Celebrating 23 Years of Classes for the Nashville Community
For the Most Up-To-Date Class Information and Registration
2016 CLASS CATALOG
There are over 130 classes in ten categories this year. Your favorites are back along with at least fifty percent new. Select the category on the left to browse the classes.
Music, Literature and the Arts (100) classes help you tap into your creative side or expand your knowledge of the arts with classes on music history, gallery tours and writing.
Career, Communications, Money and Computers (200) classes provide you with practical advice and skills such as estate planning, iPhone app development and interviewing for a job.
Family, Health and Self-Improvement (300) offers classes to promote your well-being such as meditation, dressing with style, and eating mindfully.
Cooking and Culinary Experiences (400) includes a broad range of cooking and food appreciation classes including a preview offering from one of Nashville’s finest chefs, exclusive behind-the-scenes restaurant experiences and a peak into the kitchens of some of the area’s best home cooks.
Wine, Spirits, Beer, and Entertaining (500) classes offer unique opportunities to sample rare wines, learn how to make the latest cocktails and elevate the look of your event with beautiful tablescapes and floral design.
Home and Garden (600) will help you spruce up some aspect of your home - inside and out - with classes such as interior decorating, green home design, and planting a beautiful garden.
Arts and Hobbies (700) classes can offer you a hands-on introduction or a chance to develop deeper skills as you experience painting, pottery, woodturning and other hobbies.
Recreation, Fitness and Dance (800) classes will help you get more healthy and fit by taking you outdoors to try fly fishing, or offer a chance to try a new form of exercise in one of our on-campus studios.
Tours (900) will take you behind the scenes into Nashville’s galleries or out on the roads to learn more about our city.
One-on-Ones (1000) are a fantastic opportunity for you to tap into the expertise of many talented professionals for an individualized session, such as home organizing, songwriting or tree pruning.
100: MUSIC, LITERATURE, & THE ARTS
101 POLITICS WITH RENOWNED PULITZER PRIZE WINNER EUGENE ROBINSON
Join EUGENE ROBINSON, Pulitzer Prizewinning columnist, for a 45 minute political discussion, followed by an impromptu 15 minute Q&A session. Mr. Robinson is known coast to coast for his insightful commentary, using twice-weekly columns in The Washington Post to pick American society apart and put it back together again in unexpected and revelatory new ways. His remarkable story-telling ability has won him wide acclaim, most notably the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African-American president. Robinson focuses on the intersection of politics and culture and how trends reshape every part of our community, from the family dinner table to the electoral map. The personal is the political, as the saying goes, and this is a rare opportunity for class participants to hear one of our nation’s finest political thinkers. Age 14 and up.
Please join SARAH SPERLING, USN alumna and Director of Nashville Operations for Brunk Auctions, for a hands-on study of items to be offered at auction. The class will consist of an open discussion of what makes some pieces valuable and others not, what to look for when purchasing pieces, strategies for bidding, as well as a chance to preview and discuss upcoming auction items. This class will be held (with refreshments included) at Brunk Auctions Nashville. Age 21 and up. Brunk Auctions
103 THE FATE OF FOOD: WHAT WE’LL EAT IN A BIGGER, HOTTER, SMARTER WORLD.
Join journalist and USN parent AMANDA LITTLE for a lecture and discussion about how climate change and population growth are transforming the global food system--for worse, and for better. Amanda is a professor of journalism at Vanderbilt and a contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek. She has traveled around the world, from Marin to Mumbai, to investigate the impact of climate change on local ecosystems, farms and economies. She will talk about her ongoing research on the most fascinating and troubling innovations -- from GMOs to plant-based meats -- that are emerging in response to the pressures of the growing global population and our warming atmosphere. Amanda Little
Inspiration can hit at any time. Once it does, the question becomes where to take it, what to do with it, and how to improve the genesis idea. In this course, RON KIDD, author of eleven novels and eight plays, a two-time O’Neill playwright and USN alumna parent, will guide you through a process for taking your inspiration and building a novel, chapter by chapter. Ron Kidd
105 HOW TO WRITE HISTORY (THAT DOESN’T PUT PEOPLE TO SLEEP)
History is exciting, engaging, fascinating and frequently funny... but aspiring history writers often make it sound drier than the paper in a centuries-old book. In this class, experienced writer-editor GERALD D. SWICK presents tips for engaging readers' interest and emotions while sticking to the facts. Tips include the single most useful exercise you can do to make your writing more focused, dramatic and interesting.
