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Look for our calendar at: Tompkins County Public Library, Southside Community Center, Gimme Coffee (Cayuga St.), Alternatives Library (Cornell), Greenstar West End and Greenstar Oasis, Autumn Leaves Used Books, The Shop, and GIAC.

Freeskool Classes  Feb – April 2015:


Feb – April 2015 Calendar

Feb – April 2015 Class Descriptions


A Novel Idea: Monthly Bookclub @ Argos Inn


When: Monthly on the 1st Wednesday, 7-9pm

Where: Argos Inn, 408 E State St

Join us at 7pm on the 1st Wednesday of every month at Bar Argos where BSB’s Asha Sanaker will lead a fun and lively discussion on a different book each month. All the while, the skilled bar staff of Bar Argos will craft you something tasty to sip. Books and fancy cocktails, just what your Wednesday needed!


April Ford: Reading


when: Sat 4/18 1- 2pm

Where: Buffalo Street Books 215 North Cayuga Street

Author April Ford discusses her new short story collection, The Poor Children. Pushing beyond the norms of daily life and into the sometimes morally lawless worlds of her characters, Ford explores the eccentric, the perverse, the disenfranchised, and the darkly comic possibilities at play in us all. Grand prize-winner of the 2013 SFWP Literary Awards Program in fiction, and shortlisted for SALT Publishing’s international Scott Prize, April is also a finalist for the 2014 Molly Ivors Prize for Fiction and is Managing Editor of Digital Americana Magazine. She teaches creative writing at State University of New York College at Oneonta

Ballet Folklorico de Ithaca

Who: Juliana Garcia

Where: Southside Community Center 305 S Plain St.

When: Mondays 6:45-8pm

Ballet folklorico is a form of traditional Mexican folk dance dating back to the ancient Aztecs. Each region within Mexico prides itself on their unique, beautiful and culturally rich dances, costumes, and music. The dancers recount every aspect of life within Mexico through their tapping feet, flowing skirts or waving sombreros. You too can be a part of the stories of love, heartache, war, celebration and much more by becoming a dancer. The dances are performed in groups as well as with a partner. No previous dance experience is necessary. Immerse yourself in a new culture while getting some fun exercise! Please RSVP to join in.


Caliban and the Witch Book Group

Who: Kate & Grace ,

When: Sundays 2/22, 3/22, 4/19 3 – 5pm

Where: Crow’s Nest Cafe above Autumn Leaves Bookstore in Commons

Caliban and the Witch is a history of capitalism and the body in Europe from a feminist, anti-colonial viewpoint. Federici explores how the witch hunts of the 15th-18th centuries were essential to the development of capitalist globalization, and its process of controlling the bodies of workers through gendered discipline. Come drink tea and share thoughts and questions as we sort out this important history together! Readings: 1st session: pg. 7-61 (Preface, Intro & Ch. 1), 2nd session: pg. 61-163 (Ch. 2 & 3), 3rd session: pg. 163-244 (Ch. 4 & 5) Please email us with any questions/to RSVP!


Circus in Ithaca Play Date

Who: Ithaca Circus Community

When: Check web for updates

Where: Check web for updates

Step right up for Ithaca’s regular Circus skills play and share, Juggling, hooping, acro, poi, slackline etc etc etc. Bring equipment to play with and share, if you have it. All skill levels welcome. For updates join our facebook group “circus in ithaca”, and/or contact us via email at


Coopoly: A Game for the New Economy

Who: Grace

When: Saturday, April 25 6-8PM

Where: Buffalo Street Books backroom 215 North Cayuga St.

Curious about workplace democracy? Interested in non-hierarchical organizing? Try this fun board game of skill, solidarity, and collaboration (“where everyone wins or everyone loses!”). In Coopopoly: The Game of Cooperatives, players collaborate to start and run a democratic and participatory enterprise. Learn more at We will have a few games on hand, so don’t be shy! Bring your friends! Some snacks provided. A special thank you to The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), for donating additional copies of the game for our use, and developing the game in the first place. And to Buffalo Street Books for sharing their space for co-op education!


