A student of Native American, Peruvian, and Siberian shaman traditions, Rhonda Day-Kooy spreads her passion for medicinal plants through the green products, classes, and events offered at Blue Feather. Some of Day-Kooy's customers come to the botanical boutique for aromatherapy certification, and others stop in to purchase eco-friendly skincare products by Babo Botanicals and whimsically flammable wares from Flying Wish Paper. In the Healing Hut, Rhonda and her therapists lead spiritual therapies, including guided meditation, chakra balancing, and foot-based reflexology treatments.
Designed by art educators and art therapists, Magical Minds' bright, cheerful studio fosters creativity and visual thinking via process-driven art experiences. Children aged 4–7 can take a whirlwind tour of the palette-populated countryside with Magical Creations, a class that teaches basic painting, drawing, and sculpture skills ($105 value). More developed doodlers aged 7 and older can try their hands at creating comic book characters and inventing new onomatopoeias, such as glarf, in Comic Book Drawing (a $120 value). Kids aged 4 and older can steep their minds in artistry from around the globe without submitting their finger-paints to body scans in Art Around the World ($105 value). Click here to see the complete list of class options. No matter which class your wee one chooses, he or she will engage a variety of visual and sensory stations while boosting hand-eye coordination and confidence.
Nearly a century old history, Oak Park Art League has colored the community by cultivating and sharing the work of local artists through instruction and exhibitions. During a glass-fusing class, students acquaint themselves with the included materials with deep, ritualistic curtsies before instructors launch into a technical demonstration. Students choose from projects including an ornament, sun catcher, or free-form picture frame, and proud craft parents are free to tote their polished progeny home upon completion.
Taking an all-inclusive approach to music instruction, American Music Institute offers group and private lessons for all ages, experience levels, and styles of music. College-educated teachers lead lessons for voice as well as instruments ranging from guitar and percussion to violin, oboe, and flute. Group classes are available for popular instruments—such as beginning violin and guitar—as well as music theory. Private lessons, meanwhile, provide weekly one-on-one instruction at the institute or in students' homes.
The Academy of Classical Music & Fine Arts takes a holistic approach to its music instruction, giving musically inclined citizens the harmonious keys to a musical mind and body. Founded by gifted siblings Gianeh and Ovanes Arakelyan, both USC graduates and former pupils of world-renowned pianist Daniel Pollack, the academy offers students precise instructions on specific necessities including posture, listening techniques, and the finger dexterity utilized by “Stairway to Heaven”–playing guitar-shop customers the world over.
Originally founded in 1957, Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and facilitates performances of arts rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. More than 700 accredited music, dance, theater, and visual-arts courses expand the cultural horizons of students of all ages and abilities, and more than 300 concerts and events reach more than 200,000 audience members every year.
Founder Frank Hamilton hoped that through his nonprofit academy "teacher and student would be partners in learning." Today, the school continues that tradition, fostering supportive learning environments that draw from an accessible education model. The school also presents performances by internationally known touring artists and Chicago's local artists—as well as its own staff and students—nearly every weekend, with free world-music concerts on Wednesday nights. Old Town School operates three facilities in Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square, including one 425-seat and two 150-seat concert halls, 64 classrooms, two music stores, a café, and a resource center.