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Why Making Things Helps Us Thrive

We can all use more things in our life that make us feel happy and fulfilled.  There has been a cultural renaissance these last few years as we learn more about what really motivates people.  It’s something we nearly lost in our manufacturing-heavy culture: the pleasure associated with making things and sharing one’s creations with others.  This is also a business opportunity, so read on if you are intrigued by the idea of turning your passion into an enterprise.

This is a revolution. If you can imagine it, you can make it. And that’s new to the world. – Mark Hatch, CEO, Maker Media

Your Brain on Creativity


Why does making and sharing things feel so good?  It begins with creativity, one of those things that spurs us on to ever greater accomplishments.  There is nothing quite like creative experiences to throttle our brains into happier brain chemistry by putting us into the flow states associated with positive psychology.  And creative thinking also has benefits in other parts of our lives: it improves problem-solving, big picture and design thinking, as well as collaboration with others.

It doesn’t matter whether you are into art, crafts, DIY, or tinkering, your brain loves to create and rewards you for doing so.  The process of creating and sharing your creations releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant in your brain.  Dopamine is the brain chemical associated with reward and the pleasurable sensations that come from it.  It’s like we are wired to create.  But legions of artists, crafters, do-it-yourselfers and makers could tell you that!

There’s survey evidence to support crafting’s dopamine effect. In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”

The positive effect of creative activities is well-documented  in the scientific literature.  Creativity and the novel experiences associated with it keep the brain agile and also motivate us.  Things as simple as coloring or doodling encourage this effect, but the most benefit comes from ongoing creative pursuits:

Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging. – CNN

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

The following talk by British educator Sir Ken Robinson is one of the most popular TED Talks of all time.  He argues that creativity is more important than literacy and that traditional schooling kills creativity.  This is especially true now that home economics, woodshop, arts, and music are disappearing from schools.  Less young people are learning how to cook, sew, and build via formal education, although classes, camps and after-school activities are filling the gap.  Robinson says that our innate drive to create and to embrace trial and error are not valued in an educational system that tries to minimize failure.  Creativity also tends to be multi-disciplinary, which is not widely embraced in our siloed educational systems.

DIY & Maker Culture

A major trend the last decade or so has been a shift towards people becoming more and more creative and leveraging that creativity to explore new interests or even launch new businesses.  We’re creating handmade and one-of-a-kind items that stand out in the world of mass manufacturing.  Some of us are launching businesses on sites like Etsy, an extravaganza of novel items launched from creative brains (which boasts 25 million shoppers).  This has been fueled, as well, by the recession economy that has turned so many people into entrepreneurs:

 In a world of mass-produced products, modern technology has made it easier than ever for a single individual to create and distribute items that are customizable and unique without having middlemen like manufacturers. This growing shift will continue to affect the economy and will likely have big implications on large retailers. It is a special time in history that will have a transformative impact on our future. – Huffington Post

You might have heard about the Maker movement, a grassroots movement based on the emergence of consumer-level tools for design and manufacturing.  It’s reported that 135 million Americans are makers, which is nearly half the population. The maker manifesto calls for making, sharing, giving, and learning.  It’s making a difference.  MakerFaires are popping up everywhere, and there are other maker-inspired communities and events, as well:

Craft nights are replacing book clubs. Libraries and museums are being turned into “Makerspaces,” physical locations where people can come together to make. The sale of sewing kits in Walmart stores has recently gone up 30 percent. And just last year, someone created Christmas cookies using a 3D printer. – Huffington Post

This has become a major economic phenomenon because of a perfect storm of conditions:

  • Access to increasingly sophisticated tools to create, like 3-D printers.
  • The ability to find inspiration online.
  • Crowdfunding to make your idea reality.
  • Online marketplaces and social channels to get feedback and distribute creations.
  • Inexpensive and effective tools for branding, marketing, and promotion.
  • Learning opportunities provided by other creators.

Boosting Your Creativity and Learning DIY Skills

Albert Einstein said that creativity is intelligence having fun. At Connect2Classes, we are committed to helping our learners explore their creative potential.  Creative businesses can be some of the most fulfilling, as well as being lucrative in a world of people looking for unique and one-of-a-kind items.  We’d love to hear about how your creative endeavors affect your life – please comment!


Want to learn how to do something life-changing? 
Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.

