Before the pandemic, River Arts Community Clay Studio partnered with RiseVT to expand their number of pottery wheels, allowing the studio to serve and reach even more locals. The Community Clay Studio is a huge asset to the community, offering wheel classes for adults, teen after school wheel classes, handbuilding events, and camps for youngsters to be exposed to and participate in this wonderful art form. Pottery is a very tactile, physical, and mental endeavor that provides the benefits of being relaxing, stimulating, and challenging. Through these classes and access to these facilities, social connections are forged, creativity tapped into, and well-being enhanced significantly. Completing a project in pottery has a very rewarding positive impact on people. Their confidence is enhanced and they have a sense of pride in what they have learned to do.

Having a welcoming community space to learn and share together is a huge community asset in which we should invest. Third spaces beyond home and work are critical to human happiness, as these third spaces are generally where friendships are made, sense of belonging developed, and community building takes place. The River Arts Community Clay Studio is the epitome of “third place” being a home away from home, playful wholesome mood, a leveling place where economic or social status aren’t felt, conversations take place, accessibility is open to all.