Community Offerings

_SAM0864Spoon Carving Circle – Every Month

Organizers: Terry Beck and Tom Wheeler
The night before Valentine’s Day, 2014, six people gathered in the Driftless Folk School’s intimate office space for the first monthly DFS Carving Circle.  The event attracted all ages and experience levels - from veteran carver to curious onlooker turned carving convert.  

All carving projects are welcome: bow-making, chip carving, and whittling, though spoon carving remains the most common. Bring some wood and a carving tool or two. If you don’t have any wood or tools, come anyway. Someone will share wood, loan you tools, and if you’re hooked, sell you a carving starter kit. If interested, contact the registrar to be included in the monthly email reminders from Terry.

: Second Thursday every Month

Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Cost: $2 per person to cover space use fees
Location: The Ark, 401 East Jefferson Viroqua, WI. In the summer months we will meet at our Campus-check the DFS Facebook Page for details!

house blueprintHome Building Forum

Organizer(s): Various home owners/builders from the area
Building your own home starts with a dream, multiple drafts and an education in state building mandates. The moment that your hammer finally hits the first nail can be months or years later. During all stages of planning and building questions arise that need answering from peers who are attempting similar projects.  This forum will consist of a core group of home builders (both owner-builders and professionals) from the Driftless region and will create the time and space for questions, brainstorming, and future planning. Come once, or come to them all.

Dates: March 12, May 14, July 9, and September 10, 2016
Time: 10:00am -12:00pm
Location: Rotating home sites within a 30 minute radius from Viroqua
Cost: No cost but registration is required. Register Here.


DFS Contra Dance Series

Organizer: Denise Benoit, Fiddle Player
Lace up those dancing shoes and come on out to La Farge, Wisconsin! You’re invited to the Driftless Folk School's Contra Dance Series every 4th Saturday of the month. Contra dancing is social, friendly and fun! Instruction provided, no experience required, and singles welcome.

Every 4th Saturday of the month. During the holidays check the DFS Facebook Page or call before attending.
Time: 7:00-10:00pm
Cost: $5 suggested donation (kids free), proceeds go to the band and caller
Location: La Farge Community Center, 202 N State Street, La Farge, WI

P1140526Water Action Volunteers Training

Organizers: Kris Stepenuck: UW ED WAV program, and VSN staff
This workshop will equip you to become a part of Valley Stewardship Network’s water quality team. We encourage landowners and community members to learn more about the water in our unique cold water spring, stream and river ecosystems that support trout and other fish and wildlife. You’ll receive training and all the equipment you’ll need free of charge. Water and habitat quality assessments only take about an hour each month – on your own schedule – and your citizen-based data becomes a key tool in our work to protect our area watersheds. Sponsored by the Valley Stewardship Network and University of Wisconsin/Department of Natural Resources Water Action Volunteers Program.

Date: Saturday, June 4 9:30am-4:30pm
Cost: Free
Location: Nature Nooks RetreatS4878 County Road S,Viroqua, WI
For more information & to register email:

Gary Permaculture Project

The mission of the Gary Permaculture Project is to teach permaculture as a sustainable means to grow food, create shelter, build community, and better the environment. While learning, students will contribute to the seasonal work activities required to maintain the 6.8 acre permaculture farm of Gary and Sue Evers. Gary and Sue are no longer able to manage this work on their own. In October of 2012, Gary was rear-ended while driving. The resulting injuries left him paralyzed and without the ability to speak. After an incredibly long journey living in hospitals and trauma care facilities, Gary and his wife Sue moved back into their remodeled home, nestled into the corner of their Westby area farm.

As Gary requires full-time care from Sue and other nursing staff, Coulee Region Ecoscapes, The Driftless Folk School, and the Evers' family have joined forces to create the Gary Permaculture Project (GPP). During the spring and summer months of 2016, four courses/events will be offered in collaboration with a member of the Coulee Region Ecoscapes team as the instructor: Rampfest on Saturday, April 30; Fruit Tree Pruning on Saturday, March 19; Permaculture: Ethics, Principles, and Techniques on Saturday, July 16; and Apple Harvest and Cider Pressing on September 24. See course listings for more details.

Thoreau College Logo5Thoreau College: A Prelude

Dates: July 18-August 5, 2016

Thoreau College is an initiative to create a new model of transformative liberal arts college education based in the Driftless Region.  Inspired by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf education, by the folk school movement, and by existing examples of alternative higher education such as Deep Springs College and the Great Books colleges, Thoreau College seeks to cultivate an environment of experiences and relationships in which motivated students can explore the deeper nature of the world and of themselves and prepare to embark upon lives of courageous service to the ongoing development of humanity.

This summer, from July 18-August 5, Thoreau College will bring a group of dynamic educators and thinkers from several different fields of cultural life to the Viroqua area for the college’s first residential course, entitled Thoreau College: A Prelude.  Some of the topics to be explored include nature studies and plant wisdom, non-violent communication, biography studies, the American roots of threefold social organization, and the philosophical foundations for a new model of liberal arts education for the whole human being.  During these three weeks, participants will engage in deep dialogue and contemplation, in practical building, agriculture, and food preparation activities, and in artistic and movement workshops, all the while helping Thoreau College to create a prototype of the type of educational curriculum and environment the college hopes to offer its eventual undergraduate students.  The Prelude will take place at the Driftless Folk School campus near La Farge and at the Ark in Viroqua and is open to people of all ages and  interests. Find out more and register at

GiantPuppet1Laurie RossbachViroqua Harvest Parade - October 8, 2016

Mark your calendars! On October 8, 2016, the streets of downtown Viroqua will be filled once again with huge puppets, stilt walkers, musicians, and more for the annual Viroqua Harvest Parade. Ever since 2010 our mission has been to build community, foster connections in the arts, and provide artistic opportunities to youths and adults by organizing and building an annual human-powered parade and a festival celebration of the harvest.



NEW! Giant Puppet Making Workshop

Instructor: Laurie Rossbach
Learn to transform cardboard, fabric, and junk into huge colorful puppet figures in this two-day hands-on workshop with Madison artist Laurie Rossbach. Students will design and build giant human or animal figures as individual or group projects and will learn the skills they need to complete the puppets with low or no cost costumes, embellishments and rigging. Want to learn more, but can’t attend the full workshop? Join us for Laurie’s free presentation on Friday night!

GiantPuppet2Laurie RossbachFriday, August 12, 7:00 – 8:30pm:  Evening Presentation of Ideas. (Free. Open to all! No registration required.)
Saturday & Sunday, August 13-14, 9am – 4:30pm:  Hands-On Giant Puppet Making Workshop. Sliding Scale/Pay as you are able. $100-$175 per adult or adult/child (age 12+) team. Advanced registration required. Space is limited.
Location: ARK Center for the Arts, 401 East Jefferson St.
To reserve your spot or for more information: Email or call 608.354.2309

About Instructor: Madison, Wisconsin artist, Laurie Rossbach, is the director of arts programming at Madison Children's Museum. She creates giant puppet figures for parades and festivals inspired by world Carnival traditions and born out of recycled and reclaimed materials. Laurie's passion is inspiring creativity and building connections through community art with people of all ages and abilities.