Rabbit Island School

The Rabbit Island Foundation and the Portage Lake District Library are partnering for a second year in a row to host a place-based arts and ecology program for area students. Students awarded with a scholarship to Rabbit Island School will spend one week on the island, participating in an open framework, student lead expedition. Having the support and facilities of the library on the mainland, students will share their work and island experiences with the general public and fellow students through a series of presentations and exhibitions at the library.


Up to seven local high school students will be selected by library staff for full scholarships to the 2020 Rabbit Island School. The program is scheduled to occur August 18 – 25, 2020. Scholarships cover all associated travel, food, lodging and other necessary island camping supplies. Applicants must be 15-18 years old and live or attend school in Houghton or Keweenaw Counties.


Rabbit Island is a 91 acre forested island in Lake Superior three miles east of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. The island is composed of a native ecosystem standing upon solid bedrock and has never before been developed or subdivided. Rabbit Island serves as a platform for science, art, preservation and recreation.


Two artist mentors who have coordinated and been involved with Rabbit Island School in the past will return this year to ensure a successful program. Andrew Ranville, one of the featured mentors, is an artist, educator and the Rabbit Island Foundation Director. He received his MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London in 2008. His internationally exhibited photographs, installations, sculptures and other artworks investigate our interaction with remote environments and the natural world around us.


Christina Mrozik, another Rabbit Island School mentor, is a Grand Rapids based illustrator currently living and working in Portland, Oregon. Blending the external world with her own understanding of the human condition has led to her distinct style, in which flora and fauna stand in, representing the simultaneous and often opposing matters of the human heart. Mrozik has worked with different Michigan nonprofits, teaching a class at Cultureworks and also speaking in Grand Rapids at the Women’s
Symposium in 2015. A third artist mentor will be announced at a later date.

Past participants have spent their time reading, writing, painting, sketching, carving spoons, creating natural dyes from plants, cooking, fishing, identifying local flora and fauna, building an island community and more.

Application Requirements:
● Applicants should have an interest and enthusiasm for conservation, the environment, and/or arts and science.
● Ask a teacher, boss or mentor to write a letter of support for your participation in the Rabbit Island School.
● Write a one page essay about why you would like to participate.
● In one email, send the letter of support and your one page essay as a PDF attachment to dgeshel@pldl.org .

Applications for the 2020 Rabbit Island School must be submitted by Friday, May 29. Scholarship winners will be notified by Monday, June 8.