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Embrace Social! Update Your Skills in Digital & Social Media Marketing

embrace social media and update your skills

Digital and social media are an important part of any marketer’s toolkit, but it does tend to be a bit confusing for the uninitiated.  In reality, however, it isn’t that much different from traditional marketing.  The goals are the same (raise awareness, convert potential customers, promote advocacy and word-of-mouth sharing), and social interactions online offer some great benefits and allow you to scale your marketing efforts beyond your current capacity.  It’s also about being where your target markets are and social media offers great ways to connect with customers as they explore their interests.  Facebook alone has 1.6 BILLION users so it is a huge opportunity to augment your marketing efforts.

we are social Source: SmartInsights

A few important reasons to take digital and social media marketing seriously, especially if your customers are avid Internet users:

Raise Awareness and Keep Your Brand Top of Mind

Building and maintaining awareness of your brand, products and services is a constant challenge.  By having a robust presence on social media, you can promote your brand and offerings and make sure they are available where your potential customers already are.  Read about the most popular social networks worldwide.

Demonstrate Credibility

Social media is a great way to establish your credibility in a space.  You also demonstrate knowledge and credibility by connecting with and promoting others in your space.  This means following influencers and commenting on or sharing their content.  ‘Stand on the shoulders of giants’ is a good way to think about it.  You can align your messaging and content with popular activity in the social sphere.

Real-time Engagement

Your digital marketing and social media efforts keep you involving customers and allow you to respond to questions or comments in real-time. Your customers can be huge advocates for you and will happily share your content across social media if you involve them.

Share Knowledge

Internet users tend to gravitate towards content that has value, meaning old marketing messages don’t work nearly as well as sharing tangible knowledge about things people care about.  Social media can also be a great vehicle for customer service, if you make a point to respond quickly to customer questions and feedback.  The more you respond, the more customers will gravitate towards those channels.

Penetrate Your Target Markets

Social media preferences tend to vary quite a lot by age and gender, and some social media sites (like LinkedIn) are centered around professional connections.  You can also schedule content to be published and use hashtags and boards on many of the services to keep your messages aligned with broader trends.

Respond In Real-time

A major area of value for the wired generations is the ability to conduct business in real-time.  Social media is a great way to ensure your availability whenever someone has a question or feedback.  You can also take it a step further by being available on chat networks (like Snapchat or Facebook Messenger) as well.

Be More Efficient (and Save Money)

Social media marketing is so important because it allows you to scale your efforts significantly and reaches a much larger audience.  There are some great tools that allow you to post across multiple channels and set up automation so your voice is being heard even when you aren’t available.  These are all really low-cost ways of getting your message out there.

Some Questions You Might Have

  • How can you align your digital strategy with your offline marketing efforts?
  • Which social media channels are best for engaging with your target audience?
  • What engagement and writing styles work best?
  • How often should you be posting to your blog or sending email?
  • Would social ads be a good investment for you?
  • How can you measure your success?

If you’re intrigued by these suggestions check out our social media and digital marketing classes or consider the following upcoming classes:

Online Courses

  • Digital Marketing Suite
    How to market your business on the Internet.
  • LinkedIn 101
    Use this business-oriented channel to boost your career or business.
  • Achieving Top Search Engine Positions
    All about SEO and how to achieve great results.

Quick 1-day Classes

  • Digital Marketing Bootcamp
    How to tie your digital and offline campaigns together. An all day class on Oct. 21st.
  • Visual Design and User Experience for Email
    Email can be one of your most important digital marketing channels.  Learn how on Nov. 9th.
  • Social Media Advertising
    Learn how to make paid advertising work for you with this class Oct. 22nd.
  • Blogging 101
    How to create a successful blog and make money doing it.  Oct 20th.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Non-Profits
    Get a real look under the hood with free classes beginning Oct 19th.

In-depth Courses

  • 10-Week Digital Marketing Intensive
    A great place to start if you are wondering how digital marketing and social media can improve your business.  Begins Oct 8th, Nov. 5th or Dec. 13th.
  • Site Audit Workshop
    This 6-week course will teach you the fundamentals of site analytics and improvement.  Begins Oct. 20th.

