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2022 Funder Appreciation

North House depends on the gracious support of its members and foundation partners. Read more for an update on all the generous gifts that have helped us flourish and fulfill our mission in 2022.

Posted on November 2, 2022

Throughout our history, the support of generous foundation partners has advanced North House’s mission and programs. North House works with numerous local, regional, and national foundations - ranging from small family foundations on low-cost/high-impact projects, to transformational programming grants from some of the largest foundations in the country. Here are some stories of the impact foundation support made in 2022…

When a leak in the schooner Hjørdis was discovered in December 2021, the quick response of the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation and Pachel Foundation enabled us to complete the emergency repairs needed to get her back in the water in time for the summer season, where the boat connected hundreds of passengers with the beauty of Lake Superior and got kids on the water during two sessions of youth sailing camp.

Families with kids of all ages filled campus on the Saturday morning of Unplugged, boogying and singing to live music from The Okee Dokee Brothers, enjoying locally-made ice cream served by Superior Creamery, and exploring hands-on learning with craft activities! The free concert, craft activities, and the spirit of community that radiated from the tent that morning were made possible with the help of the Cook County Community Fund. 

Each year, we welcome four interns who expand their skills as craftspeople and teachers while serving as invaluable members of the North House team. The Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation provided a grant to fuel this program, supporting emerging artisans and the vibrant future of craft. Additionally, funding from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation will advance the annual Intern Slöjd Projects - a capstone opportunity that showcases the skills developed over the months on campus. 

Grant support from the Manitou Fund continues to expand accessibility efforts at North House, allowing us to award 70 scholarships so far this year and to host Work/Study program participants throughout every season! Their matching funds provided incredible momentum to the fundraising efforts to grow these key programs. 

The Artisan Development Program is a two-year residency that supports emerging craftspeople with studio space, opportunities to teach and travel, mentorship, and other resources to advance their craft. Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies continues to be a key funding partner in this program and other efforts to advance the future of craft. 

The Duluth-based Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation plays a key role in promoting a vibrant North Shore. In 2022, the foundation provided a grant to support campus development as the folk school enters its second quarter century. 

Each year, school field trips like Paddle to the Sea, Bateau, and Textile Traditions connect elementary students from across Cook County with hands-on learning and exploration. The Walter N. and Phyllis A. Anderson Charitable Trust continued to support these youth learning opportunities, other community programs, and the Work Study program. 

Operating support is critical to cover the staff time, facilities, and other elements needed to host coursework and programs on campus, and we were grateful to receive this funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, McKnight Foundation, Sewell Family Foundation, Mardag Foundation, and Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation!

Family Foundations interested in learning more about supporting North House’s mission and programs can learn more by contacting Grants Manager Libby Larson at