Haystack continues to develop new programs to serve people on the local level as well. Haystack’s High School Programs are some of the other outreach programs that Haystack offers, and largely subsidizes, for residents of its home state and local communities.

Student Craft Institute is a three-day studio session for approximately 70 Maine high school students from as many schools throughout the state, who work with noted New England artists. 2016 is the 33rd annual Student Craft Institute. The program welcomes high school juniors, from throughout the state, who have been identified as particularly gifted in the arts, to work in the studios on Haystack’s award-winning campus. Participants include students from a number of isolated rural communities, which is an important aspect of the program for the opportunity it provides to youngsters from different backgrounds to discover that they have common interests and can support one another in work undertaken together. Students from local high schools work closely with their instructors in Haystack’s studios.


Students from local high schools work closely with their instructors in Haystack's studios.

Students from local high schools work closely with their instructors in Haystack’s studios.


Over 1,000 Maine high school students have attended Haystack’s Student Craft Institute. 2016 faculty include: Charles Stigliano (wood), Rebecca Goodale (graphics), Amelia Poole (fiber), Kathy King (clay), Tanya Crane (enamels), and Andrew Hayes (blacksmithing).

Haystack’s 2016 Student Craft Institute is supported by Haystack’s Program Endowment Fund.


Studio Based Learning is a three-day studio session for up to 70 high school students from three schools in communities surrounding Deer Isle. The objectives of Studio Based Learning include: demonstrating that students who work intensively and at their own pace can develop a renewed sense of learning as well as their own potential; and creating a bridge, through the crafts, between fine arts and industrial arts instruction that fosters an appreciation of both. 2015 workshops were led by Robin Cust (metals), Eddie Dominguez (clay), Tucker Houlihan (lighting/mixed media), Chris Leith (textiles), Patrick Quinn (blacksmithing), and Erin Sweeney (book arts). Students from Deer Isle-Stonington High School, George Stevens Academy and the Blue Hill Harbor School, Blue Hill, Bucksport High School, and the Vinalhaven School participate. Haystack’s 2015 Studio Based Learning was supported by Parker Poe Charitable Trust and by Haystack’s Jack and Harriet Endowment Fund.


Mentor Program is a follow-up activity of Studio Based Learning, which links local high school students with area artists who incorporate the studio experience into local arts curricula throughout the school year. Mentorships provide an intensive educational environment – the mentor concept is frequently cited as a great way to engage adolescents – one that not only can increase students aspirations, but provide an integrated and challenging educational experience. From January – early April, 2016 Haystack is facilitating its 18th annual Mentor Program in which students worked with area artist mentors in an individualized and intensive setting. Thirteen students from three area high schools – Deer Isle-Stonington, George Stevens Academy, and the Bucksport High School– participated in workshops with professional artists over several weekends. The 2016 mentors included: Mark Bell (porcelain clay/wheel-throwing), Robin Cust (metals/jewelry), Chris Leith (textiles), Susan Webster (mixed media/graphics), and Eric Ziner (blacksmithing).

Each year the Mentor Program culminates with an exhibition of student and mentor work at Haystack’s Center for Community Programs. An opening reception for the Mentor Exhibition will be held on Sunday, April 24, from 4-6pm and the show will run through Saturday, April 30.

Support for the 2016 Mentor Program was supported by these funds of these funds of Haystack’s Program Endowment: the Ann and Chuck Holland, Belvedere, and Betsy Rowland.

“The highlight for me was how I wasn’t ever limited. The information was presented in a way that let me explore it and when I asked ‘Is this possible?’ the answer was always ‘YES!'”
Sarah Elliott, High school student from George Stevens Academy who participated in Haystack's mentor program


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