What students say about our life-changing professional courses:

I attended the Web Development Immersive course. It changed my life.  Within 1 1/2 months of graduation, I was offered a great job at a company that’s considered one of the top 5 to work for in the Pacific NW. Starting next week I’ll be a Software Engineer making more than twice what I made in my previous career, and I enjoy the work much more.


Want to learn how to do something life-changing? 
Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.

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An Artist, a Game Developer and a Restauranteur On the Secret to Productivity

Downing Pottery at Nordstrom

With sunny skies, crowded commutes, and that phantom force we call Vacation Brain, staying productive in the summer can prove difficult. But sometimes, embracing small distractions can help achieve more lofty goals. These tips from a local ceramic artist, a game developer, and a restaurateur will get that lazy brain back on track—and get the creative juices flowing.

Set small, achievable goals.

No stranger to success, Jon Gill is a game developer at Ruddy Games and self-published his first board game, Skulldug! In January 2016. It was a KickStarter staff pick and currently leads the bestseller table at Cafe Mox in Ballard. But Jon knows smash hits don’t happen overnight, and welcomes the minute tasks along the way.

“Busywork, like answering e-mails or doing something in Photoshop can be really good, because they’re not ‘blank page’ problems,” he explains. “There’s a guaranteed result; I can do it, and cross it off my list, and by then I’m excited enough to tackle the blank page.”

These tasks build confidence, Jon says, but they occasionally give him ideas as well. Turns out with a little momentum, the finish line won’t look so distant.

Create a weekly cycle
Walrus and the Carpenter 2 With all the information we consume in a day, face-to-face meetings are becoming more and more important. When they interrupt a task, though, these appointments can throw off focus and halt that productivity. That’s why lauded Seattle restaurateur Renee Erickson sets a weekly schedule for all six of her eateries. “We have our manager meetings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and that leaves the rest of the weekdays free to be in the restaurants or taking on other events.” For a creative who depends heavily on Google Calendar to organize events, schedules, and delegation, meetings can be a blessing and a curse. The cycle keeps her from overbooking herself and allows each manager to compile questions or concerns ahead of time. And whatever’s in-between, she laughs, gets written on her hand!

Prepare your brain
Often, striking a groove is all about creating a conducive workplace. For Downing Pottery artist Sarah Woodson, this means all prep work is done before she leaves her studio at night. With a schedule based around art shows and special orders, “I have to run a pretty tight ship. But clay doesn’t always work at the pace you want it to.” For example, “when it’s raining and there’s a lot of moisture in the air, the process takes longer.” Sarah tackles issues she can’t control by responding to the ones she can.

Likewise, Jon treats his lengthy commute not as a necessary evil, but as prime brainstorming time. “Because it’s such a constrained space, there are no distractions and I can focus,” the dev points out. “When I just get home without priming the pump in that way, it can be much easier to say, ‘oh I’ll just watch TV, or play a game.’” Armed with a quiver of fresh ideas, he can tackle a challenge as soon as he gets home.

Schedule quality time off
Even before A Boat, a Whale, and a Walrus was published, Renee found it difficult to take the kind of time off she wanted. In lavish photos and delectable stories, the book profiles her favorite vendors, friends, and fishing spots, not to mention menus for all kinds of occasions—all without a smartphone in sight. So how does she step away from the cloud? The secret, she admits, is to schedule events six months in advance, rather than a year. “There’s just so much that we could say yes to, the days off would become impossible,” Renee confides, “you never know what happens in your life, whether it’s a wedding or something exciting.” Her restaurants may be on the hot list each season, but one surf and turf weekend that’s utterly off-limits? Her birthday in August.

Keep your brain engaged
Jon’s home plays barracks to an army of figurines. A regular host of movie nights and outings, he mines pop culture for ideas while he spends time with good friends. “Things that work, work for a reason,” he insists, recommending that any creative study products outside his field. “Especially with games, there is a tendency to look towards other games.” The mentality of “‘I’m going to make a shooter game, I’m going to play other shooter games and see what the best shooters are,’ means you’re going to put out a product that’s exactly like everything else.” That’s a huge mistake in the gaming sphere.

Consuming culture can also increase productivity. “I listen to a lot of podcasts,” Sarah tells us, “and have found that certain types of programs help the flow of my work on any given day. It’s the best thing at the wheel to get sucked into a story and not realize that an hour has gone by.” Whether it’s RadioLab or her favorite stand-up comedian, Sarah can craft ideas and let muscle memory take care of the rest.

