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Photo credit: Barbara Parmet. Photos from pre-COVID rounds of classes.

Cor Art Classes

Workshops for the Human Spirit

Cor: noun, Latin.  1.(anatomy) heart.  2.(figurative) soul, mind.

 

We are offering in this third pilot of an arts residency teaching program a response to the difficulty of the last few months. These classes offer a place to feel human in a surreal time. They are an opportunity to renew, refresh, to process the last few months, to feel some playfulness and freedom, and to learn skills helpful in these changing times.

Classes will take place online, or in some cases outdoors in small groups. Thanks to generous support from the Eichholz Foundation and Dana White, class fees are discounted for all, and scholarships are also available. 

This program is set up with working adults in mind, especially in the service and helping professions. We’ve all been through the wringer. Long long hours of work or no hours at all. Uncertainties about safety. Uncertainties about our children. Uncertainties about the future. Come restore and process. Medical professionals, teachers, bus drivers, nonprofit employees, social workers, firefighters, daycare workers, baristas and restaurant servers, lawyers, cleaners, and others in other walks of life. But these classes are really for all of us. We are all going through this. 

Teaching is one of the greatest acts of care we know. To be listened to, to be encouraged to express and to refine your expression. In our working lives we are so often told to keep our heads down, not wear our hearts on our sleeves, to keep our mouths shut. These classes offer an opportunity to speak up, to practice skills like curiosity, nuance, empathy, attention, and persistence; skills needed in these changing times. With your participation and support, we hope to continue to build this into an ongoing service for Santa Barbarans.

Special thanks to the Eichholz Foundation and to Dana White for their support to develop this program and provide scholarship funds. 

This program is only possible thanks to the generous support of people who believed in its mission. If you too find this project meaningful, we hope you will help support it. 

The Workshops in Brief:

Poetry: Words to Engage Good Trouble - learn more

“...a willingness to pay good attention (the best kind of currency) to what really matters in a time of mutual losses, upheaval, opportunities for social justice and the establishment of unprecedented relationships en extremity.”

Taught by Rick Benjamin

Time: Monday nights, 5:30pm-7:30pm, October 5 - November 9 (6 classes total). 

Form: Online 

For more information e-mail Rick Benjamin at ribenjam@gmail.com.

 

Photography: Photography Through the Lens of Self and Other - learn more

“...You could try this: Stop for a moment before jumping into the day. Instead of logging on, while still in bed in the morning, open your eyes. Notice the quality of light, the shapes coming into view.”

Taught by Barbara Parmet

Time: Tuesday nights, October 6, 13, 20, 27, 7-9 pm. (4 classes total) 

Form: Online

For more information e-mail Barbara Parmet at bjparmet@gmail.com.

 

Creativity Rehab - learn more

“This time of strife has confounded the creative practice of most people. This workshop will attempt to reactivate your creative gestures“

Facilitated by Patrick Melroy

Time: Wednesday afternoons, 4-6pm, October 7 - November 11 (6 classes at this time)

Form: Hybrid, some sessions online and some in-person, outdoors, socially-distanced, in small numbers.

For more information e-mail Patrick Melroy patrickmelroy@gmail.com.

 

Storytelling Workshop - learn more

“the need for people to share stories becomes even more important as a way to connect and build community. How does one stop becoming a passive consumer of media but an active creator in their own lives?”

Taught by Joseph Velasco

Time:  Thursdays, 7-8:30pm October 1 - November 5 (6 sessions total)

Form: Hybrid, some sessions online and some in-person, outdoors, socially-distanced, in small numbers.

For more information e-mail Joseph Velasco at jlv12lizard@gmail.com. 

 

The Drift - learn more

“Dérive: It is an unplanned journey through a landscape... in which participants drop their everyday relations and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find"—Guy Debord

Taught by Patrick Melroy

Time: Wednesdays 12pm-1:30pm.  First class Oct. 7th (6 classes at this time)

Form: Outdoors (socially-distanced, in small numbers).

For more information e-mail Patrick Melroy patrickmelroy@gmail.com.

