From Beer Brewing to Neon Light Making, 9 Must-Take L.A. Classes
As Facebook feeds fill with back-to-school pics, nostalgia for the rhythm of the school year kicks in. Brains that snoozed through the summer are ready for activity. It’s time to learn something new. But what?
In L.A., improv classes and yoga studios abound and most Angelenos have already joined and/or dropped out of both. Which is why it’s time to dig a little deeper into the extracurricular course catalog of the city. Here’s our curated list of some of the most interesting classes L.A. has to offer.
David Otis Johnson
Make art that glows at the Museum of Neon Art.
The Museum of Neon Art’s new Glendale facility boasts a brightly lit, state-of-the-art classroom where students can learn the basics of neon making. Half chemistry lab, half art studio, this is the perfect place to experiment with noble gasses while making your brightest neon dreams come true. Beginning Sunday, Aug. 21, artist/sign-maker David Otis Johnson will lead an eight-week Intro to Neon I course. After two months of intensive weekly classes, you’ll come away with a unique new skill and your very own original piece of neon signage or art.
Museum of Neon Art, 216 Brand Blvd., Glendale. neonmona.org.
Drink your way through a lecture at Nerd Nite.
Proving once again that everything is better with beer, Nerd Nite brings professors out of the classroom and into a bar. Once a month, for just 10 bucks, you can snag a seat in one of the city’s most interesting lecture halls: a bar where professors give entertaining and informative presentations on a diverse range of topics. Dip into fascinating corners of research in the worlds of science, art, religion, philosophy and everything in between. If you were sober and the lighting was harsher, you’d feel like you were back in college.
Make a movie the old-school way at Echo Park Film Center.
Echo Park Film Center is an analog island in a digital world. Antique film equipment, vinyl records and stacks of film reels line the walls of this co-op/screening room/resource center/classroom. The cinephiles that run this spot are passionate about pre-digital moviemaking. While educating youth has always been at the heart of what they do, EPFC also serves adult learners with classes in everything from Super 8 and 16mm filmmaking to eco-friendly film processing using beer, wine, coffee and flowers instead of toxic chemicals.
Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park. echoparkfilmcenter.org.
David Iserson at far right
Sharpen your screenwriting skills at Writing Pad.
So, you have a brilliant idea for a new screenplay. Great! Before you find an outlet-adjacent table at your local coffee shop and open up Final Draft, sign up for a class at Writing Pad. Owned and operated by two writers with a passion for mentorship and education, Writing Pad connects small groups of students with experienced, accomplished industry professionals, all in a comfortable, homey environment. Whatever your literary ambitions, Writing Pad has a class designed to help you succeed. From novel writing to pilot pitching to radio storytelling, these classes are practical, informative and interactive. If you want to get personalized feedback on your next TV pilot from a writer-producer who has worked on both Mad Men and Mr. Robot, and you want to do so while lounging barefoot on a midcentury modern couch sipping tea in an airy downtown loft, this is the place for you.
Skip the recipes at Hipcooks.
At Hipcooks, fussy recipes and precise measurements are ignored, taste-testing is required and every class ends in a really fun dinner party. Designed to inspire cooks of all skill levels to make more food in their own kitchens, Hipcooks’ classes cover everything from basic knife skills to how to throw your own dim sum party. Class offerings are extensive and global, covering Cajun, Italian, French, Vietnamese, Thai, Greek food and more. And they offer classes on the Westside as well as the Eastside.
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