Education Supplement 2013: Class Action Listings



Want to learn to draw, but hours spent outlining Old Masters, landscapes, and flower vases don’t inspire you? Well, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School has some more provocative subjects on offer: semi-nude models. The New York branch holds $12 life-drawing classes every other Sunday at Lower East Side hotspot The Slipper Room. Upcoming practicums include “Reefer Madness with Madame Rosebud” and “Dr. Sketchy’s Celebrates Ganesh!” Bring your own materials.

Sometimes you want people to stare at your bust—not the kind enhanced by a pushup bra, but the sort constructed from marble, terra cotta, or bronze. Get attention with the 92nd Street Y‘s six-session, 12-person adult course, “Busted! Portrait Sculpture.” You’ll learn to sculpt a life-size head, neck, and shoulders from clay. After you’ve completed your masterwork, kiln firing is available.

Humans have been crafting vases for at least nine millennia and decorating them for seven. So isn’t it time you learned how? The Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center in Long Island City can help you fire (and glaze?) those dreams. Late spring and summer classes include “Wheel Throwing,” “Handbuilding,” and “Glaze Techniques”; bring your own apron and dust mask. The studio also rents space to local artists and advanced students, hosts clay-based parties, and offers the occasional free workshop.


Remember when computers were good for little more than word processing and spaceship shooter games with lousy graphics? As technology marches on, the School of Visual Arts has established a department of computer art, computer animation, and visual effects. Aspiring digital artists with limited free time can enroll in weekend electives covering such programs and topics as Flash, CSS, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Seems like every week there’s another story of someone landing a book deal based on a YouTube series or a sitcom contract stemming from a viral video. As pointing that built-in laptop camera at your pajama-clad self just won’t cut it anymore, why not try BRIC‘s “Videoblogging 101,” a two-hour, $10 course that helps you shoot and showcase online video? This Gowanus studio has also partnered with the Brooklyn Public Library to offer free media and technology classes.


The trouble with summer? It only lasts so long. Sure, once the temperatures rise you may think merino and cashmere will never grace your person again, but fall will be here before you know it. So why not prepare with a new turtleneck or cardigan? The Lion Brand Yarn Studio near Union Square offers a three-session “Sweater School” on Wednesday afternoons. All you have to know is basic knitting: The class will cover pattern design, yarn selection, swatching, and more.

The Bloomfield School aims to help put the “superfun” back in Superfund. This studio, located near the banks of the Gowanus Canal, offers a variety of jewelry and craft classes for the student of craft with great taste, but perhaps a less refined sense of smell. (We kid—the Gowanus really isn’t all that odoriferous.) Upcoming offerings include “Bead Night,” “Pendant Making,” and a “Jewelry Soldering Workshop” that stresses torch safety.

Prefer to whittle while you work, whittle while you play? Sharpen your skills at Woodcarving by George, a Forest Hills studio that proudly bills itself as New York’s only woodcarving studio for beginners. Upcoming courses include “Tree Spirits and Walking Sticks,” “Mirror and Clock,” and “Green, Recycled Carving.”


“One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art,” insisted Oscar Wilde. Why not both? With a Summer Intensive in “Fashion Design” at Parsons, you can enhance your creativity and design skills to clothe yourself gorgeously. Discussions of fashion history and field trips are paired with instruction in transforming two-dimensional drawings and concepts into glamorous three-dimensional constructions.

Is green a good color on you? The Fashion Institute of Technology thinks it ought to be. In addition to their regular round of summer courses in all areas of apparel and design, the school will host a symposium in July titled “Sustainable Fashion: From Fiber to Fabulous.” Attendees will learn about ecologically savvy clothing design and production. Renowned guest speakers will address “each stage of the supply chain and production process, culminating in a fashion show.”

