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Adult art, writing, and cooking classes in Madison, WI


The bar at Garver Feed Mill. | Photo by @garverfeedmill

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Last week, Reader Frederick F. asked us for some help in rekindling his second-grade art talents. This got us thinking about other ways to be a lifelong learner in the 608..

We present to you a list of Madison Master Classes, if you will. A plethora of ways to try something new — rekindle a love of cooking, make a mean cocktail, or get your body moving in new ways, all taught by local experts.

For those who want to mix it up in the kitchen

For those who want to give Gordon Ransemy a run for his money, Willy Street Co-op has classes for all diets, cuisines, and palettes. DelecTable is perfect for a pair looking for a fun evening activity + with only 16 people per class, you’re sure to get a hands-on experience.

Sur la table can help you perfect your baking, cooking, or knife skills. And venture out to Sprouting Acres Farm in Cambridge, which is rumored to restart its wood-fired pizza cooking classes, but you can always set up your private session to learn from Farmer Andy.

For those who like their martini shaken, not stirred

If you’re looking to up your at-home cocktail game, Stateline Distillery offers monthly Cocktail Labs. Learn the seven basic pillars of classic cocktails + why Stateline makes them the way they do. Giant Jones Brewing Company — an independent, woman-owned, and certified organic craft brewery — has upcoming classes in March on the art and science behind flavor. Learn about the process of beer brewing from start to finish and end the experience with a beer and chocolate pairing.

Garth’s Brew Bar takes owner Garth Beyer’s experience and training and shares it through beer tasting and ingredient tasting courses by request. Want to raise the bar? Take a blind tasting class or learn about off-flavors in brewing. And while Garver doesn’t have any classes on the schedule at the moment, its Cocktail Class 101 works with high-end and local spirits to give you the hidden secrets from the Garver bartenders.

For those who miss the days of papier-mâché

Monroe Street Arts offers Adult Art Studios that explore drawing, painting, and more. Check out some upcoming workshop series including watercolor, with one focusing on Madison-born Georgia O’Keeffe. Plus, The Art + Literature Lab on South Livingston Street has a drawing course — including one that kicks off in April

The Atwood Atelier has a Basic Drawing course that starts with basic shapes and ends with a figure. And the Wisconsin Union has a few upcoming series for the Picassos at heart: Intro to Watercolor and The Basics of Drawing.

For those who know their prose

Art + Literature Lab can help you hone your poetry, screenwriting, or storytelling skills over four or eight week sessions. Online courses from Madison College work through creative writing, autobiography themes, picture books, screenplays + National Poetry Month in April.

For those with a draft of the next great American novel, On the Yahara can help you workshop your piece or challenge your writing skills with mindfulness writing. And while The Bubbler’s Cabin Fever Writing Club workshop has already kicked off, you can join mid-session or be on the lookout for upcoming classes.

For those who lettered in high school

If performing in the Nutcracker was your childhood dream, Madison Ballet has adult drop-in classes for all levels. Each session is catered to attendees + there’s no semester commitment if you’re just wanting to dust off the slippers for a week.

Inspired by the Olympics? Take a skating class with Madison Ice Inc. Courses start in early March with a few offerings of adult skating to fit your skill level. And if you need a good beat, Dance Life has belly dancing, burlesque, ballet, and cardio dance classes in person, virtually, or recorded on-demand.

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