Rise of the creative classes

Ain’t edumacation wonderful? The Current am able to think so, see, because on account of the mind-bending classes we done took throughout our long and learny life!

We took some of these classes right here in San Antonio, too: everything from poetry-writing and feature journalism at Gemini Ink (geminiink.org) to many, many childhood art workshops at the (now defunct) San Antonio Art Institute and the (still-thriving, and excellent) Southwest School of Art and Craft (swschool.org).

But we thought it’d be kicky to research and recommend some innovative, fun-sounding, and not-too-expensive classes at other, perhaps overlooked, educational institutions throughout our city. Whether to give as holiday gifts, or to tickle your own brain-bone in the New Year, here are some courses to smarten/fitten you up. The Current sincerely hopes you become hot for teacher.

The Carver Community Cultural Center

226 N. Hackberry
(210) 207-7211

Sure, you’ve been to the Carver to watch spectacular performances (upcoming events include the African American Dance Ensemble’s Kwanzaa 2008 and Freda Payne’s tribute to Ella Fitzgerald), but they offer some intriguing and highly affordable learning opportunities, too.

The next term of classes begins January 3 and ends on March 7, 2009. And for those eight weeks of classes, the tuition is only $45 (!).

African Hand Drumming 11am-noon Saturdays
Belly Dance noon-1pm Saturdays
Praise Dance 9-11am Saturdays
Hip-hop Dance 6-7pm Thursdays

The Yarn Barn

1615 McCullough
(210) 826-3679

It’s moved, but not forgotten! The old-school, locally owned resource for crafty/fashionista types offers a plethora of wooly ed. Classes run for four weeks and start the first Tuesday or Saturday of the month. Tuition is $60.

Beginning and Intermediate Knitting

3:30-5:30pm Tuesdays;
10am-noon and 12:30-3:30pm Saturdays.
(Beginning in the New Year, the Yarn barn will also offer Beginning Crochet and Needlepoint. Call for schedule and price.)

The Jewish Community Center

12500 NW Military Hwy
(210) 302-6825

It isn’t just for Jewish San Antonians anymore — and actually, never was. They offer a pretty amazing range of activities, performances, sports, family resources, and, yes, classes. Some that caught our eye:

Sign Language for Babies (6 months-2 yrs)

January 13-February 17
Tuesdays 10-11am

Flamenco & More

January 13-March 5
Tuesdays and Thursdays 7-8pm

Financial Peace University

January 25-April 19
Sundays 4-6pm

Mah Jongg

(The Current has always wanted to take it up!)
January 19-February 23
Mondays 10-11am
$20 (!)

San Antonio Botanical Garden

555 Funston
(210) 207-3250

Connecting people to the plant world through experience, education, and research. Also hosting Icelandic sculpture, awesome treehouses, and pretty birds. One of the best-smelling, most pyramid-happy spaces in all of Say-Town, and they’re spreading knowledge, too!

The Current is hella curious about the upcoming Children’s Vegetable Gardening Program for kids aged 8-13. According to their downloadable application (find it at sabot.org), “children `will` grow their own vegetables and ornamental plants with the help of instructors from the Bexar County Master Gardeners and other volunteer organizations.” Right on!

Every Saturday, February 21 through June 6,
9-11am and at times possibly till noon (two absences are allowed). Applications are due on February 15, and the whole shebang costs only $10!


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