On Sunday, April 14, the Monroe Center for the Arts on the west side of Hoboken will offer over 75 free classes over a six-hour time span. Nineteen participating businesses will offer classes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, at 720 Monroe St.
“It’s a whole slathering, a taste of what we do here,” said Craig Wallace Dale, photographer and president of Beyond the Photograph.
Dale is offering six different workshops himself, from composition to how to get more out of digital photography. Dale said that the classes are open to all levels, from novice to pro.
“Anyone can come in and get an idea,” said Dale. “We are looking for the energy of the first day of school.”
First day of school-ish
Every hour on the hour on April 14, classes will be changed. They will each last 45 minutes, with 15 minutes to “get to your next class.”
“If there was a bell, that would be when the bell would ring,” said Dale.
Classes range from painting to drawing to sewing to scrapbooking to Pilates.
The Monroe Center for the Arts is often thought of as a go-to place to take children for art education classes. Monroe Center owner Hershy Weiss and resident artists are hoping to depict the center as an active place for adult classes as well.
“We are looking for the energy of the first day of school.” – Craig Wallace Dale
“Most participants will be offering discounts for day of registrations,” Dale said of those who wish to take classes further.
Dale also explained that “way-finders” will serve as hall monitors, directing the students around the sometimes confusing large Monroe Center space.
“People can show up that morning and plot out their day,” said Dale. “A couple may decide to split up and take sewing and photography but then meet back up at 3 and take classes together.”
There will also be a pre-registration for those who wish to sign up for their classes early. Refreshments will be offered in a central location.
How ‘GROW’ grew
Weiss and Dale explained that the Monroe Center for the Arts nearly went bankrupt after some mismanagement in the past.
“We started a tenants’ association years before Weiss took ownership,” said Dale. “The reason the association got started is because we were getting letters from the bank and the owners holding the note that if we didn’t pay we’d be evicted. We got geared up to fight, and we fought.”
Dale and other energized artists and performers worked to save the community of artists. Since Weiss took over in 2008, a copasetic and “in-sync” relationship formed between the tenants and owner. Since the association no longer had to focus their energies on fighting, they cultivated “GROW.”
“We were finally together a hundred percent. Whenever we went to Hershy with an idea, he’d say ‘What can I do to help?’ ”
GROW was ultimately a rebirth of the tenant’s association with finally a positive focus, personal growth.
“Everything everyone does in this building came back to the word grow,” Dale said. “It’s all about personal growth.”
“Having this relationship with the tenants and working with them on this project is very exciting,” said Weiss. “I look forward to more projects coming in the future.”
Amanda Palasciano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.