DEER ISLE — Haystack Mountain School of Crafts has received its largest gift ever — a $2 million grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

The money will be used to endow the school’s new Open Studio Residency program, said director Stuart Kestenbaum.

Arkansas-based Windgate gave Haystack a three-year, $300,000 grant in 2012 to launch the residency.

The new gift is unrestricted, giving Haystack flexibility in its programming. It will allow the school to offer the two-week program at no cost to participants and provide long-term support to offer the residency as an ongoing part of its regular programming.

“We’re particularly pleased to receive this award from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, whose past support has allowed us to expand our vision of how craft and creative process can be integrated with other fields,” Kestenbaum said in a statement. “These funds will enable us to continue investigating new ideas relating to craft practice, and provide opportunities for makers to explore new ideas for their own work.”

In Haystack’s residency, artists work side-by-side in open studios. The program gives makers the time and place to investigate new ideas, which can have a significant impact on the craft field.