North House Folk School is a dynamic, educational nonprofit committed to teaching traditional northern crafts while fostering lifelong learning. Our mission is to enrich lives and build community by teaching traditional northern crafts in a student-centered learning environment that inspires the hands, the heart, and the mind. The school’s offerings emphasize hands-on learning and includes courses ranging from timber framing to northern ecology, birch bark weaving to artisan bread baking.
The North House campus is located in northeastern Minnesota on the shore of Lake Superior and with six classroom buildings including a teaching kitchen, blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, and several multipurpose spaces, a school store, intern and instructor housing, and a 50’ gaff-rigged schooner. During a typical year, over 160 artisans and crafts-people are featured as instructors.
Internship Program Vision:
North House Folk School’s internship program is dedicated to advancing the future of traditional craft by engaging participants in the world of craft education. The internship program focuses on giving participants a breadth of experiences to equip them in their development as effective educators, craft artisans, and non-profit administrators. Interns develop traditional craft skills through coursework and practice in a range of core craft areas. Education and non-profit administration skills are developed through work on classroom coordination, administrative support, public engagement and observing and practicing teaching skills. It is North House’s goal to support internship participants in their discovery and exploration of the worlds of craft and folk education, setting the stage for their continued professional development as artisans, educators, and non-profit administrators into the future.
There are four internship positions available for 2022. The program will run January 19th to November 20th 2022, duration 10 months, four positions available. Five vacation days available depending on the program schedule. Four days of professional development or field time available as part of slojd project.
The ideals of teamwork, dedication, responsibility, efficiency and creativity are central to the success of the organization. The internship work schedule and time commitments are divided among various roles, each of which is directly connected to the daily affairs and realization of our mission. Tasks could include but are not limited to the following:
Education and Public Engagement: 30-40%
- Charismatically welcome visitors to campus in a variety of settings while providing interpretation of North House’s history and mission
- Participate in seminars on education topics including teaching skill development and folk school philosophy
- Assist, plan & lead public programs for a variety of audiences ranging from children to adults.
- Engage the public and explore the world of traditional craft through live demonstrations in the outdoor commons during summer months
- Serve as a classroom host to assist instructors with classroom needs and observe teaching techniques
- Prepare for and teach weekly summer classes in Wood-Fired Baking and Timber Framing
- Participate in North House’s sailing program as a deckhand on the 50’ schooner, Hjørdis.
Traditional Craft Immersion: 30-40%
- Explore the world of traditional northern crafts via North House’s curriculum, special events, and public programs
- Purposefully develop craft skills through coursework as a classroom host and a student
- Participate in intern-only master coursework with North House core instructors while helping address campus facility needs (i.e. making benches, stools, or similar items).
- Connect with 160+ talented and knowledgeable instructors visiting campus each year
- Complete a culminating traditional craft project (your “Slöjd Project”) integrating an area of personal interest, North House’s mission, public outreach and a unique craft initiative that is compatible with the schedule, space and resource availability in the fall season.
Operations Support: 20-30%
- Ensure program success by helping to prepare and maintain classrooms and helping instructors in set-up and break-down of courses.
- Welcome, lead and work alongside Work-Study program participants.
- Participate in hosting multiple seasonal special events by coordinating a range of event details including assisting with event auctions, hosting speakers, managing food, etc.
- Provide assistance and gain exposure in different areas of non-profit operations dependent on organizational needs.
- Actively contribute in day to day tasks and maintenance of campus.
Position Requirements/Essential Functions:
Position requires an ability to lift and carry 50 pounds for short periods of time, move around easily on the deck of a moving sailboat, utilize hand and power tools, walk up and down stairs, climb ladders, work occasionally immersed in dust and flour, and stand upright for a number of hours every day. Interns have the opportunity to sail aboard North House’s schooner Hjordis and thus are required to participate in a Coast Guard mandated drug testing program. Initial drug tests are administered at the start of the sailing season and random testing is done throughout the season. All applicants must be 21 years of age or older. All interns are subject to a background check process upon hiring since they work with youth during their internship.
