15 Workshops in Metro Phoenix This Fall: Photography, Comedy, and Letterpress

It can be exhausting to keep up with all the festivals, concerts, and politicians visiting the Valley. Sometimes you just want a quiet day to spend doing your favorite things, or maybe learning some new skills or picking up a new hobby. Here's your guide to some of the best fall 2015 workshops that should help you do just that.

Art Masterpiece Bootcamp
Art teachers around the Valley, take note. Phoenix Art Museum is hosting a workshop on Saturday, September 26, intended to help you implement a stronger art education program in your school. Beginning at 9 a.m., you can participate in interactive workshops, lectures, and gallery presentations that you can take back to your own classroom. Breakfast, lunch, resources, and museum entrance are all included in the $30 registration fee, but there are special deals for schools who choose to send multiple teachers. Registration and workshop information is available the Phoenix Art Museum’s website.

CONDER/dance Workshop
Dancers from all levels of experience will have the opportunity on Saturday, September 26, to work with CONDER/dance’s artistic director Carly Conder. From noon to 2 p.m., guests will meet at the Phoenix Center for the Arts and learn all about Conder’s latest project, "Silver." The group’s latest dance project seeks to use the fragmentation of dance as a means of creating a more primitive and “magnetic” performance. Creative minds welcome. Tickets, which you can purchase at the CONDER/dance website, cost $10. For more information, visit the workshop’s Facebook page.

Intro to Acro Yoga
If basic flow yoga is a little too slow for your liking, or if you’re trying to switch up your practice, Urban Yoga is holding an Intro to Acro Yoga workshop that will likely help. Acro yoga, a blend of yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage, is good for flexibility and can be very relaxing despite the way it may look. On Sunday, September 27, from 2 to 4 p.m., participating yogis will learn how to channel their focus into strength and trust and jump straight into some of the basic acro poses. No experience or partner is necessary. Registration costs $25 ahead of time and $30 at the door. Visit Urban Yoga’s website for more information. 

Humor Writing 101 + Burritos
You had us at burritos. But, seriously, this workshop promises to be a hilariously educational night. New York Times bestselling author Laurie Notaro will be at Changing Hands in Phoenix on Saturday, October 3, to teach aspiring comedians the art of timing, rhythm, and subject matter. The workshop will take place from 3 to 6 p.m., but Notaro will be at Rosita’s Mexican Diner in downtown Phoenix afterwards to further discuss humor writing with anyone interested. Admission fee is $30, and you can find more information about registering at the Changing Hands website

The Solo Workshop
This eight-week workshop is open to anyone looking to create a solo performance of any type. Whether you're into storytelling, monology, clown-work, puppetry, stand-up, spoken word, this workshop is for you. From October 4 to November 22, students will use improv games, storytelling, group work, and other methods to start or improve upon their projects. Kim Porter, who leads the workshop, has worked in places like San Francisco and New York City writing, performing, and helping others with their solo projects. Classes take place on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. at Space 55 in downtown Phoenix. The fee for the class is $200. For more information, visit the workshop's website.

Fall Centerpieces 
With autumn comes beautiful flowers and an array of reasons for entertaining. Create an ornate and fragrant discussion piece for your table at Pith + Marrow's Fall Centerpieces workshop. Teresa Wilson of Camelback Flowershop and Misha West of Misha West Creative Design will lead the class from on Thursday, October 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. It will be held at Camelback Flowershop and costs $165 to attend. Visit the store's website for more information. 

Astronomy at the Garden
Those familiar with the desert landscape can vouch that as hot as it may get, or as crazy as our storms can be, it's a truly beautiful place. And it's not just the sunsets that are spectacular, we also have access to some incredible celestial views. Join the staff at the Desert Botanical Garden on Wednesday, October 28, to learn all about stars and constellations, and what they meant to people of the Sonoran desert hundreds of years ago. The lesson will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the STARLAB Virtual Planetarium at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration in Tempe. Admission is $25 for members of the Desert Botanical Garden and $32 for non-members. Those interested should be aware there are no shoes allowed inside the lab, so socks are recommended. For more information or to sign up, visit the Desert Botanical Garden's website.