Free Food Preservation Workshops

Ongoing with IthaCan, check in at, workshops posted throughout the season. IthaCan is a web-based social network where home food preservers in Tompkins County organize food preserving events and share information.


Freeskool – Be An Organizer!

Who: Your Freeskool Organizers

When: 4/26 2- 4pm

Where: Crow’s Nest Cafe above Autumn Leaves Bookstore in Commons

Come be part of the behind-the-scenes of Freeskool. We’re looking for organizers to help find teachers, make art, distribute calendars and all the other Freeskool goings-on. Being part of the team means getting to know the community, learning programs like InDesign, making posters, being creative and radical. Come get a sense of what it’s all about. Can’t make the date? Get in touch and we can figure something out.


Freeskool Clothes Swap

Who: Lily and Lauren

When: 4/19 1pm

Where: RSVP for location

Clean out that closet and renew your spring wardrobe. Haven’t worn that thing in years? Find it a new home. Anyone is welcome to come, all shapes and sizes, feel free to come even without anything to contribute – we’ll have plenty. Snacks and drinks provided.


Genetic Engineering: Science, Technology, and Politics

Who: Allison Wilson

When: Sundays 2-4pm 2/8, 2/22 & 3/8

Where: TBD – email for more info or to enroll.

This class will be a science and data based discussion of crop plant genetic engineering taught by the Science Director of the Bioscience Resource Project. We will discuss the technology of gene transfer and some newer forms of genetic engineering. We will examine differences and similarities between genetic engineering and “conventional” plant breeding methods. Genetic engineering will be used to explore wider issues, such as politics, ethics, and control —  in both science and the food system. No prior scientific knowledge is needed, but those with scientific experience are welcome. For more information see .


Homemade Valentines

Who: Mickie Quinn

When: 2/8/15 3pm

Where: 201 Park Place

Spread the love! Make and decorate paper Valentines to distribute at will. All materials will be provided, but feel free to bring any paper or embellishments you would like to share. Techniques will include heat embossing, decorative punches, stamping, and collaging. Glitter optional, but highly recommended.


Israeli Folk Dancing

Who: Nomi

When: most Mondays 5:30-7pm; e-mail to confirm

Where: Downtown Ithaca e-mail for location

Come have fun and learn traditional Israeli folk dancing!  No experience necessary.  All levels welcome.


Ithaca Fixers Collective

Who: Finger Lakes ReUse Head Fixer 257-9699

When: Thurs 6-8pm & Sats 3-5pm

Where: ReUse Center at Triphammer Marketplace 2255 N Triphammer Rd

Finger Lakes ReUse invites anyone who has things to fix, wants to help &/or wants to learn how to repair items to join the Ithaca Fixers Collective. This is an informal and fun gathering of folks who want to prolong the lifespan of items such as electronics, furniture, small appliances and more, while sharing skills and resources in a relaxed setting. Sign up is not required, just show up! A volunteer Head Fixer is present at each session, however the expertise comes from everyone present, and various fixers books and websites. Check out (and like!) our facebook page at


Jesusians of Ithaca

Who: Stuart Fegely

When: Tuesdays 7-8:30pm

Where: 120 3rd St. & Madison St.

Jesusians of Ithaca (pronounced “”Je-SOOZ-i-ans””) is a discussion group for those who are interested in learning about the teachings of Jesus (compassion, charity, forgiveness, non-violence, welcoming the marginalized of society, etc.), but who don’t necessarily believe he was the messiah, performed miracles, died for our sins, rose from the dead, etc.  We will view and discuss brief videos, magazine articles, blogs, and books. Open to adults of all ages, orientations, and religions (or lack thereof). Not affiliated with any church or religious institution.


Judy Swann: Reading


When: Sunday 2/1  2pm

Where: Buffalo Street Books backroom 215 North Cayuga Street

Author Judy Swann discusses her new book, We Are All Well: The Letters of Nora Hall, which consists of a historical essay and footnoted transcriptions of three years’ worth of letters from a mother to her son, written in the years 1909-1911.


