Grants, Maple Syrup, and Viruses

Okay, only one virus. But what a virus, one who’s name we all know by now and has upset most all of our lives in ways we may not have been prepared to experience. At the Avon Hills Folk School it has put the brakes on plans for any classes or courses or experiences within the next 90 days. At least. 

But there is good news! As many of you may have read in our Facebook post, we were the successful recipient of a Community Arts Support Grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board. This grant, like so many others that support arts and culture in our great state, is made possible  through an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the state’s general fund and its Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund created by the Voters of Minnesota.

This grant will provide $2,250 each year for two years to build organizational capacity through things like equipment purchases, improvement to facilities, marketing and communications work, and pursuing new programming and partnerships that allow us to show improvement in age, race and ethnic diversity of our audience.  

In the next several days we will be completing the applications for two additional grants: a Project Grant and an Organizational Development Grant. Wish us luck! We’ll find out in May if we were fortunate enough to receive either or both.

We pulled the taps from the trees this past week and spent this weekend bottling. The season did not turn out as we had hoped – meaning COVID-19 prevented us from inviting many interested folks out to the Folk School to help and experience sugarin’ first hand. 

We were able to have several families come out and help to tap the trees and hang the bags. It was an exciting season as we were finally able to purchase, set-up, and use our brand new evaporator and additional equipment. Many thanks to the generous donors who stepped up to help make this happen over the past two years. 

We are looking forward to next year when, hopefully, we can welcome all of you into sugar bush to put in taps, hang bags, empty sap, taste the syrup, enjoy Waffles in the Woods, and simply walk along Spunk Creek in what is a magical time of the year when the natural world is just starting to stir from it’s months long slumber.

Please watch for news – classes, experiences, opportunities to help (we have LOTS of those), and other good news about the Avon Hills Folk School.

Thanks to everyone for their interest, involvement and support. We miss seeing you out at the folk school! Until we can greet you in person, please enjoy some pictures from this year’s maple syrup season.

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