After a decade of hosting more consistent public events, recreational programs, and informal learning opportunities, Allerton is thrilled to announce the launch of “The Farms: An Allerton Folk School”.
As the first folk school in Illinois, The Farms (as Robert Allerton referred to his Monticello estate) offers classes, workshops, and gatherings focusing on art, health & wellness, history, nature & outdoor education, or science. All experiences value hands-on, experiential teaching and learning, and are facilitated by and for the members of the community.
Registration for our inaugural Fall Session will begin July 10, 2023. (Instructor application deadline: May 1, 2023.)
Vision: Creating a community through experiential learning, storytelling, and accessible creative expressions in a restorative environment
All classes and workshops will focus on a variety of subjects in five categories: art, health/wellness, history, nature/outdoor education, and science. Gatherings offer a more informal kind of learning, where participants are invited to enjoy another’s craft or skill such as music, performance, or storytelling with the intention of joining-in, should they feel inclined.
See a more complete definition of these (and more) terms in our glossary.
What do you want to see at The Farms? Please consider taking our brief Community Input Survey here.
Interested in sharing your knowledge?
We are looking for instructors to lead experiences at The Farms! Instructors are community members who know a craft or skill and want to share their knowledge through hands-on, experiential learning.
If you need more information before applying or are not sure which category your area of expertise would fall into, send an inquiry to email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have gathered answers to frequently asked questions about The Farms, folk schools and how they work. You can find it here.
A History of Folk Schools
The folk school ideology started in Denmark in the mid-1800s by philosopher, educator, and social critic Nikolai Frederik Severin Grudtvig. His concern was that schools should bring dignity to rural people and to the life of the farmer, the majority of Denmark’s population at the time. This ideology is also credited with supporting Denmark’s successful transition to democracy from a monarchy. Griundtvig believed schools should educate students for active participation in society and popular life. He is credited with developing the folk school philosophy, leading to the establishment of the first folk school in Rodding, Denmark in 1844. Learn more here.