Blog

COVID-19 Update, 8/12/2021

Please come to class prepared to wear a mask.

Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, The Folk School will now require masks for all individuals during both indoor and outdoor* classes. Masks must fit securely, and cover both nose and mouth.

*When adequate social distancing is possible in outdoor settings, folks who are fully vaccinated have the option of removing their mask (for outdoor classes only). 

We appreciate your assistance in creating a safe environment for everyone who attends our classes.

For earlier updates, please see our Blog page. And please: remember your mask!

 

2021 Summer Program Assistant Job Posting

The Folk School in Fairbanks is looking for a summer program assistant for Summer 2021. The person in this position will provide support for summer programs at The Folk School, and could include:

  • management of our small retail shop 
  • providing information about The Folk School to visitors and locals throughout the summer, at both our Pioneer Park cabin and during local events, such as farmers and art markets
  • offering short course programs directed toward both kids and adults, in person and possibly online
  • marketing of both summer and year-round classes and programs
  • assist The Folk School in adapting to the changing environment, by providing digital content for social media, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Zoom classes, including tutorials and promotional videos

 This is a multi-faceted position, and we will take into account the skills and experience of the successful candidate when determining day to day activities. Given the current social circumstances, tasks for this position may change as the summer progresses.

Requirements:

  • ideally, the candidate would have a background in arts and/or crafts, and have a desire to promote hands-on learning to the community and visitors.
  • experience in photography and/or videography; editing
  • demonstrate experience with social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, and YouTube
  • must complete a background check
  • candidates should be able lift 35 pounds, and have the ability/desire to work outside during both Pioneer Park events and outdoor classes.
  • flexible schedule that may include some evenings and weekends

Compensation/Hours:

20-30 hours per week, with schedule and hours varying. The position will be from mid-to-late May, to early September after Labor Day.

$15 per hour, plus opportunity to participate in Folk School classes and events.

Please check out our full range of courses and programs at https://folk.school.

Send a letter of interest and resume highlighting relevant experience by May 1, 2021, to Allison Wylde at allison@folk.school.

COVID-19 Update, 1/21/2021

The Folk School is continuing to work hard to offer our classes in safe ways, which during the winter mostly means online, with some variations depending on the class. For example, for one class we briefly reviewed the needed tools with students when they came in to pick up their materials kit.

We deeply appreciate the innovation of our instructors and the willingness of students to be part of an experiment. As a result, we’ve been having some great classes, based on the student evaluations they get.

As spring approaches, we plan to do outdoors, in-person, small-sized classes whenever we can, using some outdoor heaters as needed. We’re continuing to develop other ways to engage people who want to continue to learn interesting things, including:

  • Innovative online courses, some with kits and other prepared materials so you can work along with the instructor. (If you have any ideas about how to make online classes more engaging, we’d love to hear from you!)
  • Kits that you can buy and create on your own, sometimes with accompanying instructional videos.
  • In-person classes, if we can do them in well-ventilated spaces that allow social distancing and other pandemic best practices. This may include outdoors classes that explore the world of Interior Alaska, such as Snow Sculpture for Amateurs. And sometimes we can make a hybrid class–partly online or video, partly in-person–work.
  • More products in our online store, many created by our very creative and talented instructors, as well as other artists of various kinds in Fairbanks.

We are deeply grateful for the financial support of our wonderful community during these difficult times. It’s because of you that we can keep operating. Thank you! We are also pursuing grants for both operations and programs that will help us keep pursuing our mission: to perpetuate the joy of hands-on learning.

For earlier updates, please see our Blog page. And please: remember your mask!

Power is Out at Pioneer Park

If you tried to call The Folk School any time since Thursday morning, 9/3/2020, the phone just rang and rang. That’s because the power is out at Pioneer Park, and will be well into next week. We’re really sorry for the inconvenience, but in the meantime please email us at info@folk.school instead of calling. 

The News-Miner has an article about it in today’s paper: Electrical problem shortens Pioneer Park’s concessionaire season. The article is behind a paywall, but here’s the crux: “Underground electrical lines in the parking lot between the Frontage Road and the Salmon Bake appear to be the source of the problem… The borough is hiring a contractor to evaluate and make repairs….” And the work won’t be done until well into the week, if not after.

Please note that The Folk School is not a seasonal concessionaire as mentioned in the article. We’re open and operating in the park year-round.

COVID-19 Update, 8/23/2020

The Folk School is continuing to work to expand our offerings in the reality of the ongoing pandemic. Our schedule lately has been much lighter than our usual summer, but we’re encouraged by the enthusiasm that the community has shown for our online, video-based, and socially distanced outdoors classes. Thank you!

Our fall schedule is starting to come together. We’ll do outdoors, in-person, small-sized classes as long as weather permits, and are looking at some outdoor heating options to extend that a little. We’re continuing to develop other ways to engage people who want to continue to learn interesting things, including:

  • Innovative online courses, some with kits and other prepared materials so you can work along with the instructor. (If you have any ideas about how to make online classes more engaging, we’d love to hear from you!)
  • Kits that you can buy and create on your own, sometimes with accompanying instructional videos.
  • In-person classes through the winter, if we can do them in well-ventilated spaces that allow social distancing and other pandemic best practices. This may include outdoors classes that explore the winter world of Interior Alaska.
  • More products in our online store, many created by our very creative and talented instructors, as well as other artists of various kinds in Fairbanks.

