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Allerton Park & Retreat Center



Our Classes

Afro-Brazilian Traditions: Feb 22
Registration Unavailable

Afro-Brazilian Traditions: Feb 22

$25

with Mark Becker

Calendar Feb 22, 2024 at 6 pm

Afro-Brazilian Traditions – Capoeira Angola & Samba de Roda

Led by: Mark Becker

Thursdays: February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

6:00-7:30pm

Library

Registration Deadline: 1/11/2024; 1 week before each subsequent class

Skill level: Beginner

Registration fee: $25/class OR $100/series

 

Course Description:

In this course, participants will be introduced to the richness of Afro-Brazilian movement, music, language, and culture through the traditions of Capoeira Angola and Samba de Roda. This course will be designed with all ages, skill levels, and physical abilities in mind and will have a welcoming environment where community members can learn from an instructor with 19 years of experience in a hands-on, active, and joyful space.

 

Capoeira Angola is a martial art that combines fluid, low-impact movements with music to encourage self-expression and self-control. Samba de Roda is a musical tradition that combines several percussion and stringed instruments in a call-and-response setting that also welcomes dancing from participants. All these traditions have their roots in the Congo region of Africa but were developed and shared with the world in Brazil.

 

About the Instructor:

Lead instructor Mark Becker, a student of Capoeira Angola in the tradition of Mestre João Grande who has studied under Contramestre Denis Chiaramonte for 8 years, with 19 years of experience in the art of Capoeira. He is also a student of traditional Samba Chula, an art form from the Recôncavo region of Bahia, Brazil while also serving as the Director of the Bloco Gavião, a community drum ensemble focused on Afro-Brazilian drumming traditions such as samba-reggae, maracatu and afoxé. Mark has a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois and enjoys designing learning experiences for all ages to feel belonging in the exploration of Brazilian culture.

Figure Drawing (full series)
Registration Unavailable

Figure Drawing (full series)

$175

with Vivian Krishnan

Calendar Feb 26, 2024 at 6 pm, runs for 5 weeks

Figure Drawing

Led by: Vivian Krishnan

Mondays: February 26, March 4, 11, 18, 25

6:00-9:00pm

Library

Registration Deadline: February 19, 2024; 1 week prior to each subsequent class

Skill level: All Levels

Registration fee: $60/class OR $175/series

 

Course Description:

Draw from a live model through lightly instructed sessions. Open to all levels: beginners, intermediate, and advanced professionals. Participants are invited to join in five sessions that focus on quick gestures, long poses, and both costumed and nude models. Each session will include a demonstration that touches on fundamental techniques of life drawing. Your registration also includes one drink ticket.

 **Most materials will be provided. Students are responsible to bring their own 18"x24" newsprint drawing pad.

 

About the Instructor:

Vivian Krishnan is a multimedia artist with works that cross the vast stage of storytelling, from designing costumes for theatrical characters to writing and illustrating diverse children’s books. She received her bachelors in Durango, CO focusing on Printmaking and Sculpture as well as earning her MFA at UIUC in Theatrical Design. Vivian is a life-long learner of many mediums and is excited to see how art continues to play a role at Allerton.

Figure Drawing 2/26
Registration Unavailable

Figure Drawing 2/26

$60

with Vivian Krishnan

Calendar Feb 26, 2024 at 6 pm

Figure Drawing

Led by: Vivian Krishnan

Mondays: February 26, March 4, 11, 18, 25

6:00-9:00pm

Library

Registration Deadline: February 19, 2024; 1 week prior to each subsequent class

Skill level: All Levels

Registration fee: $60/class OR $175/series

 

Course Description:

Draw from a live model through lightly instructed sessions. Open to all levels: beginners, intermediate, and advanced professionals. Participants are invited to join in five sessions that focus on quick gestures, long poses, and both costumed and nude models. Each session will include a demonstration that touches on fundamental techniques of life drawing. Your registration also includes one drink ticket.

