Looking to develop a new skill, fall back in love with an old hobby or be surrounded by individuals who share similar interests? Nashville offers a plethora of opportunities to take adult education classes, and we urge you to take advantage. From writing to cooking, these options push you to develop your skills and engage your inner learner. Plus, there’s is no better time to stimulate your mind than during the drab months of winter. Here’s a list of suggestions that reaches across different interests, skill levels and time commitments.
The Porch TN
The Porch TN is Nashville’s Independent Center for Writing. Designed to inspire and educate Nashville’s literary community, their winter classes include prose multiweek classes, such as Foundations of Fiction, Creative Writing for Readers and Foundations of Creative Nonfiction; prose craft intensives, which are single-session classes that focus on topics including plot, place and character; and a day-long poetry workshop with Bill Brown. All begin on January 10. The Porch TN creates a comfortable and welcoming environment, allowing writers of all levels the opportunity to develop their skills. The teachers will share their breadth of knowledge, introduce you to new works and encourage you to share your stories. Visit porchtn.org to learn more.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt University offers noncredit courses to the 50+ crowd. Educational programs, stimulating tours, trips, and cultural activities and events are designed to provide an intellectually stimulating community for OLLI’s members. Expand your understanding of the foundation and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, take a closer look at contemporary world cinema or take a weekly musical class. Learn more at vanderbilt.edu/olli.
Rediscover the joy of education without the homework, tests and papers at Saturday University. The lecture series held on Saturday mornings is ideal for those looking to engage in a learning community. Taught by Vanderbilt professors, these educational opportunities invite community members to develop — or further — their understanding for health and society, writing, art history, philosophy, poetry and more. Classes for 2015 will be announced in February. Stay tuned at vanderbilt.edu/saturdaylectures.
Master of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Through the Master of Liberal Arts & Science, Vanderbilt offers a graduate degree program for the part-time, adult student. Classes are held on weekday evenings throughout the year, which many working professionals find appealing. The flexibility in program design, course selection, tuition, scheduling, admission and registration procedures is designed to help the adult learner pursue a postgraduate degree. Get started at vanderbilt.edu/mlas.
Sarratt Art Studio
The Sarratt Art Studio puts a twist on university-based learning. With classes in jewelry, photography, clay, drawing, painting, printmaking, glass, graphic design and more, Sarratt provides creative opportunities to the Nashville community. All classes meet weekly for two hours, and winter courses begin the week of January 19. Studio art classes meet for 12 weeks, and photography and graphic design classes meet for six weeks. Get those creative juices flowing at vanderbilt.edu/sarrattart.
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film Community Education
Tap into your artistic side in Watkins’ Community Education program. With noncredit classes, workshops and camps in art, design and film, Watkins’ CE Program is designed to help folks of all ages expand upon their artistic skills. The Spring 2015 catalog includes an introduction to welding, woodworking opportunities, drawing and painting classes for all levels, mini film school, photography intensives, and dozens of additional classes and workshops. Let Watkins help you pursue a life of creativity; learn more at watkins.edu/community-education.
The Skillery is a coworking space, marketplace for classes and workshops, and a community of creative entrepreneurs in historic Germantown. A monthly membership includes access to space to work, read, meet and drink coffee. Plus, the Skillery invites the community to grow and learn new skills by offering workshops in various subject matters and topics ranging from DIY to wine tasting. So whether you are looking to learn tips on a start-up, write the next great novel or craft a delicious cocktail, the lineup of classes will definitely keep you busy. Visit theskillery.com for details.
USN Evening Classes
This year marks USN’s Evening Class Program’s 22nd year. With more than 130 classes in 10 different categories, this season promises to excite. Expand your knowledge of the arts, learn practical life skills, master the kitchen, develop your green thumb or get outside and learn fly fishing. Focus your energy on one class or sign up for multiples, each gathering the community in the spirit of learning together. Proceeds benefit USN’s K-12 need-based scholarship endowment. Help yourself — and others — while stoking the joy of learning. Learn more at eveningclasses.org.
Whole Foods Salud! Cooking School
Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods offers fun, educational cooking and wine classes. If you are looking for a date night, try to snag a spot at the Chef Showcase: Food From a Southern Cook. Watch as the chef prepares the menu, and get the secrets to good, Southern cooking. If you are a wine fan, try the Fabulous Wine with Fabulous Cheese pairing. For a hands-on experience, tackle the sushi workshop and learn the basics of sushi making. With weekday and weekend classes, Salud! offers plenty of opportunities that work with most schedules. See the complete lineup at wholefoodsmarket.com/salud-cooking-school.
Franklin Glassblowing Studio
Always wanted to get into glass blowing? Or perhaps you never knew you wanted to get into glass blowing? Either way, Franklin Glassblowing Studio is the place to go. While glassblowing hadn’t crossed our minds before, after stumbling upon the introductory classes, we were intrigued. Gain a basic understanding of glass working; make paperweights, ornaments and cylinders; and walk away with a new hobby. Visit franklinglassblowingstudio.com for details.
The Ballroom — Green Hills
Dance lessons aren’t just for the recently engaged. Master the steps of your favorite dance and get moving at the Ballroom — Green Hills dance studio, which offers a wide variety of dance instruction. Find classes in authentic Latin nightclub styles, formal competitive ballroom dancing and everything in between. Take a group class, private lesson or attend the weekly Friday night open dancing. See the full lineup at theballroomgreenhills.com.
There are several other organizations that are getting in gear to hold even more adult classes. We’ll have many listed in our Happenings section, right here on StyleBlueprint: styleblueprint.com/nashville/happenings/
Get out there and learn a new skill this year! We know you can do it!!