UPDATE, June 8, 2020: Will Penland be running our fall session? It’s a question that has involved many hours of staff discussion about what we would need to safely offer workshops here in the near future. Unfortunately, at this time, we have decided that it is best to extend the cancellation of our sessions through the end of 2020.
We believe that the hands-on, immersive education we offer at Penland is special and important. We are told regularly that our workshops change people’s lives. It is a great frustration not to be able to do the thing we do best. Our next group of workshops is scheduled to begin in March, and we are hopeful that greater availability of testing and a much better understanding of the COVID-19 disease will make it possible for us to run those workshops. Meanwhile, our staff is using the time for long-range projects, planning, and maintenance.
Thank you for your ongoing interest in Penland and your love of making. Please keep those things going during this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming you back one day in the not-too-distant future.
UPDATE, May 18, 2020: North Carolina is in a phased lifting of the stay-at-home order, and many staff are now working regularly (and safely) on campus. However, the Penland campus is open for staff, core fellows, resident artists, and deliveries ONLY. The gallery, coffee house, supply store, and resident artist studios are closed.
April 8, 2020
With a good bit of sadness, we have decided to cancel all of our summer 2020 workshops. As we learn more each day about the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that continuing to plan for workshops anytime this summer is not in the best interests of our community.
Our workshops are based on small groups of people coming together and working in close proximity. We work with our hands, and we share information with our hands. We pass things around so everyone can examine them. We use common tools, materials, and work spaces and eat together in a common dining room. Community and sharing are the heart of Penland’s workshop education. We don’t believe that the current public health crisis will change how we teach, but taking a break right now seems like the only responsible course of action.
We have just finished planning a series of exciting workshops for fall 2020 and spring 2021. We will announce these in the next few weeks and hope to be able to run them. In the meantime, North Carolina is under a stay-at-home order, and most of our staff are working from home. A small crew is on campus and keeping an eye on things. We are all trying to think about how we can use this time to make Penland an even stronger creative force in the future, and we trust you will be part of that future.
If you have questions about summer cancellations or future enrollment, please contact the registration office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful for your interest in the special kind of education Penland offers, and we hope to see you here before too long. Stay safe, make things, wash your hands, and keep in touch.
Mia Hall, director
P.S. A number of people have asked if staff will be paid during this time. I’m happy to report that we are committed to keeping the staff employed throughout the summer even though we are not offering any workshops. Everyone who can work from home is doing so, and once the stay-at-home order is lifted, there’s plenty of work to do on campus. Most importantly, when the time comes for us to go back to putting on workshops, all these skilled and experienced people will be here and ready to go.