Note: First of all we are not yet a 501c3 designated not-for-profit. We will be. Until we are you cannot deduct the value of your contributions to us from your income taxes. Sorry. If this deduction is important to you and you would like to make a contribution please contact me and we’ll talk. (email@example.com)
Blue Stone folk School is beginning its fourth year in January (Can you believe it?). We’ve a lot to be proud. We’ve mounted dozens of concerts bringing musicians from as far away as Texas, Kansas and Florida and audience members from across the state. If you’ve attended Noblesville Main Street or Hamilton County Historical Society events you’ve probably heard our music.
Our Sunday afternoon jams draw up to 40 folks to play and talk and sing on the big front porch at Noblesville’s Victorian House.
We’ve offered classes in letterpress, papermaking, collecting oral histories, bookbinding, printmaking, carving, ukulele playing and building, decorative painting and canoeing. Students have come from California, Utah, Texas and Hawaii.
To teach these classes we’ve accumulated printing equipment, specialized tools and materials. We have a large library of hard-to-find books and large collection of early sheet music.
Our programs have drawn the attention of the Folklore Departments at I.U. and Indiana State. We
work closely with Traditional Arts Indiana. We’ve been covered and mentioned by NUVO, the Indianapolis Star, Noblesville Magazine and local newspapers.
We’ve been very careful to grow slowly. We we want to be self sufficient. We, as individuals, don’t like to ask for money. We survive on tuition, a few donations and some personal fund raising efforts by active members (Like 50 Little Birds).
Our dream has been to develop a program where folks come to Noblesville and, for little money, spend a weekend or week with us. We want to provide intensive retreat opportunuties to become immersed in the community and to share and develop tradition skills. We envisioned a farm or series of under utilized spaces within old Noblesville to provide these experiences.
We came a step closer early this fall when Rick Vincent, Noblesville businessman and owner of the Victorian House offered us the cellar of the house rent free. This provided a great opportunity for all parties involved. Our rooms were freed up and Rick was able to rent two entire floors of the house to a great tenant. We will improve his property by developing space that has never been developed and we get to build a piece of our dream.
In this new facility the Folk School will have a small shop where visitors can purchase tools and materials for the classes that they are taking. The shop will also offer Folk School hats, buttons and shirts. Local craftsfolks will also have an opportunity to offer pieces for sale.
From the shop visitors will step into a small gallery with over 600 square feet of hanging space and 150 square feet of display space. We plan to hold shows 3-4 times each year feature local craftspeople.
From the gallery visitor will pass through a small library where they will be able to study books and magazines from the Folk School collection. The centerpiece of this room will be a working 19th century floor loom.
Last will be a large studio. Configuration is still in the planning stages, but this room will contain printing and printmaking equipment, instructional area and loads of table and storage space. A small kitchenette will be adjacent to this space.
The plan is to build as we go. We are well into the first phase of the project and plan to have most of it completed for an opening on Friday, February 26. This phase includes completing the entranceway, the Sassafras Shop and the gallery. Other areas will be open for viewing.
How can you help? I’m so glad that you asked.
Much of our financing has come from the 50 Little birds for Blue Stone Folk School project. Visit the site and purchase a bird. You will be making a donation to the Folk School and will receive a nice piece of artwork in exchange.
Many folks are stepping up and paying for specific part of projects. Chris Davis and Anne Whiteman, of Carmel, stopped by last weekend and donated a brand new Shopvac. They thought it might come in handy. It already has. I’ve listed below some items that we need. This will give you an opportunity to know exactly what you’ve sponsored and where the money is going. These costs, in most cases, are for materials only. Volunteers provide the labor.
- Entrance Door – $150
- Exterior Light – $200
- Exterior Signage – $200
- Entrance Electrical – $50
- Sassafras Shop Paint – $100
- Sassafras Shop Shelving – $75 each (4-5 needed)
- Sassafras Shop Door – $85
- Sassafras Shop Electrical – $150
- Gallery Paint – $100
- Drywall for Gallery – $50 (Paid – Thanks Rudy Family)
- Gallery Electrical – $200
- Library Doors – $200
- Hand Rails – $75
- Exit Signs – $150
- Bulletin Board – $25
- Shopvac – $82 (Purchased – Thanks Chris Davis and Anne Whiteman)
If you have construction materials around the house you can donate them. We are in need of wire (3-12 or heavier), paint, construction lumber, Masonite, foam board, etc.
If you can help out send a check to: Blue Stone Folk School, 1095 Conner Street, Noblesville, IN 46060 or use Paypal to pay with a credit card. Send your Paypal donations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we have Phase 1 completed in February we will be able to provide a level of service that will benefit our community. We appreciate whatever you can do to make Noblesville a better and stronger community.
Geoff Davis, Director, Blue Stone Folk School