We have multiple classes lined-up, many grants received, several grants submitted, and several to write in the coming weeks. Two part-time contract employees, Tom Wicks and Heidi Jeub, are helping to grow and deepen our organizational capacity. There have been productive and exciting meetings and discussions with potential partner organizations along with new marketing and communication tools in the works.
We hold our first class of the year next week – a full week! May 17-23rd will find 6 students working and learning alongside Peter Henrickson from Grand Marais, MN. They will cut, hew, and assemble timbers for a grindbygg, a Norwegian style timber frame. This frame will be the shelter for the sap evaporator for our Maple Syrup Operation. (See photo above: the site of our Grindbygg class, “timber” waiting to become “timbers”)
Grants, grants and MORE grants.
We started off the year with great news of being awarded both a MN State Arts Board Grant for support as well as a Central MN Arts Board Grant for support, $14,400 and $5,000 respectively. The folk school was also awarded a 2021 Project Grant from the Central MN Arts Board for our first ever Youth Hand Camp, June 2nd.
We are waiting to hear on two additional grants applications we submitted and have another three to apply for over the next 30 days. Wish us luck.
It’s all about relationships and partnerships.
Tom Wicks has been very busy lining up visits and conversations with possible partner organizations within Central Minnesota. Many organizations have been out for conversation and a tour or will be soon. Those include Albany Area Schools, Community Education and Summer Education and Enrichment; St. Cloud Area United Way, Boy Scouts of America, YES! Network.
We’re excited about the possible relationships we hope to develop with these and other organizations and the audiences they serve!
Inaugural Youth Hand Camp
We will be working directly and exclusively with the YES! Network on this experience, bringing youth from the St. Cloud metro area out to the folk school for a day with artists and naturalists. The YES! Network engages with youth across the St. Cloud metro area from BIPOC communities and other marginalized and under-resourced groups.
It is an exciting partnership that we intend to grow and continue. With the help of Heidi Jeub and Tom Wicks’ planning and contributions, the Youth Hand Camp looks to be a model we can repeat and expand from a one day “camp” to two, three and even four day experiences. We are looking forward to seeing this program evolve to benefit both the AHFS, but more importantly the youth of Central Minnesota.
More to come!
There is more in the works – far too much to mention here. We hope to be able to announce our new branded website in June and all that it has to offer. And with an expected budget of at least double any previous year, there will be more classes, experiences, events and progress to share in the near future.
Hope to see you at the Folk School in 2021!