Penland School of Crafts Core Fellowship

Website: Penland School of Crafts


The Penland Core Fellowship Program offers emerging artists the opportunity to explore artistic interests and career possibilities in a supportive artistic community. The program takes advantage of Penland's ever-changing, interdisciplinary learning environment and encourages students to develop their studio work while studying with top instructors in ten craft media. Unlike a residency, this fellowship is designed around Penland's total immersion workshop experience. Students fully participate in classes throughout spring, summer, and fall. This unique program can serve as a bridge between under-graduate and graduate studies, offer a self-motivated alternative to academic programs, or prepare students for a professional career as an artist/craftsperson. In culmination of a season of study, core students participate in the annual Core Show, a group exhibition of work completed throughout the year.


This program is a work/study fellowship that offers students an opportunity to participate in classes and be an integral part of the Penland community. Core students are employees of the school with compensation consisting of a modest stipend, room, board, and tuition. Core students are chosen for one to two years, continuing on to a second year after a positive review at the end of the first.



Core students work an average of 20-25 hours/week in various service positions. In addition to fulfilling their work responsibility to the school, they are considered fully participating students and are expected to be engaged, productive members of each class they take. Work responsibilities begin each year in late February and end just before Thanksgiving. There is no work obligation from late November until late February.

Selection Criteria for the Core Fellowship Program

Core fellows are selected by a committee that considers the quality and direction of the applicants’ art work, their work experience, their character, and how they will contribute to the overall balance of the group and the program.

Specifically, we are looking at these factors:

    1. Artwork
      We are looking for work that shows a strong foundation and enough direction to tell us that the candidate will be able to take advantage of what this unique program offers. We are looking for excellent work, but we are also looking for potential. Candidates must be interested in working with materials that are part of our class program.
    2. Work Experience
      Core fellows are asked to do many different kinds of work, ranging from basic physical labor to supervisory tasks. Whether your work history is one of employment or volunteer work, we are looking for experience that will prepare you to adapt to these different tasks and work situations.
    3. Group Dynamic
      The nine core fellows share a house with limited privacy. They are involved in group tasks and decision making along with the normal challenges of group living. We are looking for participants with balanced personalities and slow fuses.
    4. Program Balance
      Because core fellows are given absolute preference in class selection, it’s important to the school that the interests of each core group span a range of media. It’s also beneficial to the program if the group includes a variety of backgrounds and interests.
Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
Contact Information

If you have questions related to the Core Fellowship Program, you can direct them to:

Courtney Dodd, programs manager
828-765-2359 ext. 1313

Leslie Noell, creative director
828-765-2359 ext. 1313