A new year is like the first blank page of a diary or a fresh layer of snow. There is the option to start something new – like grab a brush or cut out some magazines and glue them into a collage.
Due to the pandemic, we cannot of course take these lessons in person. But the internet is full of creative possibilities … but how do you find one that really works for you? I signed up for a free class from MOMA called In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting, which combined art history with studio classes. But my interest lingered on back-to-back videos of stretching and priming a canvas.
There are many other creative classes online that are pre-recorded just like MOMA’s. You know the class was included if an entry doesn̵
In the classroom and in the community
It’s a bit more difficult to connect with teachers and classmates in real time, free or cheap. It’s worth it though – and the reward will be a new skill or hobby, and meeting new people with similar interests … a real win-win.
The library: Libraries everywhere have worked hard to provide a virtual public square during the Covid crisis. The New York Public Library offers a variety of activities and interactive classes, from Freestyle Arts and Crafts to Virtual Acting. The schedules and offers are changing, so check out their online listing calendar here. The NYPL sometimes offers suggestions to really expand your understanding of your new (or familiar) hobby. For example, if you’re a knitter, you can learn more about a group class – and a lot more – here you can search the lists to see when the next class is offered.
Eventbrite: You can search for almost any live experience on Eventbrite, a platform that offers signups for concerts, classes, or (for example) the quirky, like this weekly live drum circle for CA $ 11.62. Or try “painting pups” with watercolors in this free class that asks you to donate, if you can, to a project to support African parks.
Your local stores: Iconic New York bookstore The Strand offers ongoing and one-off events that you can attend, watch in real time, or later. You could learn to podcast with The Strand during a live discussion of Everybody Has a Podcast (But You) on Tuesday, January 26, but available or viewable until seven days after. Or join a Community Knit Night offered every Wednesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Yarnia in Montclair, NJ – free and open to people from all over. Knitters, crocheters and fiber artists can show and tell what they are working on. But “some people just like to sit there and work and have the conversation in the background,” says co-owner Kathleen Vandervoort.
Host your own class: I occasionally offer free journal writing classes where I give participants writing assignments and invite them to read and listen to their peers. Write me if you want to join an upcoming session. But you can set up your own group with a tool as simple as Google Meet. Just come up with an idea, click the green button and send the link to your friends!
And you can always check the calendar of events here at Senior Planet.
Photo by Imani on Unsplash