The Folk School

2861 Beverly Ln
Fairbanks AK  99709

Phone: (907) 451-0445

The Folk School

Our Story:
A small group of us have been dreaming and scheming about a folk school in Fairbanks for over 20 years. We have been offering programs and classes for much of that time, mostly out of our own homes. Over the years the public response has been enthusiastic and participants have returned again and again looking for new opportunities. Some of these people have continued to hone their new skills and are now teaching others. The ever-growing group of people wanting to share their knowledge was in need of an organizational structure and a facility out of which to teach. To this end we formed The Folk School.

At this point we have two primary goals:

1. Continue to offer and expand our programs and classes
2. Find a home

Our Vision: To provide a dedicated, centrally located, safe, friendly, and welcoming place offering a rich variety of hands-on experiences.

What is a folk school?
As a folk school we are part of a 200 year old tradition. Nikolaj Grundtvig started the folk school movement during the European Industrial Revolution. It provided alternative learning opportunities through popular education (as opposed to formal education) and enlightenment for the lower classes. Inherent in Grundtvig’s folk school concept was the responsiveness of the school to the community and the times. Grundtvig deliberately did not set down detailed or rigid guidelines for the schools because he believed that folk schools develop organically out of the needs of the community and the demands of life as it is. His core belief was that learning should occur across social position and differences: the teacher learns from the student and the student learns from the teacher in a dynamic and mutual exchange.

Today folk schools can be found in many parts of the world and take on many forms. Most emphasize life-long learning, serve all ages and are non degree granting. The unifying focus is on inspiring and empowering students through the process of learning new life skills that serve to build resilience in a changing world. Through the confidence that comes from learning new skills, students are challenged to discover their unique identity and how they can contribute to strengthening and supporting their community.

Based in Fairbanks, Alaska, we offer year round, affordable classes and programs in a wide variety of hands-on disciplines.

Mission: To enrich lives and build community by passing on skills and personal knowledge in classes that are hands-on, family-friendly, non-competitive, affordable, and connect people to the places they live.

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Past Events

A Weekend on the River

A Weekend on the River
04:00 pm - 07/20/2018

At The Folk School

July 20 -22, 2018 Want to spend some quality time with your family and friends learning new skills in a beautiful wild setting that is still close to town? Part...

Week in the Woods 2018

Week in the Woods 2018
09:00 am - 06/23/2018

At The Folk School

June 23 – June 27 Week in the Woods, a program of The Folk School, is an opportunity to leave our everyday routines behind and gather in the remote boreal forest,...

Chainsaw Sharpening and Maintenance

Chainsaw Sharpening and Maintenance
01:00 pm - 05/12/2018

At The Folk School

Instructor: Brian Sprague This 2 hour session will provide a brief introduction to the essential anatomy and mechanical relationships of a chainsaw and quickly...

Carving a Kuksa

Carving a Kuksa
01:00 pm - 05/05/2018

At The Folk School

Carving a Kuksa (2 day class) Instructor: John Peirce A kuksa is a wooden drinking cup traditionally used by Sami reindeer herders of northern Scandinavia. Also...

Bowl Carving

Bowl Carving
09:00 am - 04/28/2018

At The Folk School

Bowl Carving (2 day class) Instructor: John Manthei Spend a weekend outdoors (weather permitting) creating a beautiful bowl from a green-wood half log. The style...

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP
07:00 pm - 04/27/2018

At The Folk School

Instructor: Bruce Campbell Packraft Open Shop is for you: If you are thinking about building your own packraft and want to see what it is all about, If you are...

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP
07:00 pm - 04/20/2018

At The Folk School

Instructor: Bruce Campbell Packraft Open Shop is for you: If you are thinking about building your own packraft and want to see what it is all about, If you are...

Old German Wooden Architecture, Furniture and Knickknacks

Old German Wooden Architecture, Furniture and Knickknacks
07:00 pm - 04/16/2018

At The Folk School

Free Presentation @ The Folk School Presenter: Philip S. Marshall This evening’s talk is about a visit to the Franconia Open-Air Museum in Bad Windsheim, Bavaria,...

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP
07:00 pm - 04/13/2018

At The Folk School

Instructor: Bruce Campbell Packraft Open Shop is for you: If you are thinking about building your own packraft and want to see what it is all about, If you are...

Build a Green Wood Chair

Build a Green Wood Chair
09:00 am - 04/13/2018

At The Folk School

Build a Green Wood Chair – From a Birch Tree in the Woods to Your Dining Room (5 day course) Instructor: John Manthei Make a post and rung chair from green wood...

Introduction to Working Antler and Bone

Introduction to Working Antler and Bone
06:30 pm - 04/11/2018

At The Folk School

Instructor: Chase Hensel Students will work on one of three projects, an antler hairpin, an antler/bone creaser, or an antler spoon. Antler and bone are tough,...

Handbuilt Clay Vessels

Handbuilt Clay Vessels
12:00 pm - 04/07/2018

At The Folk School

Join us for a weekend at The Folk School building cup and glass forms with clay. Many shapes and sizes are possible with handbuilding techniques. We will be using...

Introduction to Spoon Carving

Introduction to Spoon Carving
09:00 am - 04/07/2018

At The Folk School

How often do you use a spoon? Most of us use one to eat, to cook, and even to serve food. In this class you will learn how to make something you use so often with...

Collin Stackhouse CD Release Show!

Collin Stackhouse CD Release Show!
07:00 pm - 04/06/2018

At The Folk School

Collin Stackhouse is a Portland musician, originally from Fairbanks. His sound is that of a modern songwriter, but with roots in Irish and old-time fiddle and old-time...

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit – OPEN SHOP
07:00 pm - 03/30/2018

At The Folk School

Instructor: Bruce Campbell Packraft Open Shop is for you: If you are thinking about building your own packraft and want to see what it is all about, If you are...

Antler Handles for Fire Steels

Antler Handles for Fire Steels
01:00 pm - 03/24/2018

At The Folk School

Making Antler handles for fire steels allows for a decorative and durable handle to assist in striking sparks from a fire Steel. Modern fire steels are a direct...

A Bit of Math Appreciation – A Talk for Kids and their Parents

A Bit of Math Appreciation – A Talk for Kids and their Parents
07:00 pm - 03/21/2018

At The Folk School

A free presentation at The Folk School Presenter: Gui de Freitas The goal of this presentation will be to show kids and parents what doing math looks like. We...

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a DIY Kit

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a DIY Kit
01:00 pm - 03/17/2018

At The Folk School

Build your own Pack Raft that you order from a DIY Pack Raft Kit. Pack rafting has become very popular. Light and easy to use, they allow one to get out on rivers...

Spring Break: Build a Bow Saw!

Spring Break: Build a Bow Saw!
09:00 am - 03/14/2018

At The Folk School

A bow saw is a must have tool for almost everyone especially if you enjoy camping or harvesting wood for other projects. The saw we will be making breaks down into...

Spring Break: Electrical Escapades! (ages 9 and up)

Spring Break: Electrical Escapades! (ages 9 and up)
01:00 pm - 03/12/2018

At The Folk School

In this electrical workshop will be wiring D.C. circuits with switches, lights, buzzers, and bells. We will also draw wiring diagrams and solder alligator clips...

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