Loaves and Fishes

Who: Loaves and Fishes

When: Monday, Wednesday, Fridays 12-1pm Tuesday, Thursday 5:30-6:30

Where: 210 North Cayuga Street

Free nutritious meals & advocacy services provided Monday through Friday throughout the year.  All are welcome. Come join our table. For 30 years, we have been building a caring community by sharing hospitality and friendship while enjoying free delicious meals.


Nature Journaling

Who: Laurie Rubin

When: Thursdays 10am -noon 2/5, 2/26, 3/5, 3/19,4/2,4/16

Where: Various – see below

This class will take you out into the natural world and teach you to look closely! Each session (twice a month) we will go to a different natural area in and around Ithaca. If weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll find an alternate indoor location with a good view like the Lab of Ornithology. We will walk, observe, choose “sit spots,” and record (by writing or drawing) our observations/reflections in a nature journal. No experience necessary. Be prepared to change the way you view the world. All you need is notebook or sketchbook and a pencil.


¡Noticias en Español!

Who: Mark Schneider

When: Every other Sunday 12/28 – 4/19 2pm

Where: Crow’s Nest, Autumn Leaves Bookstore

Join us to discuss news articles in Spanish! This is a group for intermediate speakers who are interested in expanding their vocabulary and getting practice speaking about different topics of interest, from current events, to popular culture, to science and technology. A little homework involved! Before each meeting, articles will be assigned to read so that we all have the same knowledge base to draw from. Articles will be posted in the Ithaca Freeskool Facebook page:


Parenting: The Hardest Job in the World

Who : Kathy Duell and Edna Brown, Cornell Cooperative Extension 272 2292,

When: Tuesday evenings 6-8pm 1/20,1/ 27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, 3/10

Where: GIAC (Greater Ithaca Activities Center) 318 N. Albany St.

This 8-class workshop led by Edna Brown & Kathy Duell will help you learn how to talk with your child (of any age) using the five communication skills: Encouragement, Can Do, Choices, Self-Control, and Respecting Feelings. Share your strengths with other parents/guardians, and learn new strategies you can use! Every parent comes out with something new! For free child care, register by Friday January 16. To register, call (607) 272-2292 or email Jennifer Gray at,


Poetry Reading: Margot Farrington & Naomi Guttman


When: Sat, May 16, 2015, 2pm – 3pm

Where: Buffalo Street Books backroom 215 North Cayuga Street

Join us for a reading by Margot Farrington and Naomi Guttman from their latest poetry collections.


Sarah Yaw & Laura Donnelly: Reading


When: Wed, March 25, 6pm – 7pm

Where: Buffalo Street Books 215 North Cayuga Street

Join us on Wednesday March 25th as authors Sarah Yaw and Laura Donnelly discuss their latest works, You Are Free To Go and Watershed.
Yaw’s debut novel YOU ARE FREE TO GO looks closely at the intersection between life on the inside and outside of a prison in central New York
Donnelly’s poetry collection WATERSHED focuses on small moments and gestures, exploring the speaker’s coming of age and the depictions of women in art and culture.

Science Cabaret
Who: Ithaca Science Cabaret
When: 2/10, 3/17, 4/21 7pm
Where: Lot 10 106 S Cayuga St.
One Tuesday a month Science Cabaret mixes science, art, and audience participation in an exquisite cocktail. Ithaca’s Science Cabaret was inspired by the Cafe Scientifique movement, which started in Europe in the late 1990’s and has spread rapidly. Cafes Scientifiques are informal talks in bars, cafes and other public venues that give like-minded people a chance to discuss current and sometimes controversial topics in science. The Ithaca Science Cabaret is organized by local professors, graduate students and members of the Ithaca community. Events: Feb 10 – This Science Cabaret program is part of Darwin Days, Evolution and the Fossil Record. Hosted by PRI & Cornell University – An annual commemoration of the birthday and ideas of Charles Darwin. March and April events will be announced on