 

Music Workshop: Human Musicking - learn more

“...music is not an abstract concept or an objectifiable thing, but a process that we all partake in. This course will give participants a foundational grasp and hands on experience…”

Taught by Sio Tepper

Time: Wednesdays Starting  September 30th. 7-9pm. (8 weeks total)

Form: Hybrid, some sessions online and some in-person, outdoors, socially-distanced, in small numbers.

For more information e-mail Sio Tepper at sio.tepper@gmail.com.

 

Sharing Peace and Joy: A Workshop in Postcards, Paper, Envelope Art, and More - learn more

“This is an opportunity to use this new found time at home to learn some new skills to connect with others. While working with materials that are in the house or easily found outdoors the worries of the outside world fade.” 

Taught by Judy Nilsen

Time: (6 weeks) Sunday afternoons. 1-2:30. Starting October 4th.

Location: Online

For more information e-mail Judy Nilsen at judy@judynilsen.com.

If you would like to audit a session, please email the teacher to see about making arrangements.

The Workshops in Detail:

 

Words to Engage Good Trouble— a Poetry Workshop

Taught by Rick Benjamin

In this workshop we will work with and through the good trouble (John Lewis’s words & concept) a wisdom-medium like poetry has the potential to activate (spiritually, politically, emotionally, among other frequencies). We will work together to bear witness to what is happening around us both in our own lives and in the non-human, ecological ones we live next to, in relationship to, or at a distance from, and to advance our thinking about our (the sentient world’s) mutual predicaments. Some opening aspirations of my own, to which we will add yours, include cultivating a welcoming, encouraging and rigorous workshop community; a commitment to focus and concentrate our feedback on any individual’s work as if it belongs to all of us; & a willingness to pay good attention (the best kind of currency) to what really matters in a time of mutual losses, upheaval, opportunities for social justice and the establishment of unprecedented relationships en extremity. Participants can expect weekly, ritualistic prompting through other poems and poets designed to spur their own creative process, as well as a highly productive workshop in which they will produce at least twelve poems in six weeks (yes, an ambitious number, but one which takes into account both "fast and loose" and "simmering" in equal measure; I will explain this—promise!).

Monday nights, 5:30pm-7:30pm, October 5 - November 9 (6 classes total). 

$120 (class fees discounted for all, scholarships available)

Form: Online 

Ages 18 and up

14 participants max

For more information e-mail Rick Benjamin at ribenjam@gmail.com.

Photo credits: Barbara Parmet. Photos from pre-COVID rounds of classes.

100% of our first semester of students said they would recommend the program to others. 89% of them rated the quality of teaching 5/5 (“Excellent”) and the other 11% gave it 4/5. 

Photography Through the Lens of Self and Other

Taught by Barbara Parmet

Each morning, as we log onto our devices, we are bombarded by imagery: photographic disasters, idyllic sunsets, selfies, Tik Tok videos luring us into viewing more videos and links linking us into more links. As thousands of photographs flash across our retinas, how are we to make sense of it all? 

You could try this: Stop for a moment before jumping into the day. Instead of logging on, while still in bed in the morning, open your eyes. Notice the quality of light, the shapes coming into view. Perhaps focus on wrinkles in the bedsheets. Maybe there is a person or animal beside you still sleeping. Watch their body rise and fall slightly with each breath. Choose what you want to remember about what you see. If your eyes were the camera lens, when would the shutter click? What we pay attention to and how we pay attention is what makes the photograph possible.
 
In Photography Through the Lens of Self and Other, we will spend 4 weeks showing and telling stories about portraiture, news photography, landscapes and art.  Participants will upload or share in person, weekly assignments, where we will dissect their contents asking questions about attention, agency and accountability. A final presentation of the weekly photographs will be presented in a slideshow with online links or as part of a CAW installation.

 

Tuesday nights, October 6, 13, 20, 27, 7-9 pm. (4 classes total) 

$80 (class fees discounted for all, scholarships available)

Form: Online

Ages 18 and up

12 participants max

For more information e-mail Barbara Parmet at bjparmet@gmail.com.

