Unfortunately, it’s time for the update we didn’t want to make: We are closing Penland School until further notice. Based on our governor’s latest orders and recommendations from our local health department, we concluded that we were no longer able to assure the health and safety of our students while delivering them the Penland experience they deserve.
We are now busy working with students and instructors to shut down the studios and get everyone home safely. It’s a strange time—our gallery is closed completely, the coffeehouse and The Pines are only serving food on a takeout basis, and our entire campus is winding down just at the time of year when the energy usually ramps up. It’s been painful and difficult, to say the least.
What is the status of summer workshops and the Annual Benefit Auction? The honest answer is that we do not know. We are proceeding with equal parts optimism and caution. It is our sincere hope that we’ll be back up and running within a couple months, but this crisis is evolving so quickly that we can’t say for sure. For now, please keep your plans to join us and know that we’ll give you as much notice as possible if anything has to change.
And now for a few bright spots:
– Our students and instructors have been amazing. This is a tough situation for all of us, but they’ve shown us again and again the power and strength of this community and what we all do here.
– The support we have received from all of you out there in our wider circles has been so uplifting. Know that your reassuring words matter as we navigate the unknown. And, to those of you who have reached out with a donation in the past few days—thank you. Your support in this time of immense financial upheaval reaches right to the beating heart of our school.
– We have an incredible staff, and we intend to keep them. Our team is scrappy and resourceful, and you can bet we’ll be putting all our creative juices to the test over the coming weeks as we come up with ways to keep Penland, well, Penland. Expect to hear a lot more from us as we find ways to stay connected to this invaluable community!