Historic Waterford Opening First Folk School in DC Metro Area, Part of National Trend

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A new folk school opening next month in the Washington, D.C. metro area is part of a growing trend in the popularity of the schools, known for teaching crafts, skills and trades that predate our modern-day fondness for screen time.

A new folk school opening next month in the Washington, D.C. metro area is part of a growing trend in the popularity of the schools, known for teaching crafts, skills and trades that predate our modern-day fondness for screen time.

The Waterford Foundation, one of the country’s first community-based historic preservation organizations, will hold the inaugural weekend of its Waterford Heritage Craft School August 19-21 in the National Landmark Village of Waterford.    

“This is a great fit for us, since the folk school movement focuses on learning from master artisans like the ones we host at our annual fair,” said Foundation Executive Director Tom Kuehhas. “And it’s about connecting with the past and enjoying a sense of place. I can’t think of a better place to do that than a village that dates to the late 18th century.”

While Waterford’s school will be the first folk school in the D.C. area, it’s one of more than 40 in 22 states nationwide according to the Folk School Alliance, a network of North American folk schools. At least 10 of those schools were founded within the last 10 years.

This year’s Waterford Heritage Craft School classes will run for three days and include:

  • Appliqué quilting, taught by two members of a local quilters’ guild with more than 20 years’ combined experience;
  • Archaeology, presented by a Catholic University archaeology professor with more than 35 years experience;
  • Lime mortar, taught by a mason who is also a recognized preservation specialist; and
  • Antique window restoration, taught by a carpenter with considerable preservation experience.

Tuition is $300, plus the cost of materials for the quilting class. To register, contact the Waterford Foundation at 540-882-3018 or visit http://www.waterfordfoundation.org.

The Waterford Foundation’s mission is to preserve the historic buildings and open spaces of the National Historic Landmark of Waterford, Virginia, and, through education, to increase the public’s knowledge of life and work in an early American rural community.

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Meredith Imwalle
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