In our folk school classes, instructors encourage participants to ‘just try’ the skill or technique that has been demonstrated or explained.  There are no expectations that the first (or fourth) time something is tried, it will be perfect.  By giving participants permission to try something, then modify an approach and try again, instructors are encouraging their students to experiment as part of the learning experience.  The process of working on a project often becomes more satisfying and enriching than the completion of the final product.

It has become more clear that our hope to return to in-person classes this fall will not be possible.  Rising Covid case numbers here in Minnesota and across the US lead our Board to reach the decision that we will not offer classes at our facility through the end of 2020.  Instead, we are working on offering a limited number of online classes from instructors you love, plus other creative instructors we have invited to join this effort.

A benefit of delaying our decision to offer online classes is that we are learning from other folk schools and groups how best to structure virtual classes, how to apply available technology, how to encourage participation, and other things.  The spirit of collaboration between other folk schools, artists, and MMFS has not been unexpected, but definitely has been welcome as we work to design and offer our remote classes.  As we temporarily pivot to online classes, we hope you will understand that this new format is an experiment for us, that there may be some ‘learning curve’ issues.  We will learn as we progress, and we expect to offer classes that are informative and engaging.

Photo Credit: Dylan Ferreira on unsplash.com
We are kicking off our new Fall online classes beginning September 12. One of our strengths has always been the number and variety of in-person classes we are able to offer.  We have received comments that since March people are missing reading through our class offerings, that they loved the number and variety of classes we offered, that it could be difficult to decide which class to sign up for, they all sounded so interesting!  You’ll find our online offerings are limited at this point, but those of you who have followed us from the beginning will recall that our initial offerings, way back in the olden days of Fall 2018, were also limited.  Keep checking back as we promise to continue to expand the classes available.

We’re trying this ‘experiment’ of online classes because we miss you!  Our mission has not changed  — our online, traditional skills, classes are designed to create and strengthen connections between all of us.  We’re also working to find new ways to sustain our organization – to support our artist-instructors and to help us navigate difficult pandemic realities. We’ll have more about the topic of sustainability in a future newsletter, but for now, we hope to see you online soon!

Photo Credit: Chris Montgomery on unsplash.com

cover photo credit: Carl Wegener