Good Things // Laneway Learning

Like many cool things, it seems, Laneway Learning started in Melbourne in 2012. The idea was to offer cheap, varied and often unusual classes in a friendly environment to help people expand their minds creatively. It has since expanded to Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Singapore, and now, thanks to three wonderful humans, Fiona, Bex and Tara, it has arrived in Auckland.

These three describe themselves as a mixed bunch. Tara is from the USA and works as a freelance marketer with various businesses, having recently left full-time employment with a NZ tech start up. She’s also a performing artist, keen cyclist and all round curious sort. Bex worked for a long time in radio broadcasting before moving into arts and media publicity. She’s super keen on music and the arts in general. Fiona is a freelance editor and former lawyer and still dabbles in the law part-time. She’s into cooking and crafting, vege growing and books and is about to embark on her first attempt at reupholstering a sofa. One thing they all have in common is a shared passion for lifelong learning and building community. Preach.

Laneway Learning Auckland is popping up on Tuesday nights at the very lovely Alleluya in St Kevins Arcade. In the coming weeks there are plenty of different classes to choose from, from photography to juggling. Further down the track you can expect to see classes focusing on craft, film-making, performance, food and drink, and lots more – the sky is the limit really. Bex, Tara and Fiona are always keen to hear from people interested in taking classes as well as attending them, so if you have a cool skill you’d like to share with the world, now is your chance. You can get in touch with them here.

Classes are open to anyone and everyone, but are geared towards adults at this stage (this school comes with a bar). They cost around $14 and run for about an hour, which seems like a good deal to me. It’s a friendly, social environment, so you can feel quite comfortable going along on your own.

It is an unfortunate reality that when we leave school or uni and become “grown-ups”, the very concept of learning in a traditional sense disappears. Of course you can learn on the job and through experience, but there is something so enriching about applying yourself to something entirely seperate from your day-to-day alongside friends and soon-to-be-friends. That’s why I catch myself looking longingly at old lecture theatres when I walk past Auckland Uni. We all have hobbies, and we all have things we’d love to learn how to do, if we only had the time. Now if you can spare an hour and a few dollars, you can head along to St Kevins Arcade on a Tuesday night and learn something new.

I’m hoping someone will step up to teach me the ukulele. I’ve been trying to do it on my own lately but it’s not as fun, for me or my neighbours.

Laneway Learning comes to Alleluya Cafe in St Kevins Arcade, every Tuesday with different classes by people from the local community that are cheap, informal and often unusual.
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