning about what we encounter.
2. How long have you been involved at EFS?
I settled in Babbitt in June 2020 and not long after I came by to wash the windows at the folk school. I met Betty Firth, then the program coordinator, and talked with her about my teaching some classes. The first class I taught that November was an online track identification class called the Animal Tracks Literacy Project.  I also taught a snow tracking class in February and this past spring led a birding by ear class. Class size is usually ten and often they are full or near full, with a mix of new and familiar students as time goes on, which is really cool.
3. What do you enjoy most about your craft?
Helping people shift their perspectives about the natural world. It’s the most enjoyable to watch someone begin to see everything around them in new light, whatever that is for them.
4. What is one of your hidden talents?
Mimicking the song of Ixoreus naevius. (google it!)

Monthly Sisu

Gaining a Connection to Place Through Cleaning
Written by Nora Rickey

“I met with Ely Folk School’s volunteer cleaning crew right before we closed for the holidays, and had a lovely time interviewing them about their experience. I asked each member what brought them to the folk school, and what they gained from the experience of volunteering. Each person said that they were interested in getting involved with the school because they valued what it brought to the community. They all think that EFS is such a great asset to the community, and they wanted to contribute something to helping it successfully function. All the members are more recent transplants to Ely, and found that through volunteering, they gained a greater sense of community and a sense of purpose. Members have met new friends through the folk school, gotten connected to teaching and taking class, and continue their spirit of camaraderie outside their volunteering through kayaking or getting together. 

Our folk school community is tied together tightly with the place in which it exists. The folk school is more than just a meeting place, it’s a place for friends and family to join together and connect. When John Kopp was asked what he wanted to do to get involved, he said that he would, “really like to clean the place. Connecting to place is kind of a passion, whether it’s going and finding a place that’s spiritual or sacred to one self, or I’m taking care of a place that you’re becoming a part of. The cleaning is kind of like more than cleaning; it’s a way of planting roots and is symbolic of that.”

We are so thankful to have Debbie, Sue, Deb, John, and Kathy helping us keep our place clean so that the community can meet and learn here, and continue growing at the Ely Folk School. 

Class Spotlight

Writing With Your Child, For Your Child

Thursdays, March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, & 14, 2022
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM 

This 6-week class (one session per week) was designed for parent & child pairs. The intention is for each pair to write their own personalized children’s book. There are no prerequisites or level of skill necessary. In recognition that attending all 6 consecutive sessions can be challenging, the class is designed to accommodate the occasional missing of a session.  

The story line for your book will reflect values you identify as those your family hold dear. This allows your child to learn more about what is important in your family. The main characters will be identified/selected by your child because they are looked up to, superheroes or other popular characters. The writing and illustrating will occur during class sessions and at home between classes.

About the Instructor: John Kopp has had a career of experiences working withparents and children of all abilities. After graduating from NDSU with a master’s degree in psychology, he spent the next 37 years working with families and caregivers in the development and implementation of positive ways to work with challenging behavior. He knows firsthand the importance of families connecting around important values and having fun in the process

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. 
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.