 

Creativity Rehab

Taught by Patrick Melroy

 

This time of strife has confounded the creative practice of most people. This workshop will attempt to reactivate your creative gestures through a series of activities in which the participants can find their way back into their individual creative practice. Often productivity is best activated by assignments. Melroy has spent decades collecting activities that will allow participants to recapture the inspiration to generate and articulate new and exciting creative and artistic statements. This workshop will work with a variety of physical materials and has been designed for creatives in every field, from poetry to pottery, from leathercraft to litigation, from drawers to dramaturges, any creative person could use some creative support, this is that workshop.

 

Time: Wednesday afternoons, 4-6pm, October 7 - November 11 (6 classes at this time)

$120 (class fees discounted for all, scholarships available)

Form: Hybrid, some sessions online and some in-person, outdoors, socially-distanced, in small numbers. Please e-mail the instructor with further questions.

For more information e-mail Patrick Melroy patrickmelroy@gmail.com.

 

Photo credits: Barbara Parmet and Patrick Melroy. Photos from pre-COVID rounds of classes.

Previous classes participant: “I felt truly stretched... it was amazing to feel myself growing in the process and seeing how other class members were growing in leaps and bounds.”

Storytelling Workshop

Taught by Joseph Velasco

2020 has not been the year we thought it would be.  This pandemic has forced us to rely on technology even more.  We find ourselves inundated with more things to watch and read—the news, films, television series, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, texts, emails, the list goes on and on.  This information and misinformation has become a virtual sheen of white noise that permeates our life and threatens to take us down the rabbit hole of existential dread. 

In this “new normal” of social-distancing and isolation the need for people to share stories becomes even more important as a way to connect and build community.  How does one stop becoming a passive consumer of media but an active creator in their own lives?  Many people may feel like they do not have a story to tell that other people would want to hear.  They make excuses, like, “No one wants to hear about that.” or “Nothing has ever happened to me.”  I believe every person is incredibly interesting and has many stories to tell. Not only in their memories, but in their bodies, in their bones...even on their skin.  Stories course through us like blood and water if only people knew how to tap into it.  

That is what makes this workshop so special.  Master storyteller Joseph Velasco will help participants unlock the hidden storyteller in them. Designed for people ages 18 and older, (ages 16-18 can join with parental permission form) participants will explore the process of telling a story to both a live audience and online.  Students will learn a variety of techniques including observation, vocalization, movement, mime, soundscapes, and how to make a story their own as well as becoming more familiar with online tools such as Zoom, Flipgrid, and iMovie.  Students will be asked to bring a sense of childlike wonder and an open mind to the exercises presented.  Each week will focus on a specific aspect of storytelling. Classes will be once a week for 1.5 hours for  6 weeks.  Classes will be held in a hybrid model with some classes in person and some online. Class size is limited to 12 to allow enough time for feedback.  
 

Time:  Thursdays, 7-8:30pm October 1- November 5 (6 sessions total)

$120 (class fees discounted for all, scholarships available)
Form: Hybrid, some sessions online and some in-person, outdoors, socially-distanced, in small numbers. Please e-mail the instructor with further questions.

For more information e-mail Joseph Velasco at jlv12lizard@gmail.com

Photo credits: Barbara Parmet. Photos from pre-COVID rounds of classes.

 

The Drift

Taught by Patrick Melroy

 

“Dérive: It is an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban, in which participants drop their everyday relations and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there". — Guy Debord

 

The workshop will meet weekly and conduct a drift. A drift for our purposes will be a long meandering walk around the streets of Santa Barbara hunting for new perspectives and points of historic and contemporary importance. Participants will begin with the methods of Guy Debord, later evolving individual techniques responding to personal strengths to accommodate Santa Barbara specifically. The drift is a walk by small groups through urban landscapes in which the participants engage, observe, and reflect on the experience of the built environment. The gesture emerges as part investigation, part documentation, part psychogeographical exercise and part defiant act of self-possession. We are forced to reevaluate our surroundings inside this current era of pandemic and civil unrest. We are learning more about freedom and authority, this workshop will strive to draw a new map of citizenry through the action of possessing the most basic of locations, the outside.

