Monday, March 31, 2008

Cooking at Frasier's

I have a confession: As much as I love the idea of the great cooking classes at Frasier's Gourmet Foods, I've never actually taken one. But they've finally made me an offer I can't refuse -- a one-night class on Indian cooking, taught by R Bistro's Erin Kem (6:30 p.m., April 22, $35). The class will focus on condiments, naan, home-made curry powder and garam masala. Yum.

Frasier's also has a number of wine tastings coming up, and Kem is teaching classes later this year on spring produce and summer soups.

Going Back in Time

The Conner Prairie spring events calendar is out! Opening day is April 3, and it looks like there will be some fun activities for those who are still kids at heart. The new Farm Hands station looks especially fun; you can milk cows, pitch hay, make bread and help with plowing.

I don't think I can make it to opening day, but I'm putting "Follow the North Star" on my calendar. The event simulates the experience of the Underground Railroad, and it's restricted to teens and adults because it can, apparently, get pretty intense. I've heard nothing but good things about it, so I'm looking forward to the experience.

The spring dates for the program are April 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 (all 7:30-8:30 p.m.) ($19).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Summer Art Opportunities

In the mood for something artsy? Check out the summer calendars at the Indianapolis Art Center and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The museum's "Art for You" schedule for May through July features a couple of lectures I've already added to my calendar. I'm a nut for Egyptian history, so save me a seat at "Living Forever in Ancient Egypt," about how the ancient Egyptians overcame barriers to immortality (2 p.m., Sunday, July 13). Tickets are free, but reservations are required.

The museum is also offering talks by architect Maya Lin (who designed the Vietnam War Memorial), blogger Scott Schuman (who writes a fashion column for GQ) and artist Nick Cave.

And here's something certifiably quirky: Artist Cat Chow is teaching a workshop about how to repurpose old clothes -- like your favorite out-of-style shirt -- to create new, modern fashions (noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, May 4, $15).

The Art Center's summer class catalog also arrived this week. I rejoice whenever the new catalog comes, but the summer schedule is looking a bit thin. We've seen most of the classes and workshops before, but there are a few workshops that look intriguing:
  • Ukrainian egg-decorating, June 14 ($48)
  • Goblet making (functional glassware), June 28-29 ($326)
  • Marbling and book arts sampler, July 14-18 ($304)

Looking for a longer-term class? The Art Center is offering its usual schedule of painting, wood-working, steel and metal sculpture, glass-blowing, jewelry, photography, print-making, ceramics, etc.

There's a new weaving class on the schedule (under the fiber category) called "No More than Four" for weavers with four-harness looms, but if you're a beginner, I'd recommend waiting until the introductory weaving class comes back around in the fall. (Better yet, check out the weaving classes at Conner Prairie, which has better equipment.)

A New Venture

When organizing my calendar for April, I realized something frightening: My husband and I won't be spending a single weeknight together. This is partly his fault, because he's in a graduate program with evening classes. But it's mostly my fault. There's my flower-arranging class on Wednesday nights, an interesting and potentially bizarre class on tarot cards on Monday nights, some assorted one-shot classes and lectures ...

I seem to be somewhat addicted to continuing education. I love to learn new things and to explore new opportunities. Just because I'm finished (for the moment) with my official education doesn't mean I have to stop learning. During the past five years, I've taken countless classes on topics ranging from weaving and pottery to Egyptian history and Shakespeare.

Yes, some people would say I have a problem. But I think there are lots of people like me in Indianapolis. Whenever I take a class, I meet other people who love to take classes, too, and we always compare notes about where to go, which classes to take and which teachers we like.

But there doesn't seem to be a central point of information for Indy residents who are thinking, "What should I learn next?" I hope that's what this blog can become. I'll share class and lecture schedules, review the courses I take (or have taken in the past) and dig up some of the quirky learning opportunities Indy has to offer.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Together, we can make this blog a great resource for Indy adults who want to learn new things.