Where to go in NYC for cheap arts programs?
July 31, 2006 12:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a way to keep busy and pick up some new skills in NYC.

I'm sure that if you look at my posting history you'll pick up on the fact that I'm a bit lost at the moment. I recently graduated college, found myself completely aimless and stuck in a dead end job. Well, I'm still in the dead end job, but I moved to Brooklyn. This is great for me, I have an active social life, I get to see all my favorite bands and eat great food.

But I'm someone who likes to keep busy. I'm really looking to pick up some new skills. I'd love to give woodworking or metalworking a go or follow up on my pottery. The problem is, most of what I've found is either far too expensive (I pull in around 2K a month and 1100$ of that is in rent and living expenses) or at the wrong time of day (I work Mon-Fri, 8-5).

So, NYC MeFites, I appeal to you: Are there any cheap/free/modestly priced arts programs in the city? I'm not above apprenticeship, if it's an option. Location isn't a huge issue, although the closer to home (Williamsburgh, Brooklyn), the better.
posted by GilloD to Education (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Don't know if it's in your range, but the Art Students League of New York is amazing.
posted by brownpau at 12:07 PM on July 31, 2006

Madagascar Institute has weekend and evening classes in welding, sewing, using a lathe, taking things apart, and making balloon animals.
posted by unknowncommand at 12:21 PM on July 31, 2006

Hmm, in retrospect that might be too expensive? If you can shell out the $40 a month for two classes, then they will basically let you show up whenever you want and help out with whatever they're doing (and they do tons of crazy things). Could be fun.
posted by unknowncommand at 12:24 PM on July 31, 2006

The Nonesense NYC weekly email list has a "learning" section that often includes cheap or free classes in these sorts of skills.
posted by nevers at 12:24 PM on July 31, 2006

Also, if you're down with radical bike folks, Time's Up has free bike workshops and occasional bike welding and modification workshops as well. Also nevers' suggestion is great.
posted by unknowncommand at 12:27 PM on July 31, 2006

nevers, thanks for the NonsenseNYC link. I just signed up.
posted by etc. at 4:33 PM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: $40 a month isn't too crazy. When I was looking at SVA and independent studios, it was running 400+ for 3 or months. Which, granted, is an okay price over 3 months, but I really don't have $400 to outlay all at once, at leats not for a few more months.

Great suggestions, though. Thanks much!
posted by GilloD at 5:51 PM on July 31, 2006

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