Rhode Island’s first fiber arts center opens at Slater Mill

Established in memory of Davis Jencks, The Jencks Education Center is Slater Mill’s newest major initiative and unique in the country in that it will link a national historic landmark and the birthplace of textile manufacturing with Rhode Island’s growing community of talented, professional craftspeople and the public.

Housed in the new Jencks Education Center on the second floor of Slater Mill is the Community Guild Studios, a fine craft and fiber arts center for the people of Rhode Island and Southeastern New England – something which does not exist despite our state’s long and rich history of textile design and manufacturing. Slater Mill will open a vibrant Center that hosts a wide variety of arts and hand-craft workshops, educational programs, after school learning opportunities and business and group events. The high caliber of talent within our local community will be brought to the public through individual and culturally themed exhibits and educational programs.

In addition to the in-school curriculum opportunities that Slater Mill currently offers, the Jencks Education Center will address a need for after school programming in several areas, particularly for middle and high school students. There is significant evidence that the pool of incoming workers is increasingly technologically savvy but few actually possess the ability to work and create with their hands. We will work with urban schools in the surrounding metro areas to offer quality fine crafts-manship and hands-on after school opportunities for a new generation of youth. Learning opportuni-ties involving woodworking or textile projects that demonstrate the applied use of science, math, art and communication will be offered to engage students in group projects. Learn more at http://www.slatermill.org.

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