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Monday December 22, 2014

Patrick Henry Community College will partner with Reynolds Homestead, a Commonwealth Campus Center of Virginia Tech, to expand offerings of non-credit courses in pottery and weaving at the site in Critz starting in January 2015.

Lisa Martin, senior program manager at Reynolds Homestead, said Patrick County already has a very strong market for these courses.

“We decided that some of the Artisan Center programs might be good ones to bring up to our area because we have a very strong artisan population,” she said. “Traveling all the way to Martinsville to take classes might be difficult for some students, especially if they live in the Meadows of Dan or Ararat area. It could easily be an hour-and-a-half commute one-way.”

The Artisan Center at PHCC will handle registration and processing for courses while Reynolds Homestead will deal directly with hiring instructors and setting the class schedule. PHCC also will provide equipment including looms and potters wheels.

“This is a nice partnership because each of us is providing things that the other can’t – we’re offering a space to bring more people into the program who can’t get to Martinsville, and PHCC is providing equipment that we don’t have so we can expand our offerings,” Martin said.

Dr. Angeline Godwin, PHCC president, said she’s excited at this new opportunity to bolster course offerings throughout the college’s service region.

“We’re pleased to expand our partnerships into Patrick County to allow us to offer career credit arts programming,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to reach more people and enable them to learn the skills necessary to become artisan entrepreneurs.”

The curriculum will stick to the same guidelines as the artisan certification at the Artisan Center, according to Kim Buck, coordinator of community development at PHCC.

“Students still will be able to receive a certificate of study in artisan entrepreneurship, and they can do so with a concentration in pottery or weaving,” Buck said. “From there, they can expand into other areas and work their way up to take more advanced courses.”

Although the partnership will begin with two programs, Martin said there is a possibility to expand in the future if there’s enough interest.

“We’ll start with courses we know people are interested in right away,” she said. “There’s some interest in woodworking, which may be a challenge because of the equipment involved. But we’re more than willing to expand if the need is there for artists who want to develop and hone their skills, and learn more about the business side involved in being an artisan entrepreneur.”

Martin added, “We’re part of Virginia’s Crooked Road music trail and the Artisan Trail Network, and we’re very committed to the economic development of our area artisans. This program is part of our mission to help our professional and recreational artists.”

Class dates and times will be announced in early January 2015. Students may register in person at The Artisan Center at 54 West Church Street in Martinsville, or over the phone by calling (276) 656-5461. A registration form can be emailed or mailed to potential students upon request.

 

Tags: Art, Artisan Trails, Entertainment, Henry County, Insider's Tips, Martinsville, , Patrick Henry Community College, , ,