 

The concept of the dérive has its origins in the Letterist International, an avant-garde collective based in Paris. The dérive was a critical tool for understanding and developing the theory of psychogeography, defined as the "specific effects of the geographical environment (whether consciously organized or not) on the emotions and behavior of individuals." Guy Debord

 

a flâneur's active participation in and fascination with street life while displaying a critical attitude towards the uniformity, speed, and anonymity of modern life in the city.

 

Flânerie - someone committing the physical act of a peripatetic stroll

 

Time: Wednesdays 12pm-1:30pm First Class Oct. 7th (6 classes at this time)

$120 (class fees discounted for all, scholarships available)

Location: Outdoors (socially-distanced, in small numbers.) Please e-mail the instructor with further questions.

For more information e-mail Patrick Melroy patrickmelroy@gmail.com.

 

Previous classes participant: “Wonderful project which inspires art and community connection. It is a gift to listen to other peoples’ stories, to learn from experts in town, and be a part of community work.”

Photo credits: Barbara Parmet. Photos from pre-COVID rounds of classes.

Human Musicking

Taught by Sio Tepper

 

This intimate class will meet once a week for eight weeks and is open to participants ages 18 and up. Each class will consist of a listening portion and a musicking task. The listening portion will include a wide range of listening examples, from the sounds around us to a plethora of examples from within the great lexicon of music. Following the listening session will be a period of discussion. Musicking tasks will include activities such as spontaneous creation, games, sound gathering and recording, singing, body movement and dance, and explorations of dynamism. The class will culminate in a splice/song/video performance project.

 

The core idea behind this course is that music is not an abstract concept or an objectifiable thing, but a process that we all partake in. This course will give participants a foundational grasp and hands on experience with elemental music concepts such as rhythm, melody, harmony, musical collaboration, song generation, structure and form, etc. However, this theoretical side is not the point of the course but a by-product of the core tenet - keen listening. Through activities and group projects, participants will cultivate a keen awareness of all sounds that we encounter, and harness the ability to listen to the sounds in our own heads and transmute them into an expression. As realized musickers, we will be actively breaking down the inherited elitist belief that only musicians can make music. This belief divorces us from our basic human instincts to music (verb), which can result in a populace of uptight, repressed individuals. Through taking this course, participants will gain the tools necessary to become conscious, integrated musickers.

 

Time: Wednesdays Starting  September 30th. 7-9pm. (8 weeks total)

$180 (class fees discounted for all, scholarships available)

12 Participants Max

Form: Hybrid, some sessions online and some in-person, outdoors, socially-distanced, in small numbers. Please e-mail the instructor with further questions.

 

For more information e-mail Sio Tepper at sio.tepper@gmail.com.

 

Sharing Peace and Joy:

A Workshop in Postcards, Paper, Envelope Art, and More

Taught by Judy Nilsen

 

This workshop will be useful in building skills to find calming, inner peace which can then be shared with others. Using P.E.A.C.E. as an outline and simple materials of paper, scissors, and glue it will be possible to discover creative ways to share your individual voice with others that you know or maybe do not know in the community. 

 

P.E.A.C.E. equals PAPER, ENVELOPES, ADVERTISEMENTS, COLLAGE, EXCHANGE. Each class session will focus on techniques to create cards,  postcards, envelope art, surprise boxes or bags, and a group installation. 

 

This is an opportunity to use this new found time at home to learn some new skills to connect with others. While working with materials that are in the house or easily found outdoors the worries of the outside world fade. The joy of creating has a calming effect. Then sharing the creation brings joy to both the giver and the receiver.

 

Time: (6 weeks) Sunday afternoons. 1-2:30. Starting October 4th.

$120 (class fees discounted for all, scholarships available)

10 Participants Max

Location: Online

 

For more information e-mail Judy Nilsen at judy@judynilsen.com.

 

Photo credits: Barbara Parmet. Photos from pre-COVID rounds of classes.

