Last week, on our 2nd annual Penland Giving Day, this community blew us away. We asked all of you to help us generate support for our programs by making gifts for a 24-hour period on October 3, and you really delivered—not just with generous donations, but also with love and enthusiasm and photos and stories from your own times at Penland. Our theme for the day was #WeMakePenland, and you all showed us just how true that is. It’s all together, through the many diverse acts of sharing and attention and creativity, that this community remains so strong and vibrant. Thank you.
It was an exciting day by the numbers: in 24 hours you made 342 gifts to Penland (42 more than our goal of 300!) totaling $21,170. All of this money will go directly to supporting our programs, studios, scholarships, staff, and more. You also helped us share just what makes the Penland experience so valuable by posting over 200 stories to social media with the hashtag #WeMakePenland. The themes that emerged from these stories—a chance to explore and learn, an opportunity to develop skills and confidence, and an invitation to join a deep and connected community—were absolutely the most gratifying, inspiring, and affirming part of our Giving Day. We are so energized by the positive impact Penland has had on so many of you, and we are so grateful to be able to continue that impact thanks to your ongoing love and support.
Below, we share a handful of your #WeMakePenland stories. Get inspired here by browsing many more like them.
“Nearly 10 years ago I became a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts and my life changed… But, really, @penlandschool started changing my life 10 years before that when I took my first class. Since then Penland has given me time and space, community, beloved instructors, dear friends, and incredible conversations, and left an indelible mark on my heart.”
—Amy Tavern, student, instructor, friend, and former resident artist
“One of my favorite parts about the 2 weeks that I spent teaching at @penlandschool was the event at the end where all of the students shared their work. There was such energy, excitement, pride in that room—the ecstatic exhaustion of the work of making.”
—Aaron Cohick, Penland letterpress instructor
“Some of my favorite @penlandschool moments include walking back to my housing after working late into the night, feeling the best kind of tired, and passing the other brightly lit studios still active with people obsessed, just like me.”
—Aalia Mujtaba, Penland student and metalsmith
“In 2008 I moved to @penlandschool to be a core fellow and it changed the trajectory of my life for the long haul. Penland is the place I learned to slow down. To work hard. To ask questions. To notice details. The place I worked alongside some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. The place I was given the gift of time, to delve into my work in new ways. The place I met some of my best friends and my partner.”
—Beth Schaible, Penland instructor and former core student
“@penlandschool is one of my favorite places on earth because its freedom, tenacity, inspiration, friendship, innovation, courage, and love. Every day spent there is a gift, and every trip there has changed me.”
—Lauren Faulkenberry, Penland instructor and winter resident