Ready to take the plunge? Connect2Classes offers a wide array of opportunities, from coding to crafting to cooking. Sign up today for your chance to rock the studio and bring a creative new routine to your daily life.

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Want Libations While You Learn? Try These Classes With Cocktails

wine tasting

Have you ever thought about taking a class, but felt slightly apprehensive at the thought of re-entering a classroom? Do you have memories of strict rules, boring content and fear of being called on? Most adult educators understand that learning should be fun, relaxing and refreshing. Lighthearted learning atmospheres encourage people to meet strangers, take creative risks, and form new business relationships.

Classes for those over 21

The following classes take lighthearted a step further—they all serve alcohol in class. Perhaps this is the way to kickstart your foray into lifelong learning—if you are over 21, of course!

Vodka Rocks
Working with 2bar Spirits, Batch 206 Distillery, or Oola Distillery, this introduction to single-run vodka distilling will allow you to explore the distillation process from start to finish, including fermentation, stripping, finishing, and filtering. The day ends with vodka on ice, tantalizing your taste buds and leaving you ready for your next steps.

Art & Wine: 40s Pin Up
Students will learn design and human anatomy in acrylic painting. Make your own unique image while enjoying a glass of wine! Bring a friend, learn practical painting techniques and have a great time. All supplies and a glass of wine included.

Lagers & Learning: A Taster of InVision for Prototyping
This is a super-casual, entry-level, non-geeky, networking-friendly environment, made even more fun by the presence of the lager-tasting experts from SVC’s neighbor, Downtown Spirits. You’ll go home with some new knowledge about current UX and UI prototyping tools as well as some obscure new brews.

Have fun while you learn!

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General Assembly Teaches Hard Skills for Software

General Assembly Seattle

Graduates of the Seattle branch of General Assembly may find jobs at Microsoft or Amazon, and the school’s campus in the historic Seattle Tower does boast a giant chalk mural of Mount Rainier. But the instruction is anything but provincial; rather, students will have the same experience right off Third Avenue in downtown Seattle as they would in London or Hong Kong. That, says local marketing manager Marina Rusinow, is very much by design.

Find Technology Classes and More 

“We want students to have the same experience,” she says. “We want General Assembly to have this unified community where we can have a student come visit us who has taken a class in London or New York or San Francisco, and get the same boutique experience that they had here.”

Since 2011 the school has graduated tens of thousands of students from 15 outposts around the world. At every one, from the home base in New York City to the latest outpost in Singapore, General Assembly teaches data, design, and business skills with the same intensive curricula, based on concrete projects and portfolio-building.

Not only does this consistency facilitate learning, it also helps General Assembly place almost every graduate in a job. Each class teaches a high-demand skill, then takes students through the job-search process, so they can leverage it anywhere they want to go–or, in the case of tech jobs, where they are needed.

“Companies are struggling,” says Casey Hills, who works with GA’s employer partners. “They’ve tapped the computer-science programs at universities and there’s still a lack of talent. So we’re bridging that gap. Basically, if there’s an audience for it, we’ll put it together.

“Companies come to us first when they need that talent because they know about our track record and they know about our training, they know what kind of development students get in the program. It’s application versus theory–that’s the difference.” Mock interviews, portfolio reviews, and chances to network are just pieces of this application.

“We really do want to create this amazing pool of talent,” Rusinow adds, “and I think the fact that we create so much opportunity for our students during and after the program is our biggest competitive advantage.”
GA Seattle classes
But even with uniform classes, General Assembly does not expect its students to fit a particular bill. Quite the opposite, says Hills, pointing to a dance instructor, a DJ, and even a standout teen who, with no previous tech experience, learned to code in 12 weeks and got hired right out of the program. That’s the standard, he says, not the exception.

GA also offers scholarships to groups underrepresented in tech, specifically women and minorities. A separate application process lets GA’s partner companies invest in the future of the tech industry. So each course, Hills insists, looks like “a microcosm of Seattle.”

Reflecting its community is a point of pride for GA Seattle and does guide some of its programming, such as Made in Seattle Week, a discussion series that takes place on the campus and celebrates innovation in our community. The school also hosts a wealth of free workshops for those hoping to test the waters. Prospective students ready for the deep end have several options: commit to a part- or full-time class, online or in-person.

