Laneway Learning hosts cheap, fun classes in anything and everything. We started in Sydney 2 weeks ago at Cowbell 808, a cafe on Bourke Street in Surry Hills. Last Wednesday our classes were "Pottery: Meditate on a Pinch Cup", and "A Bad Dancers' Guide to the Dance Floor".
Below I'll tell you why this is an awesome project, but first take a look at our Melbourne chapter to see the aspirations I have for Sydney (www.lanewaylearning.com). We'll host classes in different venues across Sydney's community hubs (next place to open will be in Bondi, then Marrickville) that care about their community's culture, not just their business.
A bigger dream: check out the 'Spectacular' tab. Imagine something like that, partnered with other great community organisations and the City of Sydney, at a place like The Grounds of Alexandria... THAT would be amazing!
So, (only some) reasons this is awesome:
- The current options for learning new stuff are limited. Either you make a huge life change and go back to uni, or you brave night school -- week in week out, classrooms with harsh lighting and cold plastic, other tired, hungry people you never really talk to. Ugh.
Our 'classrooms' are places you like spending time in anyway -- cafes and bars. They're near your work or local community. I like to think of it this way: deciding to learn something new should be as simple and spontaneous as deciding to go see a movie. You commit just one night, and take on a longer course if it sparks your interest. (Rather than sign up for 6 weeks before even trying it, and spending 300 bucks).
- We intentionally don't have a devoted space. A good thing, because: it lets me keep our costs as lean and flexible as possible (so classes usually only cost students $12); we become part of a community’s existing culture and community; we can reach more students more quickly; and using otherwise unused space is environmentally responsible and has a great impact on street life and ‘vibe’.
Funded by Sydney (August 2013)