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Allerton Park & Retreat Center

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in The Farms: An Allerton Folk School

Cookie Decorating: May 4


with Jennifer Holhubner

Calendar May 4, 2024 at 12 pm

Cookie Decorating

Led by: Jennifer Holhubner

Saturday, May 4, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm

Mansion Carriage House

Registration Deadline: April 27, 2024

Skill level: All Levels

Age Group: All ages (Children MUST register with a parent)

Registration fee: $65


Course Description:

In this class, students will learn to decorate provided cookies with royal icing. Instructor will demonstrate and explain wet-on-wet technique, outlining, and flooding. Participants will get to take home cookies that they decorate.

This class is being offered as part of Allerton's Bluebell Festival! Enjoy live music and stop by our plant sale and Farms instructor vendor market!


About the Instructor:

Champaign-Urbana native Jennifer Holhubner taught herself how to decorate cakes when she was 16 years old, and took up cookie decorating in 2019.

“Although they intimidated me, I forged on and got better with each order. I still have room to grow as we all do in whatever task we take on,” she said. “But I love to share the aspects of baking and decorating. I can actually now say, I am cookier!”

Full Course

Wet Felted Peony


with Stephanie Block

Calendar May 5, 2024 at 1 pm

Experience Level: Beginner

Combine felting and appreciation for the celebrated Peony Garden at Wet Felted Peony from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5 in the Greenhouse Auditorium. With the help of instructor Stephanie Block, participants will use locally grown alpaca fiber to create a peony that will resemble those growing at the Park. Each peony can be finished as a single stem or as a peony broach. If time permits, students may craft additional peonies to create a lovely bouquet!

$45/person. Register by April 21. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email Olivia Bunting at

About The Instructor

Stephanie Block is the co-owner of Sundrop Alpacas near Bement, where she focuses on creating unique handmade items from alpaca fiber. Through the alpaca farm she collaborates with other local farms to share knowledge, resources and how to enjoy rural life.

Will run

Flower Arranging Workshop


with Maggie Taylor

Calendar May 7, 2024 at 6 pm

Flower Arranging Worshop

Led by: Maggie Taylor, Delight Flower Farm LLC

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

6:00 - 7:30 pm

Mansion Dining Room

Registration Deadline: April 30, 2024

Skill level: Beginner

Registration fee: $70/person


Course Description

Delight Flower Farm welcomes you to Allerton to learn how to arrange flowers like a pro. Gather with friends & friendly folks to learn about a variety of spring flowers and the bouquet-making elements, including tulips, ranunculus, snap dragons and more. Participants will get to play with fresh cut flowers grown on Delight Flower Farm. Vases are included so participants can design their own bouquet to take home or gift to someone.

About the Instructor

Maggie Taylor, DFF farm owner has been farming flowers and leading workshops since 2011. Trained as an artist, she loves turning natural materials into objects of joy, and empowering others to do it too. Depending on the time of year she may be teaching about fresh flowers or winter evergreen wreaths. Maggie's teaching style is accessible, informative, encouraging and often humorous! Other capable farm crew members assist in teaching large groups.

Weaving Lace


with Sharon Bowles

Calendar May 11, 2024 at 9 am

Experience Level: Must have completed Weaving I and II

Join other experienced weavers at Weaving Lace from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 11 in the Greenhouse Auditorium. This one-day session is designed for students who completed Beginning Weaving I and II who have their own looms*. Participants should come with their looms threaded from the pattern sent by the instructor for Huck Lace, Atwater Bronson Lace or Swedish Lace with a variety of fibers they have on hand.

At this class, instructor Sharon Bowles will help participants make a sampler of a variety of treadlings that will be woven into various patterns.

$120/person. Register by May 4. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email Olivia Bunting at

*Special arrangements may be made with the instructor to rent or use a loom and purchase fiber so the loom can be ready to weave on.

About the instructor

Sharon Bowles has been weaving for 33 years and has taught beginning weaving for almost 32 years. She was taught to weave in a one-on-one class and wove two table runners in 12 (approximately) 2-hour lessons, and she teaches the same method when she teaches. Sharon has experience in weaving with silk, lace weaving, 8-shaft pattern weaving, parallel weaving, block weaves, and Shaker reproduction towels.

Payment plan available: $75 deposit plus 1 payment of $45.00, paid monthly.

