History & Purpose

The NorCal Institute was founded in 2008 by Maureen Glancy, Ph.D, in order to revive and promote the crafts of the Renaissance period in Europe. She gathered around her artists and crafts people who knew particular skills and who were willing to share them with others. The idea was to keep these arts and crafts alive so that children and adults would have the satisfaction of making something with their own hands, and carry on the tradition of the Renaissance masters. Such crafts as weaving, needlepoint, paper marbling, candle making, chain maille, basket making, and mask making, are just some of the many crafts that are taught.




The NorCal Renaissance Institute for the Renewal of Past Arts and the Artist, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization run by a board of directors. The current director is Dianne Longdo, and the education co-ordinator is Stephen Johnson. The board oversees the budget and the activities of the Institute.



The Institute oversees the crafts booths at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California (spring) and the NorCal Renaissance Faire in Gilroy (fall). The Institute also provides children’s Renaissance workshops in the fall at the Northern Faire site, and travels to schools to present these workshops in classrooms.


Contact Us

You can reach the Institute director at dlongdo@gmail.com and the education coordinator Stephen Johnson at penbrush@earthlink.net.