Classes in the Arts

Register for these programs: by phone (507-664-3700), in person at FiftyNorth, or by clicking on the title of the class
Please pre-register and check-in for all classes no matter your membership levels. It is also important to check-in at the front desk when you arrive for your class.  We use attendance data for grant applications, insurance reimbursement, space planning and determining whether or not to cancel a class.
Scholarships are available to help defray the cost of classes for those who find the cost a financial hardship


Drawing the Carleton Arboretum:Onsite Workshop

Thursday, Friday, September 12 & 13
12:30pm to 4:00pm

Grab your sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle and outdoor chair-we will be going to the Carleton Arboretum to draw. We will find a nice shady area to sit and draw flora and fauna -or maybe trees and weeds. If the weather interferes with this plan, I will have a backup plan.
*Sketches should be made on multi-media paper so we can use watercolor enhancement on Friday.
*The art room has drawing boards, but if you already have one, please bring it.

Instructor: Kate Douglas
Capacity:  10
Cost:  $65 nonmbr, $50 mbr, $0 plat-equiv

Materials to bring:
Day 1
The outdoor gear in description above
Your choice size of paper/sketchbook
Pencils, soft and hard, pencil sharpener
Clips or tape for drawing board
Charcoal pencils
Kleenex or blending tool
Day 2
The materials/drawings from previous day
Watercolor pencils, pens



Mandala Drawings

Thursdays, September 19, 26, October 3, 10
1:00pm to 3:00pm

Mandala means circle and is a spiritual and ritual symbol of the Indian religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.   The Mandala also represents the universe and in modern times, the Mandala has expanded to Christianity.  In this four week class we will explore the endless possible designs as shown through drawing, color and collage.  The design aspect of this process requires NO prior experience.

Instructor:  Kate Douglas
Capacity:  10
Cost:  $75 nonmbr, $ 60mbr, $0 plat-equiv
Fee does not cover materials.  Each student must bring the full list of materials to the first class.

Materials to bring:
Mixed media sketch pad -12×18, 18×24, 90lb or more
Pencils- variety 4-5 pencils from 2B-8B
Black perm pens, any brands, fine, medium, bold
Glue, stick or Elmer’s,
Week two:
All of above plus
Watercolor pens
Colored ink pen
Fine tip markers


Story Connection

Mondays, September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28
10:30am to 12:00pm

Do you feel called to write? Come gather and connect around the writing process. Whether you’re a first-time writer seeking direction or an experienced writer who longs for community, you’re welcome here. Let’s cultivate stories and nurture the muses. More than ever, that matters.
Why? Because stories can bring people together.
The gift of shared wisdom helps us understand each other. More than that, our stories helps us understand ourselves.
In this collaborative workshop, we’ll keep it simple. We’ll locate and unpack the writing that feel truest. Each session will consist of three parts:
1) idea-generating writing prompts,
2) cross-pollination to unpack ideas, and
3) facilitated peer review to reflect on shared work.

If this speaks to you, join us.

Instructor:  Amy Hallberg
Cost:  $85 nonmbr, $65 mbr, $0 plat-equiv

NOTE: Amy Hallberg, Courageous Wordsmith, taught high school German (later Spanish) for twenty years before turning to storytelling in her native English. She is a graduate of Carleton College and the Loft Literary Center’s Foreword Apprenticeship in Creative Nonfiction, is a Martha Beck Master Certified Life Coach, and holds certificates in Editing and German to English Translation from the University of Chicago. Amy’s true-life novel, German Awakening: Tales from an American Life, features Northfield, and she’s delighted to teach here. Amy hosts the podcast Frau Amy’s World: Conversation with Real-Life Creatives.



Soft Shoe Dancing for Beginners

Thursdays, September 26, October 3, 10, 17
10:30am to 11:15am

Lilt along to the classics while learning how to do the soft shoe. Twenty-four bars of musical fun plus a gentle toning workout. No special equipment needed, but we will make spiffy walking sticks like those used by Fred Astaire and Betty White. (Watch Betty and Rue McClanahan dance the soft shoe on the Golden Girls.) Short Recital number during the fall musical November 1, 2, and 3.

Instructor:  Peggy Sheldon
Capacity:  10
Cost:  $75 nonmbr, $40 mbr, $10 plat-equiv
NOTES: Fee includes materials



Ukulele for Non-Dummies

Tuesdays, October 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19
4:00pm to 5:00pm

Have you always wanted to learn to play the ukulele? Then this is the class for you! We will begin by covering basic playing techniques, including tuning, chording, and strumming and finger picking patterns. Then we will quickly move on to playing well-known folk, popular, and rock songs. Most people do not realize what lovely music this beautiful Hawaiian instrument is capable of creating. Bring your own ukulele and prepare to wow and amaze your friends!

Instructor:  Randy Ferguson
Capacity:  8
Cost:  $65 nonmbr, $50 mbr, $0 plat-equiv



Introduction (or return) to Guitar

Tuesdays, October 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19
5:15pm to 6:15pm

If you have always wanted to play the guitar, or would like to return to it after a few decades), this is for you! By the time this class is finished, you will have become an accomplished folk singer or rock star, (at least in your own mind)! In this introductory class, you will learn basic guitar techniques, including chording in different keys, strumming and finger picking, as well as a few famous lead guitar riffs, (you will be surprised at how simple some of these are). We will also be playing several songs in different styles, such as folk, pop, and rock. In addition, we will discuss several different types of guitars and techniques of playing. The goal is to give you a foundation to take off and keep learning on your own. Bring your own guitar for a fun filled fall of music!

Instructor: Randy Ferguson
Capacity:  8
Cost:  $65 nonmbr, $50 mbr, $0 plat-equiv



Aromatherapy and More

Monday, October 14

Have you ever wondered about aromatherapy?   Would you like to know more about the healing properties of essential oils? This is the class for you.    In this class you will create your own first fused glass vase to put your own essential oils in for aromatherapy.    Then you learn about different essential oils and what they can be used for.   For example:  Lavender essential oil is great for helping get a peaceful night sleep.    Lime oil is the zest for life.   After learning about the oils, you will then create your own blend to use in your vase you created.

Instructor:  Gerie Thelen
Capacity:  10
Cost:  $45 nonmbr, $40 mbr, $30 plat-equiv



Hilma Klint and Evolucio Furmint

Wednesday, October 23
5:30pm to 7:30pm

In this wine and canvas workshop, we will create a miniature painting that represents the work of Hilma af Klint. *Evolucio Furmint is a white wine
Klint was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1862. She was considered a non-objective painter who had an interest in spiritualism and  theosophy. Her work expresses these interests plus large dynamic abstractions. These and a  series called ‘The Temple Paintings’  demonstrate her knowledge of the aesthetic of modern art. She attended the Royal  Academy of Art in Stockholm and was part of  a group of women artists called ‘The Five’.   None of these women were acknowledged or recognized until the 1980’s. The  Guggenheim in New York is showing her work  in an exhibition entitled ‘Paintings for the Future’.

Instructor:  Kate Douglas
Capacity:  10
Cost:  $36 nonmbr, $31 mbr, $13 plat-equiv