Self-Publishing with Zines

Who: Samuel Schirvar, Ryan Clover-Owens, Isabella Mahadev

When: 2/26, 3/5, 3/12 4pm

Where: Tompkins County Workers Center (above Autumn Leaves Bookstore)

This series of workshops will teach participants about the history and use of zines for distributing information. The classes will also walk them through the process of creating their own self-published material: writing, designing, printing, and distributing. It will include a number of printed copies of their zine for free for each participant and the zines will also be distributed at the Alternatives Library. The participants will also learn how the DIY Resource Center functions and how to access its resources in the future.

Snail Mail Social   

Who: Lauren Salzman

When:  3/1 2-4pm

Where: TBD e-mail for location

Did you ever have a pen pal? Do you lament about the loss of personal feeling in electronic communications? Do you long for the romance of the US Postal Service and more intimate/creative/expressive communication with far-away friends? Come spend some time decorating letterhead, crafting postcards, creating envelopes and writing to the people in your life that you hope will write back to you! Some information, stamps and materials will be provided. Please bring the address of the lucky recipient(s) of your written affection! Everyone is welcome, RSVP for location information.


Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) monthly meeting


When: Monthly on the 1st Monday 6:30-8pm

Where: Buffalo Street Books backroom 215 North Cayuga Street

SCBWI is the Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. It’s an international organization with local affiliates. Locally, we are primarily a group of aspiring authors and illustrators with a couple of pros tossed in and the meetings either feature a guest speaker  or a writing/illustrating exercise.


Soil Science for Farmers and Gardeners

Who: Joseph Amsili

When: 2/25, 3/11, 3/25, 4/8, 4/22 6-7:30pm  (NO CLASS 2/11)

Where: 912 N Tioga St Please RSVP to attend

Are you a passionate gardener or farmer who wants to learn more about soil? Although humans often take the ground beneath our feet for granted, soil is fundamental to life on earth. The beginning of the course will provide an intro to soils: their composition, their diversity across the globe, life in the soil. Then we will explore the characteristics that contribute to soil health and how we can work to create healthy soils at home. Please RSVP to attend.


Storytelling Workshop

Who: Marietta Synodis

When: Wednesdays 3/4 & 4/1  6-8pm

Where: Buffalo Street Books

To be a person is to have a story to tell.  — Isak Dinesen
Thing is, telling a good story takes practice. Want to be a better storyteller?  I do, too.  Let’s make it happen!   This class will provide a safe space to practice fine-tuning our “gift of gab” through games & exercises, idea sharing, performance practice and feedback. Whether you have an archive of interesting tales collecting dust in your head but no courage to share them or just an inner performer dying to break free, this class is for you. Our goal: to compete at Ithaca’s own Trampoline — a monthly competitive storytelling event.


The Herbalist Street Medic

Who: 7Song

When: 2/15 7-9pm

Where: Sacred Root Kava Bar 139 West State St.

Street medic refers to various types of health care practitioners who offer medicine and assistance at protests and demonstrations. In these ‘street’ situations, herbalists offer a valuable service helping with conditions ranging from anxiety, injuries, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbance and pain.

We will look at different ways of assessing these health needs and discussing various single herbs and formula’s to address them. There will be a focus on the categories (i.e., antiinflammatories, sedatives, etc.) that are useful for a wide variety of conditions.  This is a practical class for those already helping in these situations or those interested in being a part. It is also open for folks just wanting to learn these skills.


The Seneca Lake Academy

Who: Adrianna

When: 2/28 all day

Where: Montour Falls and Watkins Glen

The Seneca Lake Academy is a free, day-long, public event. Classes (like none you ever took in school) will be offered by a dynamic group of knowledgeable and passionate teachers on a variety of subjects relevant to better understanding Seneca Lake and its unique natural and cultural history. Parallel kid-oriented programming will be offered. The event will be followed by a community dinner and open mic evening for sharing stories, songs, poems, skits, etc. related to our love of Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes region. The first class starts promptly at 9am in the theater above the historic courthouse in Montour Falls (408 W. Main St) and space is limited so come early. Other parts of the event will take place in other locations. Go to the event website ( for the latest information about the event and/or send an e-mail to adriannalouise@gmail.comto get put on the e-mail list for updates about the event as they develop.