Vanderbilt sociologist (and parent of USN alumna) DAN CORNFIELD presents an author-guided discussion based on his book, Beyond the Beat: Musicians Building Community in Nashville (Princeton University Press, 2015). Using excerpts from interviews with four diverse, emerging and enterprising Indie Music artists, the group will discuss the ethos of contemporary “indie” arts. Specific topics include: 1. How do one’s family and other childhood mentors inspire a young adult to embark on an artistic career? 2. How does one’s ethnic and racial background influence an emerging musician’s artistry? 3. How does an emerging indie artist come to conceive of the audience she or he wishes to engage with one’s artistry? 4. How important is “cross-promotion”—the indie ethos of mutualism among peers—to one’s artistic-career development? 5. How and why do these indie musicians conceive of success? Beyond the Beat addresses how Nashville provides the rich social context for encouraging “artist activism” in creating an exemplary, inclusive, mutually supportive, and vibrant artist peer community. Dan Cornfield
Just in time for Valentine's Day... Have you ever wished you could craft a poem of love for someone in your life, whether that be a partner, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend? Come to this one-night writing workshop where you'll write and revise a love poem of your own under the guidance of award-winning poet and USN alumnus parent KELLY CASS FALZONE. In a safe (and not-too-sappy) circle of would-be-bards, participants will read examples of great love poems and playfully approach writing their own.
O, cursed be Cupid, candy hearts and greeting cards! For those called to commemorate heartache, betrayal and unrequited love, or to celebrate single-hood, this is the writing class for you. Students will work on crafting anti-love poems in a supportive (and sassy) circle under the guidance of award-winning poet and USN alumnus parent KELLY CASS FALZONE. Designed to incorporate a mix of amusement, acerbity and self love, this could be THE anti-date night of the year.
109 A WAY TO WRITE: USING THE AMHERST WRITERS AND ARTISTS METHOD
A writer is someone who writes, and every writer has a unique voice and inherent creative genius. These are key tenets of Amherst Writers & Artists. Another belief and practice is that craft should be taught without damage to a writer's original voice or artistic self-esteem. Using methodology developed in Amherst, Massachusetts (home of Emily Dickinson, as well as other literary luminaries), this writing workshop will provide a safe, respectful environment for exploring the craft and finding voice. Led by ALISON ERNST, an AWA certified workshop leader, participants will be introduced to principles and practices of this approach to writing. All curious, aspiring, and experienced writers are welcome in this class.
A first-hand look at the rescue of art and cultural treasures during World War II presented by DEANIE HANCOCK FRENCH, daughter of one of the original Monuments Men, famed American sculptor Walker Hancock. Deanie will share her story and show some extraordinary footage from the National Geographic film, Hunting Hitler's Stolen Treasures (completed just in time for the release of George Clooney's Hollywood production, The Monuments Men) that provides authentic historical background and a context for understanding how so many thousands of works of art were saved from destruction.
111 WRITING AND PUBLISHING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS
Have you ever thought about writing a children's picture book or young adult novel? This introductory class, led by award-winning authors JESSICA YOUNG (a USN parent) and SHARON CAMERON provides a glimpse into the business and craft of children's literature. Topics will include how to’s on the concept, format, and structure of picture books and novels, as well as finding and working with an agent, editor, and publisher. Jessica YoungSharon Cameron
Do you have a lot of great life stories to share? USN alumna SUSANNAH FELTS will give you the encouragement and creative prompts to begin crafting real-life experience into meaningful narratives. Participants will draw from their journals and memories to complete a number of prompts designed to pull material out of lived experience and will be welcome to share work-in-progress with one another, should they desire. Susannah is the cofounder and co-director of the Porch, Nashville's nonprofit center for writing. She earned her MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the author of a novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record. Her book reviews and interviews with authors appear regularly in Humanities Tennessee’s Chapter 16. The Porch
Have you ever wanted some extra skills to help you dazzle at a meeting, be the life of the party, and connect with your friends? Sign up for this exciting adult improv acting class and you will participate in and enjoy many games like the ones you may have seen on "Whose Line is it Anyway." USN middle school theatre instructor and parent BAKARI KING will teach improvisational theatre's tricks of the trade and how improv can apply to and support your everyday life. Age 21 and up. Barkari King
Date(s): Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Time(s): 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Materials Fee: $0
Location: Private home
114 LET YOURSELF GO: THE ART OF TRAVEL WRITING
Sometimes a trip is more than just a trip, it's a transformative experience. This class looks at travel writing as a type of creative nonfiction, examining first-person essays that reflect on the inner journey that arises from a special trip, location or destination. Journalist and parent of USN alumni, GLORIA BALLARD will lead the discussion, looking at the work of several contemporary travel writers to see what makes their work compelling. Bring your own travel memories and pen and paper to begin documenting your own journey into travel writing. Gloria Ballard