The ClayToGo Van is on the go!  Watch for us at a few of our partner locations: Valley View Elementary, North Park Elementary Highland Elementary, and Columbia Academy Middle School in the Columbia Heights School District, Moreland Arts & Health Sciences in West Saint Paul, Jefferson Community School in Minneapolis, and Kaleidoscope Charter School in Otsego!  

If you are interested in setting up an after-school clay enrichment activity at your child's school or after-school care provider, contact NCC’s outreach program.  A variety of fun, educational, and thematic clay programs are available, and are tailored to meet the budget and schedules of your school or organization.  Looking for a more intensive experience in clay for your entire school?  Our ClayToGo program is also a perfect fit for a school residency.  

Thanks to the generous support of several individuals, corporations, and foundations, NCC is able to provide some matching funds to qualified organizations to help offset the costs of these clay activities.

Wheel Demonstrations

  • An engaging and immediate way to convey the rewards of clay as an art medium. Watch as an artist turns wet lumps of clay into beautiful pots.
  • Designed as a short introduction to the raw materials and firing methods needed to make clay pots, a wheel demonstration fits easily into limited time periods.

Clay Events

  • Short (2- or 3-hour) hands-on introduction to the rewards of making art.
    • Learn basic handbuilding and glazing techniques
    • Make mugs, bowls, plates, vases, treasure boxes, whistles, animal sculptures, or birdhouses – or objects not yet dreamed of. (Projects take into consideration age, ability, and interest.)

Artist Residencies

  • Long-term, multi-week (from 3 to 6 weeks) residencies in schools and other organizations with up to 450 students or other participants; each residency designed in cooperation with the residency site to meet its particular needs.
  • May be multi-disciplinary, linking clay classes to curricula in other subject areas (math, science, social studies, etc.), and can supplement existing art classes.
  • Usually include in-service training sessions for teachers to learn how clay can be used to teach academic ideas, and a tour of the Clay Center during the residency (if within time and budget constraints).
  • Provide opportunities for children to learn an accessible and rewarding art form; successful residency experiences can have a positive effect on children’s performance in other areas.

Scheduling and Prices

Do you want to see NCC’s ClayToGo program at your child’s school for a multi-week residency or after-school program?  Northern Clay Center is now accepting reservations for the upcoming school year. Schedule a residency, demonstration, or clay event! Contact us to learn more about setting up a program to meet your needs. Thanks to the generous support from several individual, corporate, and foundation donors, NCC is able to provide matching funds to qualified organizations to help offset the costs of these clay activities.

Please contact NCC’s Community Engagement Manager for more information at 612.339.8007 x313.

A Typical School Outreach Residency

(assumes up to 200 students or 8 classes of 25)

  • 5 contact hours per class over a 3 – 6-week period, in which students create one to two small projects and learn basic handbuilding and glazing techniques
  • 2- or 3- hour in-service training session for participating faculty and parent volunteers
  • Student and faculty tour of the Clay Center, to see the exhibition and sales galleries, artists’ studios, kiln and classroom areas, and a potter’s wheel demonstration

Upon completion of the residency, selected students receive a complimentary scholarship for one of the Center’s summer clay camps.


Typically, a parent volunteer or school representative contacts the Clay Center about our ClayToGo program. If the outreach schedule and availability of funding permit, the residency begins to take shape.

The school is responsible for providing the following:

  • A minimum of 2 contact people at the school; a faculty member, principal or maintenance person are all recommended
  • A residency schedule for each of the participating classes
  • Assistance with the specific design of the project
  • Parent volunteers and faculty to be present for each hour of the residency
  • Scheduling of field trip and buses to the Clay Center

Space needs:

  • A central location for the residency
  • Tables or flat surface and seating for each student
  • Access to water for clean-up
  • Storage for in-progress projects (typically 200); the ClayToGo Van carts measure 32" x 62" and 25" x 65" x 41"
  • Handicapped access to both the building and central location

NCC provides:

  • All clay, glazes, tools, and firing facilities
  • Assistance with project development and scheduling
  • Transportation of all materials, equipment, and projects to and from the school
  • A qualified instructor who is also a professional artist


Residency fees depend on the type of project selected, the number of student participants, and the length and location of the residency.

  • Total cost of a typical school outreach residency is $4,000
  • The cost of a typical residency to the participating school is between $500 to $2,000, depending on availability of NCC funding
  • The Clay Center will work with schools to raise funds to help subsidize costs
The ClayToGo Van

The ClayToGo Van is a mobile clay studio, designed to take the experience and delight of working with clay out on the road. The colorful Ford Transit van carries all the basic materials and tools needed for ClayToGo activities, all at your facility. All activities are taught by professional artists.

Thanks to Our ClayToGo Van and Program Funders

Lisa and Verlynn Agrimonti
Arts and Learning, Minnesota State Arts Board
Harlan Boss Foundation
Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation
Mark Lellman
Walter McCarthy and Clara Ueland through the Greystone Foundation
Ken Olson Memorial Fund
Alan & Dena Naylor
Pictura Graphics
RBC Foundation—USA
Tradition Capital Bank
Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation
The Wallace Foundation
Ellen Watters

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

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