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The Eliot School offers classes to people of all ages in woodworking, sewing and yarn, fiber arts, book arts, drawing, painting, photography and other crafts and fine arts.

“...Pursue your human desire to create.”

We reach thousands of people each year from Boston and beyond.




We send teaching artists and artisans to classrooms and community centers throughout Boston.


Our Jamaica Plain classrooms welcome students of all ages, from 2 to 100.


We nurture a select group of young artists through Teen Bridge, and support Boston-based artists through our annual Artist in Residence.


Artisans’ talks, faculty exhibitions and family and other events round out our offerings.

19th century reports applauded the Eliot School for helping students “satisfy that instinctive desire of human beings to create.” Today, we still inspire the pleasures of learning, craft and artistic creation— for all.


The Eliot School inspires lifelong learning in craft and creativity for all.


We cultivate welcoming environments where people convene across a continuum of age, economic means and backgrounds to build skills, craft and community. Our offerings satisfy the human desires to create, engage in self-expression and learn by doing, and our vision builds upon the school's historic role in shaping education in fine and applied arts.

Core Values

Learning and Enjoyment

  • We provide opportunities to imagine, create and build with head, hands and heart.
  • We help students learn for personal fulfillment and enjoyment.
  • We embrace students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Integrity and Excellence

  • We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of excellence.
  • We conduct ourselves with honesty, fairness and integrity.

Community and Inclusion

  • We value and promote inclusivity, diversity and equity.
  • We maintain an open and welcoming environment, where all who enter are treated with dignity and respect.
  • We are interconnected through high regard for each other as colleagues, partners, teachers, learners and neighbors.

Continuity and Change

  • We are respectful stewards of our historical role in shaping education.
  • We adapt our mission and programs over time, keeping our work relevant and contemporary.



The Eliot School seeks to contribute to a more just and equal world. As we design our programs and spaces to pursue equity, we are currently asking of ourselves: How do all parts of our school enact our mission to inspire lifelong learning in craft and creativity for all?

We know absolutely that Black lives matter. We are committed to provide a safe, creative learning environment for students, teachers, and staff of any nationality, ethnic origin, race, color, religion, physical ability, economic status, documentation status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

We acknowledge that our physical spaces are not easily accessed by those with different mobility abilities. While we are not yet able to meet all needs, we aspire to provide access to all. We welcome students and visitors to contact us to suggest changes and request accommodations when needed.

We are working to eliminate bias and discrimination in our admissions, program administration, hiring, outreach, and management. We strive to remove historical barriers to creative learning and develop learning environments that are welcoming to all.

Our schoolhouse sits on traditional lands of the Massachusett, Wampanoag, and Pawtucket people. We recognize that the name John Eliot speaks to a complex and violent past. As a first step, we are currently engaged in a deep learning process around the Eliot School's history and the land it occupies.

Our students, staff, and board reflect the diversity of Greater Boston. Our reach extends well beyond our immediate neighborhood. Our programs take place in schools, libraries, and community centers throughout Boston. We are devoted to supporting our communities through bonds of common humanity.

We invite our community to engage with us in this development process. Please join us in dialog as we build a more equitable, welcoming community.