About Our School

What is a folk school?

The folk school tradition traces its origins to Scandinavian countries, with NFS Grundtvig of Denmark coining the term ‘schools for life’ as part of his philosophy of education, and of his vision for strengthening and empowering communities. Our folk school focuses on an unplugged, deliberate approach, with an emphasis on intergenerational learning that is fun, collaborative and restorative.

Our mission is to support our communities and strengthen connections by inviting all people   to discover the joy of creating together through traditional        arts and crafts.


Our Vision:

People will honor and appreciate fellow artists and craftspeople of similar and differing cultural heritage as well as those from other times, experience the joy of creating and the restorative power of our natural environment.


Our Values:

  • We believe the sharing of culture and time-honored traditional arts & crafts will make the world a better place

  • We believe in the restorative value of our natural environment and our responsibility to protect it.

  • We believe everyone has the ability to create.

  • We believe in accessibility and inclusivity; all are welcome.



Our Board

Emily Anderson - arts education and community organization background with an extensive network of artist contacts developed through her shop 'The Highway North'.

Robin Brooksbank -  community volunteer, former city council member and board member for a variety of non-profits, retired co-owner of manufacturing company.

Kathy Marker - recently retired from YMCA organization as Day Camp Project Manager and Director of Volunteers, long time community volunteer.

Nanc MacLeslie - on founding Board of Marine Community Library, professional skills in Marketing & Communications, singer and musician who has often performed for local non-profit benefits.

Jane Norbin - retired from Ramsey County after over 20 years, with roles that included Public Health, Homeland Security, and Health Policy management.  She also founded and managed two community non-profit organizations.

Matthew Smith - local resident and volunteer, currently County Manager of Dakota County, prior to that was Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Revenue, and Director of Finance, City of St. Paul.

Andy Wallace - owner of construction company for 20+ years, long time local volunteer for a variety of organizations.

Cathy Wegener - recently retired Stillwater Area Schools educator, was a long time teacher at  Marine Elementary School prior to its closing.

Marine Mill, MN Historical Society
Photo Credit: MN Historical Society

History of Marine Mills

Founded in 1839, Marine Mills was the site of the first commercial sawmill in what would become the state of Minnesota.  As lumbering became less of a dominant economic force, Twin Cities residents became increasingly interested in the area for its natural beauty and access to the St. Croix River.  In an effort to emphasize the area's  pastoral beauty, the city name was changed to 'Marine on St. Croix' in 1912, as 'Marine Mills' was felt to be too industrial.