As Hills assures us, “What we’ve seen is, if they have the passion, if they have the urgency, if they have the drive, they are successful in their job search.”

Connect2Classes helps smart, curious Seattleites find courses at more than 100 education providers in the Puget Sound area. Search and sign up for the best classes in the city; from cooking and web design to photography and beyond, through this free online class marketplace. Learn a new skill or hone an existing one to discover how much you can learn and achieve! Hundreds of classes are at your fingertips!

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Network Without a Drink in Your Hand: Here’s How


A professional network isn’t just old clients and former bosses—it’s friends-of-friends who often save your résumé from the slush pile. No one lands a job without a network, but luckily you can build these relationships with just a little effort, sometimes even by accident!
Like an internship, the things you do outside of work act like an extended interview. Think of the last place you volunteered, the last bake sale you ran, or the last intramural team you joined. These people saw the passion, initiative, and energy that often goes unnoticed at work. With some intentional planning, you could get noticed by the right people.

Discover Networking and Business Classes 

Taking a class, for example, is a much more organic way to build connections than the typical conference or happy hour. It projects work ethic and drive, plus everyone arrives on equal footing, so there’s no pressure to put yourself out there.

Before you sign up, think about the kind of people you want to meet. Do you need a mentor, a new team member, or perhaps a jump start in your field? Even if these don’t materialize right away, your teacher can often help with contacts.

So the next time you hit the bar, your pockets stuffed with business cards, ask yourself what could give your résumé an extra push. The answer could be in a classroom.

Soft Skills for Technical People
This workshop will help you turn failures into opportunities, discuss the benefits of adaptability and flexibility, and boost your skills in deciphering nonverbal data. $30

Writing for the Web
Discover techniques and best practices for writing and designing content that looks and feels easy to use. You may be great with analytics, but marketing firms want someone who can create compelling stories as well. $149

Project Management for Design
Learning the basics of project management can vault you over hurdles in your current position, or set you up for startup jobs down the line. $355


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Classes to take in January

Seattle winter classes

It’s cold and rainy but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your weekends binging on netflix or cleaning out the garage.  Here is a list of classes you can take in January – there’s everything from playwriting to quilting, barista to bartender, welding to wine… you get the idea.  Browse to your heart’s delight on all the classes in January  or have a look at the suggestions below.


Applying to graduate business and management schools usually mean taking the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). Our GMAT Preparation Course is a must. Taking this course will provide you with test-taking techniques and methods for improving your score and saving time on all GMAT question types. You’ll review the more familiar questions and learn how to approach question types that may be new to you, like critical reasoning and data sufficiency.
Online, Jan 13

Playwriting and the Art of the Short Play

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at playwriting? The short play form has proved to be a popular way for emerging writers to get their work heard and seen on stages across the country. In this six-week course, you will learn the fundamentals of crafting a short play from developing compelling characters, creating intriguing conflicts, and crafting strong dialogue as well as resources to market and submit your scripts. The course will culminate in a public reading. Jan 25

Intermediate/Advanced Quilting

Add to your basic quilting skills with this technique-oriented class. Students will have several projects to choose from while learning new techniques that go beyond the basics. Advanced color and fabric selection, quilt design, and new construction techniques will be included. Jan 5 – Feb 23

Home Barista Course: Espresso Extraction, Milk Steaming and Latte Art

Home Barista Course: Espresso Extraction 1/2 day: Morning or Afternoon You’ve taken the first step and purchased a home espresso machine. You’ve talked with the baristas at your local coffee shop, done research online, and found an espresso blend you really like. Now you have your friends over for dinner, and you’re about to wow them with some wonderful espresso shots. But instead of great espresso, the shots you are pulling don’t taste nearly as good as the ones you remember having at the coffee shop. What to do? In this 3 hour course, you will learn the basics of espresso and espresso extraction. Jan 23

Producing Fundamentals for Indie Filmmaking

Lindy Boustedt will share how, through her award-winning company First Sight Productions, she has produced 18 short films and 3 feature films with budgets of all shapes and sizes. She will use her most recent short film and feature film as case studies. Participants are encouraged to bring their own projects to the class for specific advice. Participants will gain an understanding of the creative producer’s process, timelines and the many idiosyncrasies around an independent film’s lifecycle from development through initial deliverables. Jan 11