Cattle farming erodes our grasslands, and bovine methane emissions contribute to global warming. Clearly, cows are not our friends. And, really, do you need another good reason to wear leather? Lost Wax Studio in Nolita has a couple. This jewelry and accessories boutique also offers lively workshops with working designers. Upcoming pelt-based seminars include “Making Authentic Moccasins,” “Double Leather Wrap Bracelet,” and “Making Leather Notebooks with the European Saddle Technique.”


Even as more and more studios move to digital, some filmmakers hold a torch for celluloid. Williamsburg’s Mono No Aware Film School is among them. Their spring and summer workshops include “Intro to 16mm Filmmaking,” “Advanced 16mm Filmmaking,” “Super 8 Filmmaking,” and “Intro to Film Preservation.” All materials are included, and each workshop concludes with a free screening and hosting of your films on the school’s Vimeo channel.

You could spend hours trawling IMDB boards, hunting for spoilers, but if you really want to learn about yet-to-be-released movies, why not see them? At the spring session of Talking Movies, held in midtown at the Director’s Guild Theater, you’ll view at least six movies (dramas, comedies, documentaries, and foreign films) and then discuss them with your fellow attendees and a director, producer, actor, or writer.

Food and Drink

Some fish, some rice, some seaweed, maybe some sesame seeds or salmon roe if you’re feeling fancy. Really, sushi couldn’t be easier. So when was the last time you prepared it at home? To help you dive into the world of raw fish, Lower East Side restaurant Soy offers biweekly “Sushi Master” classes. You’ll learn to make tuna, California, and veggie rolls, and head home with your very own sushi-rolling mat.

New York state allows any adult to make up to 100 gallons of wine per year tax-free—just as long as you don’t attempt to sell it. Of course, to take advantage of this legal license, you’ll need to know how to make that booze. Tribeca vintners City Winery can help. In the late spring, they’ll offer evening courses in both red winemaking and special winemaking (sparkling, fortified, ice, and port). Each class includes both talk and tasting.

Perhaps you’ve already mastered vegan and gluten-free baking. Isn’t it time you learned to make delicious treats that are kosher, too? The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, located in Midwood, Brooklyn, boasts of being the only cooking school outside of Israel to offer “professional-level training in Kosher culinary and pastry arts.” You won’t find bacon ice cream on the syllabus, but upcoming dessert classes include “Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!” “French Macaron,” “Sophisticated Cupcakes,” and “The Fancy Cookie Class.” There’s lots of bread-baking, too. Challah!

For Children and Teens

You might think that teaching your tot to kick through bricks or chop through a plank of wood would make for some pretty fierce tantrums. But martial arts training could also help them channel their excess energy and irritability into something healthful. Williamsburg’s Focus Mixed Martial Arts, which combines karate, tae kwon do, Brazilian jujitsu, krav maga, and American kickboxing, instructs kids as young as three in socialization, confidence, and the occasional deadly strike.

Ever strolled through a museum or a gallery and sneered, “My kid could do that”? Then get said kid started drawing, painting, and sculpting. Your future art star can begin at Claire’s Creative Adventures on the Upper East Side. Children as young as two are introduced to the work of artists ranging from Pablo Picasso to Yayoi Kusama and render their own work in media as diverse as paint, clay, wood, sand, foam, papier-mâché, wire, cloth, photography, and stop-motion animation.

Once you’ve handed in that last high school paper and concluded that final essay question, it can feel like you’ll never have to write again. But of course you will—and the standards in college are different and often higher. That’s why Cooper Union developed the “Summer Writing Program” for recent high school grads and the occasional rising senior. In this three-week course, available on the Cooper Union campus and in real time online, students learn to “create critical arguments,” “develop arguments fully and completely,” and “make writing more enjoyable and productive.”


Love your sun salutations, but sick of the sitars, tablas, and chanting that accompany them? Yoga of Nourishment is here to help make your practice more musical. Every Friday night at the Kula Yoga Project in Tribeca, Yoga of Nourishment’s Aarona features “Yoga Soundscapes,” an open-level class that backs your cow and plow poses with DJs, live musicians, “laptop masters,” and occasional Tuvan throat-singing.