  **Most materials will be provided. Students are responsible to bring their own 18"x24" newsprint drawing pad.

 

About the Instructor:

Vivian Krishnan is a multimedia artist with works that cross the vast stage of storytelling, from designing costumes for theatrical characters to writing and illustrating diverse children’s books. She received her bachelors in Durango, CO focusing on Printmaking and Sculpture as well as earning her MFA at UIUC in Theatrical Design. Vivian is a life-long learner of many mediums and is excited to see how art continues to play a role at Allerton.

 

Improve Your Improv: Feb 27

$25

with Kyle Tasch

Calendar Feb 27, 2024 at 6:30 pm

Improve Your Improv

Led by: Kyle Tasch

Tuesdays: February 20, 27; March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9

6:30-8:00pm

TBD

Registration Deadline: February 16 & 3 days prior to each subsequent class

Skill level: All Levels

Registration fee: $25/class OR $120/series

 

Course Description:

The “Improve Your Improv” class teaches participants of all experience levels the mechanics and tools used to create improvisational theater.   This class will be jam-packed with improvisational fun. The class centers around long-form improv - scene creation, learning the essentials, and team dynamics.  However, short-form improv games will also be used to learn the craft. 

The games and practices used will help all levels of improvisers develop a skillset and become familiar with the world of Improv! This will not be a class to sit down, hear lectures, and take notes.  Students will be performing as much as possible! It will be a get up and perform kind of class. The class will emphasize the mechanics needed to act out an entertaining and meaningful scene on the spot with no lines. While improv is often a natural skill, there are many elements of the craft that can be taught to everybody.  These skills are useful on stage but also in everyday life, wherever you might be put on the spot!

Participants who have already completed this class are welcome to join again.  Complete beginners and those experienced in improv are all encouraged to join! 

 

About the Instructor:

Kyle is an improvisor, improv teacher, filmmaker, writer, actor, comedian and musician from the Chicago suburbs. He started performing improv in 2004 and has been improvising in front of audiences regularly since 2015. He has also taught classes both in-person and remote at Westside Improv in Wheaton, Illinois. He performs live across the state in various comedy and music acts and has produced hundreds of videos and songs.

Mindfulness & Meditation: Feb. 28

$10

with Doug McDannald

Calendar Feb 28, 2024 at 6 pm

Mindfulness & Meditation

Led by: Doug McDannald

Wednesdays: February 7, 14, 21, 28; March 6, 13, 20, 27

6:00-8:00pm

Studio

Registration Deadline: February 24, 2024 & 4 days before each subsequent class

Skill level: Beginner

Registration fee: $10/class OR $70/series

 

Course Description:

Part education, part experiential, and part discussion - be guided through many different aspects of mindfulness and meditation, while receiving support for whatever comes up for you along the way. Not only can this type of meditation be practiced more formally (such as a dedicated time to sit and meditate), but it can also be practiced while performing any number of daily activities. The only required tools are posture and breath, which are available to anybody, at any time. During class, we will primarily be seated. How it Works: As we attend to our posture and breath, we are able to observe the nature of our mind, body and environment with greater clarity. This clarity offers us the space to respond to everyday situations more thoughtfully and with less stress and reactivity. This effect accumulates over time, leading to more skillful responses with respect to our evolving situation or predicament. When we pause, we can observe our mind as it wanders. A wandering mind tends to automatically react to whatever external stimulus we experience. While some of these learned reactions serve us well, many of them were learned in response to situations that no longer exist, and thus, do not serve our best interest or the best interests of others in the present moment. Mindfulness and meditation offer us the opportunity to pause, interrupt our wandering mind, and create more choice in how we respond in the present moment. The results open up new and beneficial possibilities in our lives and in the lives of all the people we interact with.

 

About the Instructor:

Doug McDannald brings over 15 years of regular meditation practice, as well as certifications in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). He has 8 years’ experience coaching NCAA D1 Track & Field athletes, and 6 years’ experience in healthcare within various departments at Carle Health and Christie Clinic. He received a master’s degree in Exercise Science & Neuromechanics from Utah State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Eastern Illinois University. These experiences have contributed to Doug’s passion for helping people experience mental and physical relief through the simple, highly effective practices of mindfulness.