Platinum/Palladium Workshop
Branch out from Instagram and Photoshop filters and get back to basics with this photography workshop. With this class, you'll get to experiment with platinum or palladium processing, a 19th century photo editing method that leaves photographs with an eerie, artistic filter. On Saturday, October 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a professor known only as Ryuijie will walk you through the steps of creating negatives and then coating and exposing the final print. The workshop costs $150. To register or find more information, visit Art Intersection's website.

Intro to Digital Filmmaking
Future directors and producers can learn all about digital filmmaking at the Shemer Art Center's two-night workshop on November 4 and 5. For $75, participants will learn the basics of filming and editing movies on DSLR or action cameras. The workshop will take place during the evening, beginning at 6 and going until 9 p.m. Visit the Shemer Art Center's website for more information.

Capture Your Moment
Those interested in improving their photography skills will have the chance to learn from some of the best at Arizona Highway's "Capture Your Moment" photography symposium on Saturday, November 7. The two-day workshop costs $249 and will be held at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix. Alan Ross — a photographer who has worked with Ansel Adams and has work featured in galleries around the world — and Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Dykinga will be two of four keynote speakers. Certain events, like portfolio reviews and dinners, will cost you a little extra, but speakers and class sessions are included in the workshop fee. To sign up or find more information, visit

Ceramics Workshop: Corks and Clay
The best lessons are the ones that provide an incentive while you learn. At the Mesa Art’s Center Ceramics Workshop on Saturday, November 7, students will enjoy a few glasses of wine while they craft ceramic masterpieces. The two-week course costs $62, which includes a couple refreshments with each class. Students will learn to mold various ceramic vessels and learn the different ways to decorate them, including staining and how to use slips. To register and find more information, visit the Arts Center’s website

D.I.Y Herbal Teas 
What on earth could be more relaxing than spending the evening making your own herbal tea, while drinking tea, with some of your friends? Until you figure that one out, you can go to Frances’ D.I.Y. Herbal Tea workshop on Thursday, November 12. Local entrepreneur Lauren Kelp, working in conjunction with Flora Apothecary, promises to help you create teas that will help your clear your skin and your mind, plus they'll probably make your house smell really good, all for $40. To find more information and to register visit Frances’ website

Intro to Improv & Instant Improv
If comedy is your calling, then improv classes may help you find your way to that stage. The National Comedy Theatre in Phoenix is offering a six-week course in improv comedy games and various types group work for anyone interested. Beginning on Tuesday, November 24, classes will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. once a week at the National Comedy Theatre. The price is $175 for all six weeks plus a $50 deposit. Participants must be 18 years or older. Information and registration is available at the theatre's website.

Method Acting Workshop
Delving deep into a character can be tricky even for the most experienced actors. The Arizona Actors Academy is offering a series of ongoing classes aimed precisely at script analysis and adopting the inner life of your character. On their website, the Academy says actors who have participated in this particular workshop are now performing in theaters around the world. Classes are three hours long and are held on Mondays at 11 a.m. or 7 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m in the Phoenix Theatre Complex on McDowell Road. Be advised though, once you pick a night you must stick with that particular group. Cost is $200 a month. To sign up or find more information, visit the academy's website.

Letterpress Workshop
If you've been drooling over all those posters with elegant lettering and typography, you might consider making one of your own. The folks over at Hazel & Violet are hosting a letterpress basics workshop where you can create your own coasters, posters, stationary or cards. You'll be learning to do so on modern and older letterpresses, which is skill that will surely impress at parties. The workshop costs $200 for a group of four, plus $50 for each additional person. To sign up for a workshop, or to find more information, visit Hazel & Violet's website
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