DEER ISLE — When Haystack Mountain School of Crafts suspended programming for the season we knew it was the right thing to do. However, we also recognized that this decision would have a financial impact on artists who had been scheduled to teach for us.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, a remarkable gift totaling nearly $1 million has been made to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Tennessee), Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Craft (North Carolina), Peters Valley School of Craft (New Jersey) and Pilchuck Glass School (Washington). This donation has been provided to us with the sole intention of replacing lost wages for artists whose workshops have been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In total over 550 people will benefit from this support. The entirety of this gift will be paid forward to artists, with no funds being retained by our five schools. Our partnership and ongoing collaboration has allowed the opportunity to advocate for the artists who are central to our mission and we are profoundly grateful for the unprecedented support we have received on their behalf.
“This gift is truly an act of transformational philanthropy, providing direct support to artists who have experienced a loss of income as a result of our decision to suspend programming for the 2020 season, in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Haystack Executive Director Paul Sacaridiz. “The unprecedented support we have received on their behalf allows us to invest in the lives of artists, at a time when they need our support more than ever. ”
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school located on the Atlantic Ocean in Deer Isle. Founded in 1950 as a research and studio program in the arts, Haystack typically offers one and two-week studio workshops to participants of all skill levels as well as the two-week, Open Studio Residency program, exhibitions, tours, auctions, artist lectures and shorter workshops for Maine residents and local students. We also support visiting artists and scholars from a variety of fields including science, literature, music and the visual arts, who are invited to spend two weeks at the school focusing on their work. Additionally, Haystack functions as a ʻthink-tankʼ in looking at craft, by publishing annual monographs and organizing a variety of conferences and symposia that examine the field in broader contexts. These include collaborations with other institutions like the Center for Craft, Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, among others. Note that our 2020 season of programming has been cancelled in entirety due to COVID-19.