Snow Farm is a relatively young nonprofit organization, founded in 1985 and given nonprofit status in 2001. With youth comes idealism, energy, nimbleness, and unbounded potential for growth. Growth takes different forms, and even in the face of a global pandemic, Snow Farm continues to innovate and improve. The staff and Board of Directors take seriously the direction and decisions we make, especially the impact on the local and wider communities.
We believe strongly in the value of diverse of voices, backgrounds, and experiences to enrich and sustain the Snow Farm creative community, and we remain committed to being a welcoming and dynamic environment. We recognize that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are underrepresented at Snow Farm, and we are striving not only to open the doors wider, but to understand and combat the racial inequity that hurts us all.
Here are a few of the recent steps we have taken towards this goal.
Student Access: In 2021, we instituted a new scholarship program designated for BIPOC artists in clay, metalsmithing, and fiber. Full scholarships include tuition, room, board, and stipend for travel. Awards are based on quality of applicant's work, committment to the field, and impact of opportunity. These new scholarships strengthen our efforts of the last few years to increase the ways students can access our workshops. In 2018, we established the Workshop Access Program based on financial need, and in 2019, we implemented the Work-Study Program which trades seven weeks of on-campus operations work for room, board, and tuition-free workshops. All of these efforts supplement the scholarships for high school students we have offered since Snow Farm started.
Programming: It has become an important part of our mission to expand Snow Farm’s instructor pool and provide more BIPOC artists with the exposure and opportunity to teach a class at a craft school. As a result, the 2021 faculty roster is more diverse than ever before, AND there is still room to grow. We welcome and invite BIPOC artists to submit a workshop proposal and join us at Snow Farm.
Governance: In 2020, we formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee of Board and staff members that keeps us moving forward in the work of being an anti-racist organization. In 2021, three of our staff are participating in the Racial Equity in Craft peer learning group lead by artist Alison Croney Moses of the Eliot School. We are listening, reading, sharing, talking and bringing a different lens to every part of our operations. We are seeking out new connections, partners, and networks. Snow Farm is committed to the path and the energy it takes for change and growth to happen.
From Mary Jo Murphy, Executive Director: "A love for craft and art should know no boundaries. We want our instructors, students, staff, board, and supporters to reflect the richness of all humanity, and we welcome each of you into the process with us. Please don’t hesitate to share an idea, thought, contact, or donation to help Snow Farm continue on this journey."