A folk school is a space where a community can come together to learn skills and trades that are relevant to personal growth as well as culturally diverse, to learn from each other and build relationships, and to empower individual and community lifelong learning. Individual expression and social interaction are developed and supported through classes crafts, outdoor education, nature, cooking, storytelling, and other expressions of culture.
“The Folk School seeks to bring people to two kinds of development: inner growth as creative, thoughtful individuals, and social development as tolerant, caring members of a community.”
Part of what makes folk schools so special is the opportunity to learn from your own neighbors and community members. The Farms is looking for skilled and experienced individuals who value experiential learning and hands-on experiences and are interested in leading and facilitating classes. To apply to be an instructor, apply here.
The Farms is holding classes, workshops, and gatherings in traditional crafts, art, outdoor education, science, and storytelling. Any class would fall in any of these general categories. For example: painting, campfire cooking, photography, backpacking, climatology, folk storytelling and story creation, and traditional and culturally diverse crafts and skills. To make a suggestion for a class or gathering, submit your response to our Community Survey. This will help us serve you in the best way possible.
To register for a Farms class, please visit The Farms page on the Allerton website. You will be directed to CourseStorm where you can fill out a registration form and submit your payment.
Due to the nature of folk school classes, instructor fees, and supplies needed for classes, all class purchases are FINAL and no refunds will be given. Registrations can be transferred to another person up until the day before the class begins. Registrations can only be transferred to another student once. If you would like to transfer your registration to another person, please call us as soon as possible at 217-333-3287 or email email@example.com.
The Farms reserves the right to cancel any folk school class as it deems necessary. In such an event, registered students will have the option to apply the class fee to another class with open registration or receive a full refund of the registration fee.
Folk school classes at The Farms will be held in a space that is appropriate for that particular class. Each class description will include where on the Allerton Estate a class will be located as well as directions on how to get there. Possible locations include Mansion (library, dining room, solarium, gallery), Greenhouse Auditorium, Studio, Meadow. If a class is mobile, like backpacking, hiking, or foraging, there will be a designated meeting spot. In the event a class is relocated to a different location due to space needs or other circumstance, communication will be shared to students via email at least one day prior to the class starting. If you are unsure of where a space is located or need accommodations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most classes held at The Farms will include all supply and material costs in the registration fee. If any class will require additional supplies, they will be listed in the “What to Bring” section of the class description. Examples include a writing notebook for a creative writing class or backpack for an extended hiking trip.
All classes at The Farms are for adult and young adult students 18 and up. The Farms will also have classes specifically geared toward families and intergenerational collaboration. Youth-specific programs are included on the Allerton Park website.