A Long History Working With Schools...

Young boy working with clay in Frog Hollow studio.
Frog Hollow opened its doors on June 28, 1971 “to create working, selling, and teaching opportunities for professional artists and craftsmen...with the goal of creating learning opportunities for residents of the area.” (Burlington Free Press – June 18,1971) As a result, the continued efforts of Frog Hollow have given local children a chance to work with their hands and interact with professional craft artists.

On October 26,1971, the craft center began the first of many eight-week sessions for elementary school children under the title 'The Frog Hollow Children's Program.' In the first session, a range of courses was offered free of charge to 200 fifth and sixth graders from the Mary Hogan School in Middlebury, VT. The classes met for an hour each week in conjunction with the children's school schedule. "The schools had to arrange and pay for
the bus transportation, and it was during the school day, but we provided the instruction and all the materials free,” Rena Gearhart (Frog Hollow's first Education Coordinator) said. “Kids naturally gravitate toward expressing themselves creatively in various media --pottery, weaving, basket making, batik --you name the craft, we did it."
Frog Hollow resident artist Henry Tanaka works with young pottery student. 1992

The twelve children who came during each scheduled class hour were taught by two instructors, often high school or college students, or volunteers competent in at least one craft. Every age group was represented by these volunteers: elementary students who excelled in their craft in the first session were invited to coach new students in their respective media, while older members of the Middlebury community also helped the craft center.

By 1975, the craft center offered tuitioned courses to both children and adults, maintained their involvement with elementary school arts programs, and expanded to include courses for high school students, senior citizens, and mentally challenged children and adults.

Reworking the idea...

In 2008 Frog Hollow considered ended all educational programming and efforts. For a short period, its focus was placed on strengthening its gallery component. A reevaluation of all programs and systems was initiated. Careful attention and research was paid to community needs in relation to education.

The end result was a proposal to move forward on a program named LEAP Frog (Lessons Exploring Artists Process)

Putting it into action...

Ferrisburgh 4th grade students working on a clay project. With the aid of a small operations grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the NEA (the National Endowment for the Arts) this past August Frog Hollow rolled out LEAP Frog (Lessons Exploring Artists Process). Similar in concept to the original Frog Hollow arts education programming, this re-envisioned program contained several differences, one being an integrated curriculum designed to aid teachers in meeting state basic competency requirements by providing training for parents to teach art lessons in the school day. The initial reception was very positive, however the logistics of finding a core group of parent volunteers proved to be challenging. A cooperative agreement between three schools, Ferrisburgh Community School, Williston Central School and Underhill ID was formed. A few months into the program, the opportunity to offer an art class to an after school group sponsored by the Y presented itself. Here an additional community need was demonstrated by coordinators and directors of after-school programs for someone to step in with the knowledge, materials and resources available to offer art classes. A secondary approach to LEAP Frog was constituted, partnering with established organizations, effectively cutting out the middleman in finding those kids who needed the services we offered, with the benefit of an enthusiastic staff anxious to invite Frog Hollow into different sites. Partnering with these organizations helps facilitate achieving our mission of arts education while strengthening our commitment to provide accessibility to the arts for Vermont school-age children.Jericho after school printmaking class.

What YOU Can Do...

The LEAP Frog program, supporting scholarships and continued arts outreach depend on a combination of membership, leadership giving and planned gifts for the future. The generous support of our donors ensures we can look ahead to the next forty two years.

Buy or give a MEMBERSHIP....

Frog Hollow membership offers a myriad of benefits including gallery discounts and an intimate connection to our artisan body through members only special events and exhibits. Most importantly these funds directly help fund our education programs state wide. Membership expires one year from the purchase date.

To become a member and learn more about current membership benefits CLICK HERE


Donating to the Annual Fund is a meaningful and direct way to support the heart and soul of Frog Hollow's mission: Frog Hollow is dedicated to the exposure and appreciation of Vermont Fine Art and Craft. Through sales, exhibitions, and education, it exists to support the local community, and to promote the awareness of the essential importance of the handcrafted. The Annual Fund also directly supports the development and implementation of curriculum specifically designed for the LEAP Frog program, as well as affords Frog Hollow the ability to seek out and include new schools and programs wishing to be a part of our good work.

Contributions to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible to the fullest extent provided by law; gifts of $100 and above are acknowledged with a one-year membership.

To make a donation to the Annual Fund please click on the Donate Frog below:

Please click on the LEAP Frog Logo to explore our current developed curriculum available through the LEAP Frog program.

In 2011 Frog Hollow began an Educational partnership with RETN of Burlington, VT. RETN serves the community by working with local educators, scholars, artists, business and nonprofit organizations to create media for learners of all ages. Our partnership with RETN has resulted in a new program to educate community members in all aspects of video production in the creation of short documentaries featuring Frog Hollow artisans. These videos can be viewed throughout the Frog Hollow Artisan section. For more information on our Media Sponsor and available programs please visit RETN.