Teen Roots Radio Show

Who: Jim Murphy 319 0980

When: Start: 02/05/15 – Thurs. 2-4 (may change)

Where: WRFI: 103 W. Seneca St. Suite 305

This is an on-going HS Teen radio show that will be produced and hosted by HS students. NRCHS is involved and LACS has been invited as has IHS. Any students that wish to be part of this production through June 2015 needs to be in contact ASAP. Steps: Learning recording and editing; Topics for discussion, selecting guest experts, creating talk show formats. The studio tech: running the board, integrating music and pre-recorded segments etc. Important: FCC regulations: Languages and discussion limitations etc. All this and more…


Thriving With Your Spirited Child

Who: Mary Hicks and Cathy Gee 272-2292

When: 2/24, 3/3, 3/10. 3/17, 3/24, 4/7, 4/14  6-8pm

Where: Dryden Elementary School 36 Union St. Dryden

Learn about your child’s temperament (and yours), how to develop effective strategies for dealing with temper tantrums, power struggles and other challenging behaviors in this 7-week class series for parents and caregivers. What makes a spirited child? The key word that distinguishes spirited children from other children is “more” – more intense, more persistent, more sensitive, and more uncomfortable with change. The spirited child can easily overwhelm parents, leaving them feeling frustrated and ineffective. Workshop will focus on helping parents and caregivers: understand a child’s temperamental traits, identify cues leading up to challenging behavior, cope with tantrums and blow-ups when they do occur, develop strategies for reducing or eliminating power struggles (especially at mealtime, bedtime, dressing). Free childcare is available if you register by Friday February 20, 2015. To register contact .Jennifer Gray

Parenting Educator at 272-2292


Tompkins Time Traders Orientation   

Who: Margaret Soulstein

When: 2/1, 3/1, 4/5 4:30pm

Where: See

Tompkins Time Traders (T3) is a time bank where services and goods are exchanged with time as the only currency.  Everyone’s time is valued equally, so an hour of specialized skills (i.e. dentistry, plumbing or carpentry) is equal to an hour of traditionally undervalued labor (i.e. eldercare, childcare or cooking). The orientation is geared toward people who have applied ( or are ready to sign up. Not sure, but interested in learning more? You’re welcome to come too! By being a Tompkins Time Trader you co-create a new economic paradigm that values each person and the skills that EVERYONE has to offer.  RSVP to The orientation is 4:30-5:30pm with a potluck 5:30-6:30pm; please bring your own plates, cups, utensils.


Wayfinding for Mission-Driven People

Who: Adrienne Masler

When: 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/29, 4/12, 4/26 1pm to 2:50pm

Where: Room 314 in Anabel Taylor Hall (Alternatives Library)

Are you searching for meaning & mission in your life? Join a discussion of Martha Beck’s Finding Your Way in a Wild New World to explore how we’re all connected to each other and the universe, how we can each find our callings — and how we can team up to heal the world. Please read the introduction before the first meeting. It’d be great to know you’re coming; please RSVP to


WRFI Community Radio Ride-Along

Who: Jim Murphy

When: Begin Feb. 3

Where: WRFI: 103 W. Seneca St. Suite 305

This is an one-shot invitation to visit the Ithaca Watkins Glen Morning Show, 7AM Tues & Weds, to see if you are a possible community radio volunteer. Sit in, I’ll make the coffee and you watch the process. At 8AM we will listen to Amy G. and discuss all of the possibilities. Only one visitor per day so you will have undivided attention to ask your questions. This offer is ideally for those of you that have no experience but have some radio concepts that you would like to explore.


Freeskool is run by all-volunteer staff. We can always use your help if you can give it. We accept donations online at and are always looking for organizers. Thanks, community!


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