Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, from the air. It will teach its classes online in 2021. Photo courtesy of OPAL Architecture / Research / Design

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, which has been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, will teach classes remotely in 2021, offering its programming online while completing studio updates and other campus improvements.

Haystack Executive Director Paul Sacaridiz announced the decision in a news release Friday.

“After considering all of the options, it was clear that if we were to reopen the Haystack campus for in-person programming, it would come with inherent risks for the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved. Rather than convening on campus as we have traditionally done in the past, we will be launching a new series of dynamic online workshops, lectures, and panel discussions – which feels like the most socially responsible step we can take at this time,” he wrote.

He described Haystack’s “re-envisioned programming” as an opportunity to reach people in new ways while expanding audiences.

“Along with our online programs, we will focus on additional ways to strengthen the organization: from implementing the first year of our strategic plan and developing a long-range campus plan, to completing studio updates, organizing archival materials, and continuing Fab Lab production of personal protective equipment,” the release said. “We will not be idle.”

The online component of Haystack’s programming will be announced in coming months at haystack-mtn.org. An international craft school, Haystack draws students from across the country and the world, mostly during the summer, to its remote campus of cabins and studios in the woods just above the high-water line in Deer Isle.

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