Work with your hands, build community, and have fun!

• Local instructors who care about you

• Noncompetitive

• No Grades

• Small class sizes

The Duluth Folk School works to give the people the opportunity to use their heads, hearts, and hands to create and improve their lives.  In essence, we are a school for people that focuses on using tools and knowledge to express skills through hand crafting.  It is our hope to blend traditional skills and tools with modern day tools and techniques to deliver fantastic, fun classes.  It’s all about helping you discover your creative abilities and developing skills.

One thing that we hope will set us apart, is that we want to focus on providing opportunities based on instructors from the Twin Ports and surrounding communities.  Having local instructors provides an opportunity for  you, as a student, to be able to meet and support local craftspeople.  This keeps more money in our area, but also supports the hard work and creativity of our neighbors.

The Duluth Folk School, a 501(c)3 non-profit, was created by Bryan French and Tim Bates in 2015 to fill a need in the Duluth Community to help people learn how to make things!  They are passionate about building community and educating!  It is our hope that the social community of the Twin Ports area strengthens through making things. Programming is being created for all ages and all abilities.  Keep checking our classes to find something that fits your interest!

Photo of Bryan

Bryan French is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Duluth Folk School. Bryan has long wished that the great folk school programming that exists elsewhere in the state were available here in our community, and is delighted to be part of the team helping to make it happen. He brings a diverse skill set to the table, from sustainability in higher education, to musical theater, to human resources management. Bryan has been a professional photographer, an adventure guide and a naturalist.

Photo of Tim

Tim Bates is the Chair of the Board of Directors and Co-Founder of the Duluth Folk School, and has been contemplating this school for many years.  He has worked in the field of outdoor education for over 30 years with UMD’s Recreational Sports Outdoor Program.  If he isn’t helping people get outdoors, he is in his wood shop creating, or he’s outside building something.  His current passion is repurposing and reusing materials.  Tim lives on the edge of Hartley Park with his wife Julie, who is a handcrafter with paper and fabric materials.

Carmel DeMaioribus is a Co-Founder and currently she is the Treasurer on the Board of Directors.  She’s a cogitator, an investigator, and an all around commentator.  Her experiences with education and community, and her unfolksy background in engineering and martial arts make her a great addition to the team. Carmel has lived all around the country before she finally earned the privilege of settling in Duluth, near the awesome Hartley Park, and she’s very excited to be a part of the Duluth Folk School team!





Board of Directors

  • Larry Brown – Vice Chair
  • Danielle Rhodes – Secretary
  • Clancy Ward
  • Ben Fornear
  • Sumair Sheikh
  • Jennifer Buseman
  • Connie Haugen


Duluth Folk School
1917 W Superior St
Duluth, MN 55806
(218) 481-7888


Sign up to get our monthly newsletter! We email a short newsletter once per month, to let you know about class offerings and other news.

Follow Us