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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education

Mission: Penland's programs engage the human spirit which is expressed throughout the world in craft. Penland enriches lives by teaching skills, ideas, and the value of the handmade. Penland welcomes everyone - from vocational and avocational craft practitioners to interested visitors. Penland is a stimulating, transformative, egalitarian place where people love to work, feel free to experiment, and often exceed their expectations.

Programs: Penland school of crafts is an international center for craft education. Penland offers one, two and eight week workshops in books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking, textiles, wood and letterpress studios. The school also sponsors artists' residencies, educational outreach programs, and a craft gallery. 1,400 students are served and there are 14,795 visitors each year. Please see schedule o for a continuation of program service accomplishments. In 2014, the school provided scholarships, room, and board to qualifying recipients. The fair market value of scholarships granted in 2014 was $1,143,127. This value includes tuition, room, and board. In fiscal year 2015, penland served a record 1,472 students with craft education workshops in 15 media. The resident artist program continued to support 7 artists with a 3-year residency. The core fellowship program continued to attract outstanding young artists who devote 2 years to study at penland in a work exchange. The penland gallery and visitors center welcomed 14,795 visitors, held 7 focus gallery exhibitions, featured work by 238 artists ,and conducted three tours weekly of campus for 527 visitors. New winter residencies provided 128 visual artists and 6 writers with independent creative time in all of penland's studios during january february 2015. Garth clark, noted contemporary ceramics gallerist, critic, and historian, served as the andrew glasgow writer-in-residence for two-weeks in 2014. Community collaboration programs provided experiential arts education for 5,374 children, their teachers and other adults through teaching artist in the schools for grades 3, 4, and 9; the professional craft study program, subs with suitcases, kids camp, penland's annual community open house, and numerous community festivals and other special initiatives.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 1

After attending one of Penland's summer sessions, I am completely appalled by their operational staff. I claimed a physical limitation on my work study application, stating that I could only participate with a sedentary office position. They accepted my application, my work study contract and my payment without any indication that there would be a problem. The day before I am supposed to arrive I receive a call from a belligerent work-study coordinator saying that it is impossible to offer any accommodations, and they refuse to honor the contract that offered me a work study with an office position. Because this was my vacation that my whole year had been planned around, not to mention about a year of savings, I let myself be coerced into attempting the kitchen job they wanted to assign me. The labor enraged my chronic health problems, by the 4th day of a 14 day session, I had collapsed in a fever unable to participate in class. Rather than expressing any kind of regret or responsibility for neglecting the contract and instigating this health crisis (that took me 6 weeks to recover from) Fenland staff told me that they were removing me from campus with out refund on the grounds that getting sick is a disruptive behavior, and interferes with other student's learning. ATTEND ANY OTHER CRAFT SCHOOL!!!! JUST NOT THIS ONE!!!!