A wide array of classes will be available to members and non-members alike.
This winter, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find a class to enjoy at the Longboat Key Education Center.
The organization hits its stride with classes in the winter session, Director Susan Goldfarb said. More students in town means a larger selection of classes from which to choose, including some perennial favorites like politics and history classes.
“The fall semester is just a really very small, limited thing because our snowbirds aren’t really fully back yet,” Goldfarb said. “So we try to really pack everything into January and February.”
The winter term runs from Jan. 6 to Feb. 28, with classes that typically meet once a week anywhere from once with the center’s workshops to eight times over the course of the semester. Goldfarb, a former yoga teacher, always provides a healthy dose of movement-based and yoga classes along with health workshop classes, including one covering the journey to live to be 100 as well as arthritis and meditation workshops.
“Regulating your nervous system is going to be one of our workshops as well,” Goldfarb said. “People don’t realize how important the vegus nerve is for their overall functioning.”
This year, the center is dedicating Thursdays to one-time workshops. On Jan. 9, the first workshop covers the history of Yiddish theater. The next one covers Clyde Butcher, whom Goldfarb calls the “Ansel Adams of Florida” for his striking black and white images of the landscape.
Elsewhere in the Education Center’s brochure are classes on poetry, literature, nature, photography, painting, art history, foreign language, writing, film, dance, comedians, dogs, technology basics and how to play popular card games.
“I would like people to know that they might be missing out on something if they only have History of Central Banking [on their list],” Goldfarb said.
If some of those bring back the fonder memories of the days spent enthralled in school lectures long past, that’s by design. The Education Center’s tagline is, “Like college, only better.” These classes are taught by well-proven experts, but you don’t have to pass or take any quizzes. Just sit there, and take in the knowledge.
“They’re really for the college level and beyond,” Goldfarb said. “But when you’re in college, and you had to take certain courses for your degree, you couldn’t take some of the more enjoyable things that you would have liked because you were concentrating on a particular area.”
Many of the political and history classes, including Improving the Way We Vote, American Tribalism, Burning Issues in the Supreme Court and the History of New York, nearly always fill up.
“It just gives you an indication of how much people want to stay in touch and have discussions about what’s going on with our world right now and how we are looking to the future,” Goldfarb said.
New this year is a concert collaboration with Temple Beth Israel, called the Sunday Showcase. Violinist and Sarasota Orchestra concertmaster Daniel Jordan and internationally renowned pianist Solomon Eichner will delight with a duet of Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Bach as well as Jewish composers George Gershwin and Ernest Bloch. Post-concert, students can meet and greet with the musicians at a reception.
“I’ve never really worked with them before, but we thought, ‘Why don’t the two of us get together?’” Goldfarb said. “We both provide spiritual, cultural and educational organizations that enrich people’s lives.”
The Education Center’s extensive education programs run five days a week, plus some weekend days for workshops. Visit LBKEducationCenter.org, and register by calling 383-8811.