Previous classes participant: “This was a community building experience for each of us. Phenomenal.”

This program is only possible thanks to the generous support of people who believed in its mission. If you too find this project meaningful, we hope you will help support it. 

Teacher Bios

RICK BENJAMIN currently teaches at UCSB, the Goleta Boys & Girls Club, at an assisted living center, and in many schools and community centers, taking seriously the idea that the obligation of working in a wisdom medium involves circulating it as widely as possible &, always, while building relationships in community with others while doing so. He is the former state poet laureate of Rhode Island, a small state with a long lineage.

 

PATRICK MELROY holds an MFA from UCSB where he taught for several years as a lecturer. He has taught classes and workshops at SBCC, College of Creative Studies, Marymount, Laverne University, Stanford, and UCLA. His work most often manifests as idea based interactive sculpture. He utilizes any material that best serves the project. He draws influence from tactile daily experiences and manifests a creative vocabulary that utilizes familiar sentimental interactions. His work was recently seen in the State of the Art Gallery and during special events at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. He grew up with a carpenter father and teacher librarian mother.

 

JUDY NILSEN earned a masters degree in American Folk art and is a long time public school teacher of students kindergarten through adult education in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. She has taught for Art From Scrap, United Way Fun in the Sun and Westside Boys and Girls Club. She is active in the Santa Barbara art community.  Her artwork known for being playful and a bit quirky has been shown in local galleries in both solo and group shows.

 

BARBARA PARMET: With a masters degree in photojournalism from the Missouri School of Journalism, Barbara Parmet worked for newspapers and magazines for the first 15 years of her career. As her camerawork became more experimental, Parmet began exhibiting her work in France, Mexico and throughout the United States. She has taught digital photography in the SB Unified School District and presented her images to classes at SBCC and UCSB. Most recently, Barbara splits her time between creating large-scale cyanotypes on fabric while supporting community programming such as Escuelita at El Centro and workshops at CAW.

 

SIO TEPPER: With Extensive formal training in classical piano and substantial experience in various genres, Sio is an active professional musician, multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer and educator in Santa Barbara. She graduated from Santa Barbara High in 2010, and from UCSB in 2014 with a degree in Ethnomusicology. Sio is continuously inspired to give back to the community that shaped her as an artist by being involved in music and arts education. Currently, she teaches piano, guitar, and songwriting privately to students of various ages through her own studio, SB Musicology, and the Music and Arts Conservatory. She is also an educator in the Santa Barbara High School Theatre Department, having worked on over a dozen productions as music director, vocal director, and conductor. She is currently a specialist teacher for the Advanced Theatre Class at SBHS. She has also worked with other local theatre companies such as Out of the Box Theatre Co. and Stage Left Productions. She has worked as a facilitator for the Sing it Out program at AHA, and co-founded the arts mentorship program, TOTEM, in 2016. Sio is involved in several local performance groups such as the Santa Barbara Folk Orchestra, Fratelli, and Ojai O’Daiko, and also performs in smaller bands and solo in local venues. She has also composed music for films in the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

 

​JOSEPH VELASCO is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and began his career with the renowned Chicano theater company, El Teatro Campesino as a resident director. He went on to study physical theater at the international Estudio Busqueda de Pantomima Teatro in Guanjuato, Mexico and later joined James Donlon & Company in creating original movement theatre works including the award-winning WRENCH. A co-founder of BOXTALES Theatre Company, Joseph has worked in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco as well as with various local theatre groups including the Lobero Theater, Access Theatre, Speaking of Stories, and the Ensemble Theatre Company. He currently teaches English at Santa Barbara High School and continues to be a storyteller as a solo artist. He is also the former Artistic Director for City at Peace Santa Barbara which uses the performing arts to empower youth through creating original theater.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Want to teach with us? E-mail Casey Caldwell at caldwell@sbcaw.org

The CAW is a project of the

Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative

Non-profit Tax ID: 27-3262168

The Community Arts Workshop is funded in part by the Organizational Development Program using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture.