Enriching lives through art and craft


In 2020, Arrowmont celebrates 75 years as a school of arts and crafts. ARROWMONT: 75 YEARS OF CRAFT EDUCATION presents archival images and articles to recognize this milestone. Add your memories to the collection  – click here to send us your pictures and stories!


The first national Pi Beta Phi Chapter Presidents Workshop was held at the School (June 19 – 24, 1961). For the first time, 105 chapter presidents in the fraternity for women would meet in Gatlinburg and have the opportunity to take a short craft workshop and tour the facilities.

Arrowmont’s staff and programming expanded partnerships with regional and national organizations this year. Marion Mueller, director of the Settlement School, was named Chairman of the Southern Highlands Guild’s Craftsmen’s Fair held in Gatlinburg in October, 1961. The Summer Craft Workshop program joined the American Craftsmen’s Council.

The Craft Workshop had a record enrollment of 133 students coming from 26 states and Washington D.C., Canada, Pakistan and Indonesia. Ages ranged from 17 to over 80. The labor and time to set up the craft workshops each summer was recognized in 1961 with the decision to plan two new permanent buildings – a weaving studio and pottery studio.

“The Craft Workshop is filling a tremendous need today for adults.”

“It serves teachers at all levels who come for further training and for graduate credit. It fills a need for numerous leaders of youth groups who go back to their own communities and also teach. Those working with children…come for new ideas and inspiration. The undergraduate student comes to develop artistic talents, earning credits toward graduation at the same time. Often the already skilled craftsman attends for a refresher course in his own field. An increasing number of senior citizens come each year to learn a craft or pursue a hobby that will give personal satisfactions during the retirement years. The Workshop’s outreach is already extensive. With increased automation, an expanding population, an earlier retirement age and greater life expectancy, there will be more and more leisure hours to fill in some productive way. Every prognosis of future American society indicates a continuing and even greater need for guidance and training in personal creativity. This is exactly what the Craft Workshop is already doing so well. There is the direct influence which is always found in teacher-pupil relationship, but when the pupils become teachers back in their own communities, in fact of by example, the outreach goes on and on. This is one of the most thrilling as well as most responsible aspects of the Craft Workshop — the influence that gets back to the local community wherever it may be.” – Helen Moffett Russell

1961 Summer Craft Workshop – front

1961 Summer Craft Workshop – back


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