Tuesday, March 14, 2017

15 Free and Low-Cost Places to Host Workshops

I've been teaching art and jewelry classes in Syracuse for a few years now and I've learned to be creative about finding space to host classes and workshops. Keeping the cost of the space low, helps increase your profit for each class.

Here is a list of places I have held classes, to get your own ideas flowing.
  1. Skype or Zoom-You can use these platforms to teach live classes to people who don't live in your area. It makes it a little trickier than actually being in the room with someone, but totally do-able.
  2. Private Lessons in Student's Homes-I offer private lessons and will travel to people's homes to teach. I used to offer 1:1 classes, but now I just do groups, as it wasn't cost effective to do private lessons.
  3. In a Library-I currently co-host a Mixed-Media Art Exchange Group in a Public Library. We use the space for free and are on their calendar too, so sometimes we get walk-ins from the public who saw it on the calendar.
  4. In a College Activity Center-I teach a class once a year for graduating seniors at a local college. I could also approach local colleges, particularly over the summer, to see if space is available to host a class. Some have space that is available to rent to the public.
  5. In a Non-Profit Agency-I host a local class at a non-profit agency. If you're offering a fund-raiser for a group, they often have space you can use for your class.
  6. In a YURT in the woods. OK, so these aren't generally available, but I'm lucky enough to have friends who have an outdoor classroom, called a Yurt, that they let me use for classes. We host an annual Yurt Yoga and Painting class there and I've also done kids classes there as well.
  7. In a Restaurant-I stumbled on a restaurant/gift shop that has an adorable little cottage and patio in the back, complete with plants and shade-the perfect Artists Cottage. I asked if I could host an event there and we worked out a deal for a 1/2 day painting workshop that included lunch, tea and dessert.
  8. In an Art Co-op. If you're a part of an art co-op, chances are they host classes or have considered it. Start a conversation and see where it goes. I host MANY of my classes in art co-ops I belong to. The added bonus is that people can see the work you sell and the co-ops help to promote the class and take registrations.
  9. In a Church-They often have community rooms available for public use for free, donation or low cost.
  10. In your own home-I have offered small classes and private lessons in my home every now and then. This can be a good place to get started.
  11. In a Field or Park-Set up a tent in a field or rent a pavillion in a park and teach outside  in the fair weather months
  12. In a Gift Shop-I teach art classes in a small gift shop. The owner moves items to the side and sets up small 2 to 4 person tables to make for a cozy teaching space.
  13. In a Community Center-I've rented space in a community center for very low cost. Lots of parking, accessibility and space.
  14. In a High School Art Room-I teach through a local Adult Education program offered by my school district and we use one of the Art Rooms for our class. This is actually ideal for our class and works out great.
  15. In a garage-I've both taught and taken classes held in garages. This is not unusual for jewelry making with torches or painting with messy splashing and spraying. I've also used a friend's driveway, come to think of it, and the neighbor's dog stopped over and peed on the paintings while they were drying..good and memorable times!
If you found these ideas helpful, you may be interested in my latest project, "Teaching Creative," my new website. I'm gathering posts on teaching, interviewing creative teachers and providing tons of information for creative entrepreneurs (like you!) who want to add classes, workshops, courses or retreats to your business.

You can grab the free worksheet: "32 Ways to Earn Income Teaching What You Love" and get more tips and info. on teaching your own courses, right to your inbox. Sign up below to be the first to see Teaching Creative it when it goes live and to kick-start your own classes.

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Lyn Bernatovich said...

Kelly, this post is excellent!!! I would like to link it in my e-news this Sunday. xoxo

Kelly D said...

Absolutely Lyn! Please do.