An Introduction to Content Strategy

Without content, a website only has interactions and buttons. A visitor has no idea what you have to offer her to complete her goals. Content strategy is the plan on what type of content your site will have to attract visitors, the content that will guide the user experience on your site, and the workflows and responsibilities related to that content. Ideally, this strategy begins before the dev cycle of a digital platform so that the front end of the site is tightly aligned with the backend. Jan 7

Mixology Certification Program

We want you to be a success in the bar industry and provide you a comprehensive education with hours of “hands-on” training, so that you feel confident in any venue setting. We are successful when our students are making it comfortably and securely in the bar industry. Our graduates enjoy a lifetime of “Post Graduate Benefits Package” as well. We do help you get a job locally (we always have more jobs than graduates) or nationally and you’re also entitled to free lifetime refresher courses. Jan 2-3

Welding – Make A Thing

Show up and try welding. You will be supplied with pre-cut materials. Your goal is simply to make the end result as attractive as possible.  You will have some time and material to warm up on and plenty of time to complete your project.  Projects range from a simple vase to a velociraptor.  Students 10 years old and up are welcome, but we do require that all student’s aged 16 and under be accompanied by an adult. Jan 17

Wine and Food Pairing – A Chef’s Point of View

Learn about food and wine pairing from a chef’s point of view! Enjoy tasting a variety of international & domestic wine selections while learning how to best match them with food. Understand the challenges different kinds of foods can present to your appreciation of wine by tasting them along with a wide variety of foods. A very fun and interactive experience led by Chef Carol.  Jan 19

Comfort Cooking with a Twist

Classic American comfort food, but with a decidedly modern, flavor twist. Settle into the New Year with creative takes on traditional comfort foods! Private Chef Lesa Sullivan will share  her client’s favorite midwinter meals, including: B ternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bake, Kale Ceasar Salad with Croutons, Mom’s Marvelous Meatloaf and Flourless Chocolate Brownies with Sea Salt Caramel Drizzle. Sign up and bring your comfy pants!  Jan 13 or Jan 14

Soft Skills for Technical People with Applied Improvisation

Have you ever been told to your work is great, and you’d be promoted if only you could raise your “EQ”? Perhaps you’re wondering what the fuss is about when you’re “just being honest.” Do you suspect difficulties with interpersonal skills is holding you back in other aspects of your life as well? This workshop will help you to shift how you interpret failures, discover opportunities for flexibility and adaptability, and boost your skills in deciphering nonverbal data. Through hands-on activities, you will find new ways to work better in teams, and increase your confidence in making responsive choices.
Jan 5

Bollywood Dance Workout – Ladies Weekly Batch

One hour of power packed Bollywood choreography. Our most popular class yet. This exclusive ladies class celebrates the spirit of women. A power packed hour of choreographed routines, Bollywood dance workout and a yoga cool down. Runs in batches on weekdays and weekends.   Many dates starting with Jan 17

Shock, Scream and Run! Women’s Self-Defense

Learn to use you natural strengths as a woman to quickly and effectively defend yourself. Shock an attacker to gain valuable time to escape. Leverage your natural strengths against an attackers weaknesses. Identify and avoid dangerous situations. Empower yourself and gain self-confidence. Each session is taught separately, but clients who come to multiple seminars will learn additional movements and techniques for different situations.  Jan 30

German for Travelers

Learn to say simple sentences, acquire basic reading and writing skills. This class also includes information for your travel in German speaking countries. Materials included in the class tuition. Optional textbook: Deutsch Na Klar! By Donato & Vansant 5th edition (ISBN: 13-978-007-353532-6).   Jan 11- Mar 14


MixxedFit® is a people-inspired dance fitness program that is a mix of explosive dancing and bootcamp toning.  This dance fitness program can be described as explosive – all of the movements are always big, exaggerated, full-out, and our very best. Dance to your favorite songs on the radio or nightclub. Then, spice things up by adding boot camp-inspired exercises to make your workout more effective and challenging.  Multiple Dates in January

Woodcarving for 50+

This course offers a demonstration of various woodcarving techniques, as well as the selection, use, and care of tools and materials. Students have time to work on individual projects with an instructor nearby to offer advice and assistance.  Jan 4 – Mar 21

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Connect2Classes Partnership with Seattle Weekly

Seattle Weekly

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Seattle Weekly.