Ah, spring, when a young person’s fancy turns to thoughts of relaxation and reiki. But in Manhattan all that renewal, detox, and wellness doesn’t typically come cheap. Happily, the New York Open Center in Midtown features a number of free introductory courses. Offerings include “Meditation, Concentration, and Breath,” “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction,” “Integrative Hypnosis,” and “Acudragon Wellness Qijong.” There’s also a tutorial in playing the Native American flute.


Brooklyn, Coney Island, Yankees, Harlem—you practically speak Dutch already. Every so often, we’re moved to remember that New York was once New Amsterdam and traces of its Dutch occupation still remain. If this has inspired you to take a greater interest in the Dutch language and culture (bicycles, canals, crullers!), you can sign up for lessons at ABC Language Exchange in midtown. Currently, ABC only offers private classes, but why not assemble a group of fellow enthusiasts?

Korean is the second-fastest–growing language in the United States, a ways behind Arabic and just ahead of Chinese. You likely don’t need to speak it to dance to “Gangnam Style” or order bi bim bop on 32nd Street. But to compete both locally and in the global economy? It’s probably a good idea. Located in the heart of Koreatown, the Korean Language Center of New York prides itself on intimate and rigorous Korean classes. This summer, they’ll offer a four-week intensive designed to move students from elementary to advanced Korean.


Just having a baby likely seemed like accomplishment enough. But now you have to learn how to take care of it. Get help with breast-feeding and newborn care from the doulas of Birth Day Presence, a Soho studio that also offers classes in Greenpoint, Park Slope, and midtown. Topics include “how to avoid common breast-feeding problems,” “understanding normal infant behavior,” and “benefits and demonstration of babywearing.”

Looking beautiful is hard enough, what with the skills needed just to draw your liquid liner smoothly or apply lipstick without also crimsoning your teeth. But looking weird, that’s even harder. Last Looks Makeup Academy, located in midtown west, offers a “5 Days with a Madman” special effects makeup class to help you create the creepiest faces in the city. Last Looks offers plenty of more traditional courses, but in this one you’ll learn such looks as “Demonic Vampire,” “Decomposing Zombie,” and “Forensically Accurate Cadaver.” Elves, aliens, and working blood effects are also featured.


New York may be greener than many a big city, but you probably wouldn’t call it bucolic. The nonprofit Farm School NYC would, though. An arm of Just Food, Farm School NYC aims to teach Gothamites everything they need to know to grow food locally, with classes at gardens and other outdoor spaces throughout the city. Spring and summer core courses include “Propagation,” “Growing Soil,” “Irrigation,” and “Crop Management.” More advanced students can try “Community Food Arts”: canning, pickling, drying, fermenting, and freezing.

From high-end restos to hole-in-the-wall taquerias, Michelin-starred eateries to AAA-starred food trucks, there’s no doubt that New York is an incredible place for food. But let’s not forget the produce growing wild in our parks and gardens. In “Spring Foraging for Wild Edibles” at the New York Botanical Garden, students will learn to “recognize and use the tasty, edible wild greens in our area” and to cook using sorrel, rhubarb, and stinging nettles. And if you want to grow your own food, to eat or merely admire, the NYBG also offers a class in “The Ornamental Vegetable Garden.”

It’s not easy being green. Or is it? Pratt‘s Manhattan campus offers a summer intensive centered around questions of integrating sustainability into our lives and work. “Towards a Sustainable World by Design” draws from science, architecture, communications, and industrial design, and includes such topics as principles of ecology and systems thinking, concepts of climate change, and environmental risks and toxicity.


“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away,” said Eudora Welty. Then isn’t it time you took out your camera and started chasing? The New York branch of the Digital Photo Academy can help, with classes every weekend in the summer. In addition to such basics as “Point and Shoot 101” and “Intro to Digital Cameras,” the academy also offers “Composition in the Field Courses,” where you’ll practice your skills in locales like Chinatown, Central Park, Grand Central, and Soho.


