Friday, January 30, 2009

Lawrence Township Community Education

I have to hand it to Lawrence Township Community Education. It didn't print a paper catalog this semester, but the organization seems to be doing more to reach out to students. In the past few weeks, I've received several e-mails and recorded phone calls reminding me to sign up for classes.

The latest phone call was just a few minutes ago. The recorded message: Classes start next week, so don't miss out.

I'm impressed that LTCE is working so hard to reach out to members of the community. But the real key to success is having classes that students want to take -- and I've already said that I think this semester's schedule is a bit weak.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Urban Farming Forum

Gazing out at our current Arctic landscape, you're probably not thinking about planting a garden. But the seed catalogs keep arriving in the mail, so it must be time to get your horticultural plans in order.

To get you started, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is hosting the Urban Farming Forum the evening of Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day). Topics of discussion will include crop choices, growing tips and soil suggestions -- helpful advice whether you're a beginning gardener or a seasoned cultivator.

Questions? Contact Chris Harrell at or (502) 298-2832.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Remembering the Parks Department

In a frigid month like this one, it's tempting to skip educational opportunities and instead watch another "Top Chef" marathon on Bravo. After all, who wants to go out in this weather?

If you need an educational jolt, head to an unlikely place: your local parks department. Most of the winter/spring classes are held indoors, thank goodness, and these classes are just what you need to get your brain working again.

Take, for example, the upcoming classes at the Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Department. You can learn to paint or draw, study art history, make a short film, upgrade your cooking skills or become a better writer.

Likewise, Indy Parks and Recreation is offering classes in art, fitness, dance and more. If your New Year's resolution was to "go green," consider one of the organization's environmental education programs.

It seems your local park really can be the best place to spend an inhospitable January day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spring Classes: Frasier's Gourmet Foods

I know we've been talking about cooking classes a lot lately, but here's one more update: Frasier's Gourmet Foods has released its calendar of spring classes, and I might need to move into the store.

Erin Kem, the sous chef at R Bistro, is teaching classes on grains, brunch and Spanish cuisine. Meanwhile, chef Tony Hanslits is offering sessions on roasting, stuffed pastas, seasonal spring foods, beans and string pastas. For couples, he's also teaching a romantic cooking class Feb. 12.

Now, how am I going to narrow this down?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spring Classes: Lawrence Township Community Ed

It seems everyone is going green this year (or just looking for ways to cut costs). As one example, Lawrence Township Community Education is skipping the printed catalog this season and just posting all of its classes online.

My initial take on this season's schedule is that it offers fewer classes than before and focuses more heavily on fitness classes. That's good news for those of you trying to keep fitness-related New Year's resolutions. For the rest of you, check out Sherry Harris's biscuit and cobbler classes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spring Classes: J. Everett Light Career Center

Classes start this week at the J. Everett Light Career Center. It looks like the usual crop of fitness, art and language classes, such as painting, knitting, aquatics and Spanish. (Or, you can always learn to weld.) If you live in the Washington Township area, the class locations are convenient.

Perfect Pairings Food and Wine Course

Do you know the difference between a pinot noir and a cabernet sauvignon? Between a chardonnay and a riesling? If not, sign up now for Vine & Table's upcoming Vin Explorer: Perfect Pairings course, a four-class series starting this Thursday.

The first class, "Food & Wine 101," focuses on the philosophy of food and wine pairings. In classes two and three, you'll learn about sparking, white, red and dessert wines. The final class, "Everyday Gourmet," will get you thinking about what you've learned -- and how to apply it on an everyday basis.

The price, $199, includes food, wine and a textbook, "Perfect Pairings" by Evan Goldstein.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Viewing Dates: Holcomb Observatory

Looking for a cheap date? Head over to Butler University's Holcomb Observatory, which recently posted upcoming dates for its public tours -- only $3 per person. The tours include a planetarium show (currently about Jupiter) and a chance to peek through the giant telescope. Just dress warmly, because the telescope room is open to the elements.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

IMA: Spring Calendar

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is a colorful place, but these days it's going green! (I know. I couldn't help myself.) Starting with the current issue, the museum's Art For You events brochure will be available online only, so here's a link to the new February - April edition.

This season's highlights include several events at "The Toby," the museum's new Tobias Theater. For example:
  • Lectures by museum directors from MoMA (April 9) and the Guggenheim (April 30). Both lectures are free, but reservations are required.
  • "After Love, After Punk," a free lecture about punk culture and the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (March 19).
This season's adult classes include 2-D and 3-D design, painting and pinhole photography. The museum also offers a series of eco-friendly art classes, where you can learn to make paper jewelry and create tote bags with plastic shopping bags.

Another highlight: the museum's Art Jolt program. This season, it's a two-part class focusing on modernism and post-modernism -- with some time spent in the "European Design Since 1985" exhibit.

Finally, if you have a green thumb, try a class in the museum's horticulture series, such as "A Year in the Garden," "Step Away from the Power Shears" and "Myth Busters: The Only Good Bug is a Dead Bug." There's also a free lecture coming up: "Tried and True! Proven Perennials from the Chicago Botanic Garden's Trails" (April 2).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

YouTube Video: Indianapolis Art Center

Want a peek at the Indianapolis Art Center's acrylic painting class for beginners? In this video, instructor Sofiya Inger explains a few of her teaching techniques and describes some class projects. She also discusses her upcoming exhibition at Butler University.

Interested? Sign up right now, because the Art Center has already issued its last call for this semester's 15-week classes. Don't worry; there's still plenty of time to sign up for weekend workshops and shorter-term classes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Changes to Indy Star Events Calendar

The Indianapolis Star has been making a lot of changes lately, but here's one that actually annoys me: The online event listings have been switched over to the Star's trying-so-hard-to-be-trendy Metromix site, which seems to have deleted the event category for lectures and classes. What, we're not cool enough?

The Star is accepting feedback on the new look, so I've already put in a request to add this category to the mix. If you have a chance, stop by the site and make a similar request!

Winter Classes: Lawrence Township Community Ed

I just glanced at the Lawrence Township Community Education site, and a portion of the winter course catalog is now available -- primarily the online courses. On the wacky side this season: "The Magic of Hypnosis" and "Outdoor Survival Techniques."

In-person classes will include "Visualization and the Laws of Attraction," offered by the School of Metaphysics, and Sherry Harris's wonderful cobbler and biscuit classes. I'll keep tabs on the other in-person classes and report back!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Weekend Hodgepodge

And, we're back! I've been in holiday-induced hermit mode, but it's time to implement those New Year's resolutions, which hopefully involve learning something new! To get you started, here are a few tidbits I've been waiting to post.
  • The Knit Stop has released its January calendar, with knitting and crochet classes for beginning, intermediate and advanced knitters. If you're interested, consider signing up for the shop's e-newsletter.
  • I've been eyeing the cooking classes at To The Last Drop in Zionsville, which also offers catering and private dinners. Coming up this month: Soup's On, Thinking Ahead, Adult Cooking Basics and Thai Required. I might wait for the April class on "forgotten" vegetables, but you never know.
  • Did you resolve to nurture your creative side this year? Winter classes start this week at Artisan Masterpiece in Carmel, where you can try painting, drawing, pottery, jewelry or stained glass. Of course, for many of you, the classes at the Indianapolis Art Center will be closer, and there's a much broader range of topics available.
Finally, I owe thanks to one of my favorite Indy bloggers, Renee Wilmeth of Feed Me/Drink Me, for directing her readers here for news about cooking classes. Check out her blog for news about local restaurants, interviews with Indy chefs and much more.