Enriching lives and building community through joyful, hands-on learning with master artisans.

Arbutus is participating the Community Foundation’s Give Local campaign to implement a woodshop safety training program and improve public access to the woodshop. 

The public has long asked for more access to the woodworking equipment and we are very close to having a complete training program available to the public.  We are also requesting support to provide more public access to the studio.  Please consider supporting this much needed community asset!  Overcoming this hurdle will help all aspects of Arbutus thrive while meeting the community’s needs!

Woodshop safety skills are a critical part of increasing individual and community resiliency, opening up creative opportunities, utilizing local resources and developing a sustainable, local economy.  Our woodshop has been underutilized due to the need for a safety training program and oversight.

Help us reach this goal! Then come in and enjoy our creative studios! Feel great about opening up this opportunity for others and keeping these skills alive! When our facility is better-utilized, it helps all of Arbutus thrive!

What’s New at Arbutus?

Plum St Village Final 1

Plum St. Village Mosaic


The mosaic has been finished and installed! The goal of this project was to create an opportunity for members of the tiny home community, surrounding businesses and neighbors, and the general Olympia community to get to know each other while creating a public art project for Village residence. Participants created an incredible array of unique work, as each individual house was lovingly created and then purposefully incorporated into the larger mosaic.  The finished mosaic is roughly 3 ft x 5 ft, arranged by Jennifer Kuhns of JK Mosaics. The piece has been donated to the Low Income Housing Institute and is installed permanently in the Plum St. Village.  Additional information about the Plum St Village can be found here.   The Arbutus Folk School thanks the City of Olympia’s Grants to Arts Organizations funding for this project.

Leading From the Roots

Arbutus Folk School Project Examines Economic Impact of Rural Arts, Culture and Heritage

Olympia, WA —Arbutus Folk School, in partnership with Fielding Graduate University and Highlander Research and Education Center, has received a $200,000 federal grant to engage local artisans, craftspeople, and tradition bearers in a study of economic vitality and resiliency through arts, culture, and heritage-based activities.  The “Leading from the Roots” project will investigate how local traditional artists can help reduce our region’s dependency on external or unsustainable economic drivers, develop economic vitality and improve resiliency in rural communities.  The project will also examine the potential for other folk schools across the United States to use a Community Based Participatory Research process to broaden their engagement and impact.

Artists in Residence

Ceramics: Claire Muehleisen


Francis Fong

Olympia Woodworkers Guild

The Olympia Woodworkers Guild is a program of the Arbutus Folk School, dedicated to fostering a community of woodworkers.

The Olympia Woodworker Guild meets the 4th Monday of each month at Arbutus Folk School. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. Guests and families are welcome.

Check the OWG page here for the current month’s program and events.

© Arbutus Folk School