The Magic of Light and Cyanotype Photography


with Crystal Hartman

Calendar May 18, 2024 at 10 am

Experience Level: Beginner

Learn about cyanotype, one of the oldest known photo processes, at The Magic of Light and Cyanotype Photography from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, May 18 in the Greenhouse Auditorium. Originally used to document botanical specimens, cyanotypes are made by treating a surface – paper or cloth – with iron salts which then react to ultraviolet light.

Prior to the workshop, paper will be pre-coated with the cyanotype chemistry so it will be dry and ready to go. Participants will them be guided through a fun, straightforward process of creating beautiful prints while receiving a bit of history from instructor Crystal Hartman on the process and the magic of light. You will practice observing nature and create compositions inspired by what is seen.

Those taking part will create several prints and experiment with various timings and placements as they experience camera-less photography and the joy of recording the beauty of nature.

$40/person. Register by May 11. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email

About the instructor

Crystal Hartman is an artist and jewelry designer whose work explores interconnectivity through lines and layers. Utilizing traditional and experimental practices in metalsmithing, drawing and artists books, she explores possibilities of harmonious living to advocate for the natural world.

Hartman shows her work in galleries and public art spaces across the United States and abroad. As an artist-in-residence at Delight Flower Farm in Champaign, she developed a series of cyanotypes celebrating the native plants and flowers of Eastern Illinois. She works on ecological principles through local land-based sources and through community.

Braided Rugs & DIY Cleaning Products


with Danielle Reed

Calendar Jun 1, 2024 at 9 am

Experience Level: Beginner

Learn how to repurpose fabric to create a braided rug, as well as how to make your own non-toxic products for the home at Braided Rugs & DIY Cleaning Products from 9 am. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1 in The Studio.

In this one-day workshop, participants will learn how to make some of the most used products for their homes and create braided rugs from upcycled and rescued fabrics. Instructor Danielle Reed will cover the techniques for starting a braided rug, then give attendees the opportunity to create handmade laundry detergent, dryer sheets, hand soap and air freshener. Each participant will leave with the start of a rug and a container of a finished product.

$85/person. Register by May 18. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email

About the instructor

As an avid artist and passionate educator, Danielle Reed brings a wealth of experience and creativity to classes. With a background rooted in crafts, therapy, and practical artistic endeavors, Reed is dedicated to fostering a nurturing and inspiring environment where students can explore their creativity and develop their artistic skills.

Danielle holds a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and currently practices in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their work often explores themes of sustainability, creativity and peace. Danielle offers real-world insights and advice to aspiring artists. In Danielle's classes, students can expect a supportive inclusive atmosphere where their individuality is celebrated. As an instructor, Danielle is dedicated to helping you unleash your creative potential and achieve your artistic goals.

Writing a Short Film


with Susan Muirhead

Calendar Jun 3, 2024 at 6 pm, runs for 4 weeks

Experience Level: Beginner

Are you interested in learning more about being a screenwriter or filmmaker? Then register for Writing a Short Film from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays, June 3 through June 24 in the Mansion Library. In this series, instructor Susan Muirhead will provide students with the skills to create their own short film. A portion of the classes will be held outdoors.

$60/person. Register by May 27. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email

About the instructor

Susan Muirhead enjoys screenwriting and teaches for the Media and Cinema Studies Department in the College of Media at the University of Illinois. She is also a script reader for CineStory Foundation and writes films of her own as well as freelances by writing ethical scenarios for organizations.

Susan grew up in Champaign-Urbana, worked in the media industry for years in various roles, and now works with the U of I with a focus on developing experiential learning programs and courses for students in the College of Media.

Exploring Nature & Life Through Mary Oliver's Poetry (Full Series)


with Kate Herald

Calendar Jun 8, 2024 at 12 pm

*This is a monthly class meeting June-August. Students should use this listing to register for all three classes

Experience Level: Beginner

Learn the basics of poetry at Exploring Nature & Life Through Mary Oliver’s Poetry from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, June 8, July 20 and Aug. 10. Instructor Kate Herald will help students explore allegory and meter using Oliver’s poetry, including “Wild Geese” and “How I Go to the Woods,” as

Participants will then be invited to write and share their own life poem based on their observations at Allerton Park. Register for the entire series at a discount or sign-up for individual classes.

Classes will be held in The Studio with time also being spent outdoors.

$85/person for the entire series or $30/classs. Register by June 5 or three days prior to subsequent classes*. All sales are final.

*Individual class links:

— June 8

— July 20

— Aug. 10

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email

About the instructor

Kate Herald teaches people how to tell stories that change the world for good. She holds a Ph.D. in English and uses her background in storytelling research as a learning designer, gender studies professor and curator for TEDxNormal.

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