We are deeply grateful for the financial support of our wonderful community during these difficult times. It’s because of you that we can keep operating. Thank you! We are also pursuing grants for both operations and programs that will help us keep pursuing our mission: to perpetuate the joy of hands-on learning.

For earlier updates, please see our Blog page.

COVID-19 Update, 5/31/2020

The Folk School is moving cautiously forward in our class offerings. Pioneer Park has re-opened buildings, which allows us to utilize our facilities there. We are currently offering a number of classes that are open to small numbers of students and take place in an outdoor setting.

Students, instructors and staff are being required to wear face masks for the duration of their time at The Folk School in an effort to protect our community as best we can. Cloth masks are available for purchase, and we are also offering hand sanitizer and hand washing stations at both buildings. Our in-person classes will be structured to accommodate social distancing whenever possible.

We continue to offer online classes as well, so be sure to check our calendar for the most recent schedule. Whether in the garden, the workshop, in your home, or outdoors, we hope you keep the spirit of The Folk School alive, and continue to enrich your life through creative pursuits, even during this time of social distancing!

 

COVID-19 Update, 4/25/2020

The Folk School has now canceled all in-person classes through May 2020, and we are continuing to monitor the pandemic and various government mandates. We’ll only resume in-person classes when we are comfortable that it is safe for the health and welfare of The Folk School Community.

As of today, Pioneer Park is closed through May 8th. It remains to be seen whether the borough will extend that closure.

That said, we are continuing to work to bring more classes online. Check out the calendar to see what we’ve added! And we’re starting to add a few classes for this summer and fall, in the hopes that we’re through the worst of the pandemic by then.

Stay active, stay healthy, and keep doing creative things!

COVID-19 Update, 3/20/2020

As the new coronavirus continues to spread and now that Alaska has multiple COVID-19 cases, we have made the painful decision to extend the closure of The Folk School through April 2020. We’re working with instructors for a very few exceptions in extraordinary circumstances, but otherwise all classes and events are either canceled or postponed. We’ll notify you about the change if you are registered for any classes during our closure.
 
Thank you for your understanding, and we hope that our wonderful community remains healthy.

Folk School Cancellations Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Two-week cancellation of all Folk School classes and events.

Dear Folk School Community,

As you know, the new coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness is a major and growing health threat around the world. The board and staff of The Folk School have been watching the developing situation over the last several days, out of great concern for our students and instructors and everyone. We have a vibrant community, and fervently want to see it stay that way. Everyone’s health and well-being are tremendously important to us.

Alaska has now seen its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Although that is a transient crewmember of a cargo plane, it appears inevitable that more cases will appear in the near future, because we enjoy visitors from around the world and enjoy traveling the world ourselves.

Alaska is at a crucial point in the spread of the coronavirus, and The Folk School needs to do its part to help slow the infection rate. As a result, we are following the lead of several of our partner organizations, as well as UAF and the school district, and are canceling all classes for the next two weeks, though Sunday, March 29.

Hopefully we can reschedule the classes. If that isn’t possible or you can’t make the new date, we’ll of course issue a full refund. Please give us a little time to sort all this out; this is new ground for us.

For continuing classes–Woodworking for Kids, Basic Home Repair for Women–watch for more information as we work with those instructors. We don’t yet know if we will make up those classes later or make other accommodations.

We will continue to monitor the situation as well as any directives from the state and federal government, and will re-evaluate the situation to decide what other steps to take, including whether to resume classes after the 29th or continue the closure.

This is a painful decision to make, but hope that you understand the reasons for it.

In the meantime, please consider donating to the following local organizations who will likely be called upon to help with the response and care of our most vulnerable community members when COVID-19 hits Fairbanks:

And please follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Thank you,
Gordon Williams
President, Board of Directors

2020 Summer Program Assistant Job Posting

The Folk School in Fairbanks is looking for a summer program assistant for Summer 2020. The person in this position will provide support for summer programs at The Folk School, and could include:

  • offering short course programs directed at both kids and adults
  • management of our small retail shop
  • providing information about The Folk School to visitors and locals throughout the summer, at both our Pioneer Park cabin and during local events, such as farmers and art markets
  • marketing of both summer and year-round classes and programs
  • logistical support for both summer immersion experiences, Week in the Woods and Weekend on the River
  • opportunity to learn new things and interact with a vibrant community of creative people.

This is a multi-faceted position, and we will take into account the skills and experience of the successful candidate when determining day to day activities.

Requirements:

  • Ideally, the candidate would have a background in arts and/or crafts, and have a desire to promote hands-on learning to the community and visitors
  • Must complete a background check
  • Candidates should be able lift 35 pounds, and have the ability/desire to work outside during both Pioneer Park events and camp and work outside at summer programs Week in the Woods and Weekend on the River
  • Have a flexible schedule that may include some evenings and weekends, and overnight during summer immersion programs

Compensation/Hours:

20-30 hours per week, with schedule and hours varying, according to the needs of The Folk School. The position will be from mid-May to early September after Labor Day.

$10-12 per hour, including the opportunity to attend summer immersions as an assistant.

Please check out our full range of courses and programs at https://folk.school.

To apply, please send a letter of interest and a resume highlighting relevant experience by April 3rd, 2020, to Don Kiely, Operations Director, operations@folk.school.

Click here to view a printable version of the job posting.