Colored Pencil II

$200

with Sally Walsh

Calendar Feb 29, 2024 at 1 pm, runs for 4 weeks

Colored Pencil II

Led by: Sally Walsh

Thursdays: February 29; March 7, 14, 21; Make up day: March 28*

1:00-3:30pm

Studio

Registration Deadline: February 19, 2024

Skill level: Intermediate

Registration fee: $200/series

**Registration without supplies: $155

 

Course Description:

A continuation of refining skills and techniques, each class will be a new topic and technique exploring mixed media, and special effects.

Participation in Colored Pencil I is not necessary to take part in Colored Pencil II, but some experience in drawing, color theory or previous experience with colored pencil is needed.

**Students will need the following supplies.

If you plan to purchase your own supplies, please indicate on your registration

-- mixed media sketch book (spiral bound preferred)
-- a see thru plastic ruler, any color
-- a kneaded eraser
-- #2 pencil
-- Prismacolor (recommended) colored pencils, more than 12 colors.
-- small plastic hand held pencil sharpener

 

*Please note the final date in this series is a make up class in case a week was cancelled due to bad weather.

 

About the Instructor:

Sally Walsh is a retired art teacher from Richland Community College in Decatur, IL. She has over 30 years of teaching experience and has led previous art classes at Allerton.

Afro-Brazilian Traditions: Feb 29

$25

with Mark Becker

Calendar Feb 29, 2024 at 6 pm

Afro-Brazilian Traditions – Capoeira Angola & Samba de Roda

Led by: Mark Becker

Thursdays: February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

6:00-7:30pm

Library

Registration Deadline: 1/11/2024; 1 week before each subsequent class

Skill level: Beginner

Registration fee: $25/class OR $100/series

 

Course Description:

In this course, participants will be introduced to the richness of Afro-Brazilian movement, music, language, and culture through the traditions of Capoeira Angola and Samba de Roda. This course will be designed with all ages, skill levels, and physical abilities in mind and will have a welcoming environment where community members can learn from an instructor with 19 years of experience in a hands-on, active, and joyful space.

 

Capoeira Angola is a martial art that combines fluid, low-impact movements with music to encourage self-expression and self-control. Samba de Roda is a musical tradition that combines several percussion and stringed instruments in a call-and-response setting that also welcomes dancing from participants. All these traditions have their roots in the Congo region of Africa but were developed and shared with the world in Brazil.

 

About the Instructor:

Lead instructor Mark Becker, a student of Capoeira Angola in the tradition of Mestre João Grande who has studied under Contramestre Denis Chiaramonte for 8 years, with 19 years of experience in the art of Capoeira. He is also a student of traditional Samba Chula, an art form from the Recôncavo region of Bahia, Brazil while also serving as the Director of the Bloco Gavião, a community drum ensemble focused on Afro-Brazilian drumming traditions such as samba-reggae, maracatu and afoxé. Mark has a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois and enjoys designing learning experiences for all ages to feel belonging in the exploration of Brazilian culture.

Soil Blocking for Seed Starting
Registration Unavailable

Soil Blocking for Seed Starting

$30

with Dana Pratt

Calendar Mar 2, 2024 at 1 pm

Soil Blocking for Seed Starting

Led by: Dana Pratt

Saturday, March 2, 2024

1:00-3:00pm

Auditorium

Registration Deadline: February 10, 2024

Skill level: All Levels

Registration fee: $30

 

Course Description:

Dana Pratt will share knowledge of how to use soil blocks to start seeds without using extra plastic containers and in large quantities but small space requirements.

 

About the Instructor:

Dana is a flower farmer from DeLand and grows flowers to give away. She has gone to online flower school (through The Gardener's Workshop) and uses soil blocking to grow vegetables and flowers. Dana is also an Allerton volunteer. She often works with the kids and flowers at the Champaign Boys & Girls club – where her husband works.





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