Starting August 26, 2015, Seattle Weekly and Connect2Classes joined forces.  Here is what Seattle Weekly has to say:
Seattle Weekly is excited to announce a new partnership with Connect2Classes that helps smart, curious Seattleites find courses at more than 90 continuing education institutions in the city. Seattle Weekly will connect readers with the best classes in the city, from cooking to self-defense to programming through an online marketplace where you can search, sign-up, and start your next adventure.

As part of this partnership, the Weekly will publish a quarterly sponsored section exploring trends in lifelong learning and highlighting the most interesting classes, compelling teachers, and exemplary students from participating institutions. To kick off the series, we will explore the breadth of educational opportunities available to Seattleites, from the latest trends in programming to self-defense, cooking, and even a few tips on how to build your own distillery. Connect2Classes CEO Dallas Jasper will share the latest news from participating institutions and a complete calendar of free educational events for this fall. And there will be glass-blowing too. We promise.

Read our first article in The Weekly  about the School of Visual Concepts and their new location in Seattle.  We’ve also published some free educational events coming up.

Free Events

Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair is a fun celebration of harvest season during which people can participate in hands-on activities, workshops, and cooking demonstrations. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat., Sept. 12 at Meridian Park, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.

The 14th Annual Letterpress Wayzgoose, SVC’s celebration of letterpress, will include a swap-meet, a letterpress-ephemera marketplace, and free keepsake-poster printing. Noon–6 p.m. Sat., Sept. 19, School of Visual Concepts, 2300 Seventh Ave., Suite B.

Pick (and purchase) your favorite from more than 500 colorful pumpkins and gourds handcrafted in the Schack Art Center’s glass-blowing studio during Schack-toberfest. Also check out the harvest-themed art and gifts, make-your-own-glasspumpkin classes, activities for kids, and the 21+ Beer & Brat Night. September 24–27, Schack Art Center in Everett, 2921 Hoyt Ave., Everett, WA.

*A partnership between Seattle Weekly and Connect2Classes, LevelUp helps smart, curious Seattleites find courses at more than 90 lifelong learning institutions in the city. LevelUp aims to connect Seattle Weekly readers with the best classes in the city, from cooking to self-defense to programming through an online marketplace where you can search, sign-up, and start your next adventure. And look for our quarterly LevelUp section in print editions of Seattle Weekly where we cover the latest in lifelong learning.



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Summer Camps: Film, Food, Fencing and the Fab Four!

Fab Four Rock Camp

You might think about swimming, campfires and bunk beds when you think of summer camp, but there are so many more ways to camp if you are a kid today!

Discover a whole world of  Summer Camps for Kids

Film Academy Intensive

This two-week camp is designed to help both experienced and newbie teen filmmakers tell stories on the screen, and work effectively in teams to create short films from start to finish. Teens will explore and refine their skills in techniques including storyboarding, screenwriting, cinematography, working with actors, editing, lighting and sound. There will be opportunities for participants to try out different roles, and in doing so, discover the magic behind “persistence of vision” in a highly collaborative art form. Participants will edit their 2-3 minute films using Final Cut Pro, and the course will conclude with a big-screen premiere of all finished film projects, in the Film Forum’s theater. Online links to the films will also be provided to share. Fun and challenging, the camp will require campers to work hard, often under time pressure, to better understand the risks and rewards of filmmaking as an art form.

The Fab 4 in 5 Days: A Tribute to The Beatles

In the 7 short years during which The Beatles released albums, they became arguably the greatest and most influential musical group of all time. Starting in 1965 with Rubber Soul, they took a departure from the music they had released before and began a final chapter of their career of making more innovative albums; Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, Let It Be and Abbey Road. Students will explore and learn tracks from The Beatles’ entire catalog.

Campers should have at least 6 months experience in guitar, bass, keys/piano, drums or voice lessons before attending.

3D Animation Level 2

Learn to develop advance animations!  Students engage in hands-on, exploratory, project-oriented activities for the majority of the time they are in the classroom. Minimal lectures will be given; instructors are otherwise present in the classroom to give individualized attention, applied assistance, and to act as a resource for the students. We provide student versions of industry-standard software and students are encouraged to dive right in and explore the software above and beyond what is included in lecture. We encourage students to develop their skills in self-starting and time management as we believe this is an essential part of blending traditional classroom-style learning with studio-style learning. Students learn basic rigging skills, develop advance animations and basic lighting and rendering.

