Events and Activities

Bishop Hill School of Folk Art

Working with the co-operative artists, other artists in the area, and the regional home school alliance, we offer regular classes in storytelling, creative writing, and a wide array of visual arts and traditional crafts. From barn quilts to mosaics, come learn a new skills, refine an old skill or simply make something fun for your self or a gift for a loved one.

Weddings, Conferences, Special Events, and Gathering Place

The Commons is the largest, easily accessible rental space in Bishop Hill. We are open to hosting all manner of social events from family gatherings to wedding receptions. We can arrange catering, provide tables and chairs, and facilitate entertainment, becoming your one stop shop for any event. With a variety of rental spaces available, Bishop Hill can now host larger conferences with a wider range of spaces for simultaneous meetings. With the Colony School’s full kitchen and the Dairy Building’s proximity, we can help you rent multiple rooms for a variety of programs.

As an open and active community center we provide a comfy, cozy place for folks to rest and relax. With free-wifi, a few couches and small tables, visitors are welcome to lounge during their busy days in Bishop Hill. We offer water, natural sodas, milk, and pre-packaged organic snacks. We have two bathrooms, a baby-changing table in the bathroom and a discreet place for nursing mothers, all with the pointed aim of making Bishop Hill more child friendly.

Storytelling and Theater

True History and Classic Mythology, Family Stories from yesteryear and Epic Ballads from the distant past, fables and folklore, modern fiction and poetry, The Commons is the place where these ancient traditions are given new life. Programs for the general public or home-school students, family friendly or adult only, storytelling and theatre is offered for all audiences. Storytelling is a great way to celebrate the seasons, connect with your community, and find your voice to share your stories. Come to listen or come to tell. You can attend our regular performances or attend a workshop or open mic night to share one of your favorite tales! 

Once a month, Brian “Fox” Ellis hosts a storytelling series with a morning program for children and home schoolers and an afternoon program for the community and senior centers. As some of the nation’s preeminent storytellers pass through the Midwest they will stop into Bishop for a performance or workshop. We are also working towards recreating the epic telling of long form stories like Scandinavia’s Kalevala and the Celtic Arthurian Legends. Please contact “Fox” for performance times and to sign up for the community theater at (309) 696-1017.