Your Place to Slow Down, Renew & Reconnect.
A Message From Mike
September 16, 2020
With all of our classes cancelled this year because of COVID-19, The Clearing is a very different place than it has been in its 85-year history. After all, classes are “what we do,” and not being able to have them because of a pandemic was not on our radar screen. But it happened and, unfortunately, it’s still with us. So we move forward as best we can.
How have we moved forward? By creating a new program—Clearing Retreats. These retreats, which began in late June and will run through the third week of December, give people the opportunity to enjoy what has always been the best thing about The Clearing—the peace and quiet of this magical place. With rooms that have “rested” for at least three days before they are deep-cleaned, then left for several more days before they are occupied by a guest, and with all meals delivered to the guests in their rooms, eliminating the need to go to restaurants, these retreats rate very high on the “safety scale.” Many of those who have already been here for a retreat have told us that they not only felt very safe while they were here, but felt very well cared for too. And most have raved about the food!
Classes will, of course, return to The Clearing some day. After all, that’s our mission. We just don’t know when they’ll return. But until they do, we are happy to offer Clearing Retreats, something that we believe “fits” The Clearing, and something that feels right for us to be doing. And we are even happier that these retreats have been so well-received by our guests.
Take care, stay safe, be well and do good.
Michael J. Schneider Executive Director The Clearing
Who We Are
The Clearing is a folk school founded in 1935 by landscape architect Jens Jensen (1860-1951). This “school of the soil” is nestled within 128 acres of Door County forests and meadows and overlooks the dramatic Green Bay shoreline. It was built as a place where ordinary people could, as the name implies, “clear one’s mind” by reconnecting with nature and with one another.
The Mission of The Clearing is to provide diverse educational experiences in the folk school tradition, in a setting of quiet forests, meadows and water. The Clearing is a place where adults who share an interest in nature, arts or humanities can learn, reflect and wonder.
This is in keeping with the goals of Jens Jensen, founder of The Clearing, who loved it as a special place where one could feel kinship with the earth and reassess one’s life.
You Can’t Be Around for 85 Years and Not Have a Good Story. Here’s Ours.
The Clearing offers year-long educational opportunities in three programs: the Summer Program, the Workshop Program and the Winter Program. All programs offer a wide range of classes, including painting, writing, quilting, birding, wood carving, poetry, rustic furniture making, photography, poetry, fine wood-working, music, weaving, philosophy, stained glass, metal work, nature study and paper arts. All Clearing classes are taught in a relaxed, informal style.
WEEK-LONG RESIDENTIAL CLASSES FROM MAY – OCTOBER
The Summer Program, which runs from May through October, is The Clearing’s oldest and the one that most closely resembles Jensen’s original folk school vision. The mainstay of the Summer Program is week-long classes, with 25 to 35 students and instructors living at The Clearing, eating family-style meals and renewing their spirit through close contact with the native landscape.
More About the Summer Program…
ONE- AND TWO-DAY CLASSES FROM JUNE – NOVEMBER
The Workshop Program includes one, two, and three-day workshops from June through mid- November. These workshops appeal to a broad audience by providing shorter length classes during the Summer Program season for those who cannot come for an entire week or who want a “taste” of what The Clearing is like before deciding to take a week-long class.
More About the Workshop Program…
DAY CLASSES IN JANUARY & FEBRUARY
The Winter Program offers over 90 day-classes in January and February. In addition to offering an impressive selection of classes, the Winter Program represents something unique and wonderful about Door County, an amazing group of volunteer instructors who generously share their time, along with their considerable talent, for the benefit of the community. So bring on the snow and the cold. Now over 650 strong, you won’t meet a more friendly or hardier group of people than Clearing students in Winter!
More About the Winter Program…
The Clearing is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of many different groups to support its mission of diverse educational experiences in the folk school tradition. Thanks to hundreds of friends, volunteers and donors, The Clearing is able to offer quality programs and services all year long. Interested in supporting The Clearing? Below are several ways to help us out. Take a look!
Take a Look Around…
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then our picture page is a gold mine! The Clearing is special for so many reasons. Its interesting people, historic buildings, rich landscapes and creative spirit combine to make this place like no other. It’s a place you really have to experience to understand, but we hope our photo galleries will give you a little taste of what The Clearing experience is all about.
Explore The Clearing…
Renovating The Clearing Kitchen
Each year the annual “Pass the Hat” campaign allows The Clearing to pursue new & historic facility-related projects.