North House is seeking organized and enthusiastic individuals with a passion for traditional craft and experiential education. Previous experience leading small group & experiential learning programs, managing classroom & administrative projects, engaging & learning traditional northern crafts, and speaking with the general public are all essential. Interns are expected to maintain high standards, take ownership and pride in their responsibilities and show self-initiative in enhancing their skills.
Applicants should have:
- Exposure to and experience with traditional craft in one or more of the North House thematic areas (woodworking, fiber arts, foods, basketry, boat building, blacksmithing etc.)
- Excellent verbal and written communication, organizational and computer skills.
- Proven success managing independent projects.
- Confidence developing working relationships with instructors, volunteers and co-interns.
- A college degree, multiple years of college-level coursework or similar life experiences with exposure to appropriate topics.
- Ability to be highly flexible, energetic, self-motivated, and have a good sense of humor
- Availability to work full time and with odd schedules (two days off per week, not always consecutively, some evenings)
- Willingness to live on the busy campus in a four-bedroom intern loft apartment and be immersed in the rhythm of campus life.
- Possession of a valid Driver’s License is preferred
Compensation and Benefits:
$600/month paid living stipend, tuition and materials for selected courses you take as a student and classroom host (12-18 courses of various lengths over the 10 months), and up to $500 for Slojd Project expenses. Housing in harbor-side, timber-framed, solar-hot-water heated intern loft with three other interns (shared living space, private bedrooms). Includes utilities and internet. As North House is unable to sponsor work visas, all applicants must already have the legal ability to work in the United States.
To apply: All applications must be received by September 26th 2021. Interviews will take place during the weeks following the closing date. The search committee includes Greg Wright, Executive Director and Sarah Waddle, Program Manager.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Cover Letter
- 1-2 page Resume (including your contact information)
- Responses to Applicant Questionnaire (see below)
- Personal Portfolio: a curated series of up to 10 photos or documents and narrative descriptions documenting your experience related to traditional northern craft and leadership/teaching. We use this element of the application to assess your experience in craft and in education. It is okay if you have fewer than 10 images/documents, please make a portfolio that highlights where you feel you are in your professional journey as a craftsperson and educator.
- List of 2-4 professional references
How to submit your application:
All applications must be received by September 26th, 2021.
Please e-mail your application to email@example.com OR mail your application to Sarah Waddle at North House Folk School, PO Box 759 Grand Marais MN 55604. All applications must be received by the September 26th deadline. If you submit via email, please send your cover letter, resume, responses to the application questions and list of references as a single PDF file. Your portfolio of images and descriptions may be e-mailed as a separate single PDF from the rest of your application to accommodate attachment size limits.
North House Folk School is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, familial status, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender stereotypes, genetic information, status with regard to public assistance or any other status protected by applicable law.
If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Sarah Waddle, Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To participate as an intern successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions. North House Folk School welcomes and encourages applications by individuals from underrepresented groups in the fields of traditional craft and folk education.
(Please respond to these questions as part of your application, each response should be 1-3 paragraphs or under 400 words)
Working with People: North House values quality community engagement and learning experiences for students and visitors. Please highlight and describe a recent experience you have had working with people as a leader, teacher or facilitator. How has this prepared you to contribute at North House as an educator and community builder?
The World of Craft: Our coursework varies from timber framing to fiber arts to boat building. As we work to “enrich lives and build community” we actively celebrate and preserve the rich traditions of northern craft. What exposure to and experience with traditional crafts have you had prior to your interest in North House? If you had to choose today, what area of traditional northern craft would you like to explore most while at North House? Explain.
Non-Profit Experience: North House hopes to help interns build a broad base of skills and cultivate understanding of how mission-driven educational non-profits operate. What areas of non-profit administration and operations have you already explored? What specific areas of non-profit management do you hope to gain hands-on experience with during your internship?
Living in Community: Interns both work and live on the North House campus. Housing is in the “Intern Loft” above our milling shop classroom building (the first floor of which is an active teaching classroom). Given these living and working conditions, one should expect to spend a great amount of time with their fellow interns. What experiences have you had that will help you find a balance between the professional and personal challenges these living arrangements place on each intern? Why are you confident you can adjust to this type of living/working setting?