Message from the President

In 1881, when visionary educator Pauline Agassiz Shaw founded the North Bennet Street School to train immigrants for employment in traditional trades, she saw the school’s mission as teaching not merely how to make a living, but how to live.  

As a graduate, I can testify that Shaw’s vision holds true. After working as an architect for 26 years, I enrolled in the Cabinet and Furniture Making program, eager to learn new skills. I didn’t expect my life to change so profoundly, but that’s what happened. When you become involved in the creative work of making useful, beautiful objects and gain a personal understanding of what is meant by the intelligence of the hands, it transforms who you are and how you think.  

NBSS offers a remarkable environment, where master craftsmen representing eight time-honored trades – bookbinding, cabinet and furniture making, carpentry, jewelry making and repair, locksmithing and security technology, piano technology, preservation carpentry, and violin making and repair – share their knowledge, talent, and enthusiasm with students, all under one roof. Each program teaches the skillful use of hand tools, new technologies, and a commitment to producing work of the highest standard.  

No matter which of our programs captures your heart or imagination, you’re sure to experience a transformational education that serves as a foundation for life. At NBSS, we believe that a life dedicated to perfecting one’s craft, through work that engages the hands and mind, nourishes the human spirit and yields deep personal satisfaction.  

Whether you are a seasoned or an aspiring artisan, our full-time programs and our workshops will enrich you. Please visit us in Boston, tour our facilities, meet our faculty and students, and see our founder’s vision in action.  

I look forward to seeing you at school.  

Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez

View the CRAFT IN AMERICA video of NBSS President Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez discussing NBSS's full-time programs. (5:35 minutes)

Essays by
Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez

The following essays were published in the North Bennet Street School print newsletter Benchmarks and are available to read online. 

"The Maker Movement" published in Fall '14. 

"In Concert with Technology" published in Spring '14. 

"Creative Chaos" published in Fall '13

"An Inclusive School" published in Spring '13

"Neighborhood Pride" published in Fall '12.

"Tradition and Transformation" published in Spring '12. 

"Are we Artists?" published in Fall '11.

 "The Myth of College for All" published in Spring '11.