Carolann Schmitt founded the Genteel Arts Academy in 1988 to encourage interest in mid-nineteenth century clothing and needlework. The Academy offers a continuing series of hands-on classes on 100+ topics. Carolann assumed sponsorship of the Civilian Symposium (formerly the Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference) in 2000 and, after taking a year off to move into a new home, is busy planning the Symposium’s return in March 2018. She is a popular speaker at conferences and seminars across the country.
Carolann is a member of the Costume Society of America, the Association of Living History Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), and several sewing and needlework organizations. She believes you can never have too many books or too much fabric. Studying mid-nineteenth century clothing has been her passion since she attended her first reenactment in 1969.