Many in the athletic world were shocked when the International Olympic Committee announced its plans to discontinue wrestling. But its absence makes way for new sports, perhaps including inline skating. If you want to get a jump on those linked rings, consider NY Skate. It offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced (crossovers, backward skating, T-stop) classes, skate workouts, and twilight and lunchtime skating in Central Park.

Gun control has rarely seemed a more pertinent topic, and bans on a variety of weapons and ammunition seem likely. But who could object to the gunning down of clay pigeons? Even President Obama claims to enjoy the hobby. You can find a range convenient to the city at Suffolk County Skeet, Trap & Sporting Clays, which offers instruction every Wednesday through Friday and by appointment on the weekends.

Here’s a Zen koan for our time: If you haven’t Instagrammed your meal, vacation, relationship, or soiree, did it really happen? PhotoUno, a school in midtown east, can help you snap up those memories. Upcoming spring courses and workshops include general introductory classes as well as “Photography Basics for Teenagers,” and “Photography Basics for Parents” so that you can embarrass your offspring with bathtime and diaper shots for decades to come. PhotoUno also hosts an online gallery of student work.

Gym memberships and yoga sessions don’t come cheap. (Local chapters of the YMCA do offer some generous deals and waivers.) But in terms of price, it’s hard to beat the free classes offered via NYC Parks. Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes in parks and rec centers in all five boroughs, 14 on Staten Island alone. Classes range from familiar offerings such as “Boot Camp” and “Aerobics” to more esoteric ones like “Sweat Therapy,” “African Dance,” and “Shakin’ in Your Seat.”

Theater and Performing Arts

Dance till the stars come down from the rafters/Dance, dance, dance till you drop.” That’s all very well for W.H. Auden, but he probably never had to pay Manhattan dance class prices. That’s where Liberated Movement comes in. It offers donation-only dance classes (the suggested minimum is $5) at its Tribeca studio. Courses include ballet, hip hop, contemporary, jazz, salsa, yoga, and Masala Bhangra.

Sure, you’ve arrived in New York with your theater degree and your Broadway dreams. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay the rent without resorting to a barista or waitstaff gig? Actors Connection New York, located in the heart of the theater district, offers dozens of classes each month to help students break into the lucrative worlds of television, film, advertising, and voiceover. Upcoming courses include “On-Air Hosting and TV Anchor Class,” “Video Game Voice Over Class,” “Auditioning for Horror Films” and “Law & Order: SVU Intensive.”

Is the Upper West Side a funny place? Is Sunday a particularly funny day? The instructors at Sunday Night Improv are working hard to make it so. These alumni of Chicago City Limits, the PIT, and UCB attempt to increase the neighborhood’s giggle factor with classes like “Fast and Funny Improv” and “Improv for Everyone.” Afterward, you can stay for the show.


Writing’s not so hard. Just take a pen and form some letters on a page, or hit a string of keys on your laptop. But writing well? Now that’s a challenge. Happily, Columbia University has a number of summer courses and workshops designed to improve your poetry and prose in a number of genres. May and June offerings include “Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books,” “More than Memoir,” and “Short Prose Forms.”

Jack Kerouac churned out On the Road in two weeks. Georges Simenon could write six novels a year. So if you want to craft fiction, there’s a lot you can accomplish even in six hours. On April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., New York University offers a “Fiction Writing One-Day Workshop” geared to jumpstarting your stories and novellas. Through lectures and exercises, students will learn plot, structure, dialogue, and style. If you’re hooked, you can follow up with summer courses in “The Craft of the Story” and “Creative Writing.”

You could hit an unexplored gold seam, stumble across a lost diamond mine, or invent a bestselling app. But as strategies go for getting rich quick, writing an unputdownable series of young adult novels is a surefire winner. Mediabistro‘s 12-week online class in “Young Adult Novel Writing” is designed to help you complete your draft of the next Twilight or Hunger Games. Other upcoming writing courses cover such topics as children’s picture books, food, travel, and memoirs.