Silvana’s Baking Summer Camp

Kids will learn techniques for different kinds of baked goods, pastries, frozen treats, breads, pasta… We make an average of 4 different desserts from French pastries, pies, chocolate confections, and frozen desserts to bread. Aside from all the desserts and sweets we will also make one savory dish a day, (you can use it as dinner just adding a salad:)! We use only the best ingredients mostly organic, natural and fresh. Wednesdays we take an hour lunch break and have a picnic at Mathews Beach and play in the water to cool off.  Kids are advised to come with sturdy shoes to enjoy outdoor time in the brand new zipline (hurray!) and playing with the chickens and dogs.

Kids Electric Foil, August 21

Douglas E. Richards has said that Fencing is like Chess at 150 miles an hour.  Sword fighting is irresistibly appealing to children. Put two kids in a room with long cardboard tubes and within seconds an epic sword fight would begin. Hollywood recognizes the innate appeal of the sport, as evidenced by the elaborate swordplay in such blockbusters as Star Wars, The Matrix, and Pirates of the Caribbean. This camp is for students who have fenced for a year or more.  Kids will focus on sparring and learning about different competition formats.

Wedgewood Theater in the Park Camp

Come join us at Viewridge Park for Wedgwood Drama Studio’s theater summer camp! We’ll play theater games, build original characters, explore movement and scene work and learn what it takes to create an original performance all in the beautiful outdoors! Camp is led by Wedgwood Drama Studio’s brother and sister team Michael and Christi Cruz who have over 15 years’ experience performing on the stage, screen and teaching in the classroom. Theater in the Park performance for families is the last day of camp each session.

There you have it.  A summer full of food, fencing and the Fab Four!  Check out these camps and more (spoiler:  Nirvana Camp!) before they are all booked up.


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Made in Seattle Week

Made IN Seattle week

Our friends at General Assembly are celebrating their one year anniversary in Seattle in style!  They have created a week of education to highlight great local products being developed in the city — from tech and design to music, food, and beer. From Monday, June 1- Friday, June 5 they are bringing people from all backgrounds together to foster collaboration through education. You can learn a bit more about some of the great work others are doing across a variety of disciplines all over Seattle.

Trending in Tech

Monday, June 1, 2015

The week starts on Monday with keynote speakers from tech companies born in Seattle including Zulily, Zillow, and Moz talking about their perspectives on innovation. You’ll hear from the best leaders right here at home about how products can change a traditional industry, how corporations can foster ingenuity within the startup scene and how company culture can be made into an invaluable resource for innovation.

Food for the Future

Tuesday, 2 June

Panelists from restaurants and food-related businesses born in Seattle like Chaco Canyon, Seattle Tilth, and others will talk about food sustainability and culture. You’ll hear from leaders from different sides of the food industry talks about their biggest concerns for food today, including fair wages and practices for farmers and growers, sourcing and sustainability, and what the future of food looks like locally.

Disruptive Design

Wednesday, 3 June

Keynote speakers from design-centric companies born in Seattle will talk about groundbreaking design in our culture and economy. You’ll hear from innovators from companies like Built by Civilization, Artefact, Meld Home, and Miller Hull about experiences that cross the boundaries of physical and digital, including topics such as hardware design, disrupting your workspace and workflow, and an informed outlook on a digital future.

Brew Your Business

Thursday, 4 June

Panelists from your favorite breweries in Seattle will gather to share insights into the professional world of beer. You’ll hear from the brewmasters themselves about their early days and how their vision transformed into the local companies we know and love. Drink and learn about everything from what beer making looks like as a hobby to where experts from Ghostfish, Fremont, and Hilliards see the future of microbreweries in Seattle.

Makers in Music

Friday, 5 June

Panelists from various aspects of the Seattle music scene will discuss digital technologies and their impact on the music industry. You’ll hear from thought leaders and acclaimed musicians that rose to fame in Seattle about how the distribution of songs and albums has been shaped by the internet’s free market, how the relationship between record labels and artists has adjusted to the times, and what the future of music looks like in a digital world.

Follow the conversation with their hashtag #MadeinSEA.