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5 to Follow: For the Avid Learner in Chicago

By / December 17, 2018

A new year brings opportunities to learn something new — and thankfully, Chicago is teeming with chances to expand your brain and talents.

Here, we share some of our Eventbrite organizers’ best ways to acquire that skill set you’ve always dreamed of, from calligraphy and coffee expertise to DJing and home renovations that would make Joanna Gaines jealous.

You follow your favorite artists, venues, and meme accounts on Instagram. Now, you can keep up with your favorite event creators on Eventbrite. Simply tap the follow button to make sure you never miss tickets from your favorite creators. You’ll get an email from Eventbrite whenever a new event goes on sale so you’ll never have to experience FOMO again.

chicago classesRebuilding Exchange

Rebuilding Exchange

Look out for: Reclaimed building materials for that home project you’ve been working on, along with classes showcasing how to make one-of-a-kind pieces. Follow Rebuilding Exchange on Eventbrite to hear more about the many workshops they have coming up, including book shelves, wall clocks, and — ahoy — treasure chests.

Why: This Bucktown shop is a home renovator’s dream, offering multiple rooms brimming with reclaimed building materials, from sinks and fireplace surrounds to door knobs and dressers. If you can’t find it, build it — with plenty of help along the way. The team here offers job training and more than 100 hands-on workshops throughout the year, coming together to create items like benches, side tables, wine racks, and more.

Helix Camera & Video

Look out for: Ways to cultivate your existing camera skills — or acquire them altogether. Follow Helix Camera & Video on Eventbrite for ways to learn more about Adobe Photoshop, equipment maintenance, and how to choose the right camera.

Why: Obsessed with Instagramming and want to up your photo game? This retailer-meets-classroom is there for you. Helix Camera & Video has serious camera credentials — it’s been providing photography know-how to the Chicagoland area for more than 50 years. Expect routinely offered courses on everything from portrait photography to lighting techniques.

Brewpoint Coffee

Look out for: A café and roastery with a mission to create and empower community. Follow Brewpoint Coffee on Eventbrite for a variety of fun reasons to round up friends, including game gatherings, classes, and craft nights.

Why: It’s about more than getting caffeinated. Melissa Villanueva and Angelo Sepulveda opened Brewpoint Coffee with one shared goal: to inspire and strengthen community. Find opportunities to do so with their many scheduled public happenings, from board game nights and cross-stitch classes to floral design demos and local business pop-up shops.

chicago classesJess Grabowski

Jess Grabowski

Look out for: Step-by-step guidance in making all beautiful things, from brush lettering to watercolor designs. Follow Jess Grabowski on Eventbrite to catch the options she offers at Shawn Sargent Designs studio throughout the year.

Why: Yes, watching hand-lettering videos on YouTube is soothing, but actually doing it is 10 times more therapeutic. Spend time with this Chicago calligrapher and learn how to create striking hand-designed notes for all of the pen pals in your life with calligraphy skills and brush pen techniques.

chicago classesNick Nicholson

Nick Nicholson

Look out for: A range of ways to snag some music mixing skills, stat. Follow Nick Nicholson on Eventbrite to learn the ropes in the DJ world, whether you’re a beginner looking for basic skills or a pro hoping to refine your technique.

Why: As the owner and CEO of WeJam DJ Academy, Nick Nicholson has more than 30 years of experience as a DJ, producer, and sound engineer. Join him for any of the courses he organizes to learn more about an array of DJ topics, including history, software and equipment, and beat matching. Who knows — maybe you’ll be selling tickets to your own shows on Eventbrite in 2019.

Want to find the best things to do in Chicago? 
Check out our weekly-updated event calendar!


Nicole Schnitzler is a freelance writer who covers​ ​food, drink, ​travel, entertainment, and ​lifestyle. When she is not planning her next adventure​​, she can be found​ ​commuting between bakeries, yoga classes,​ live music shows, and libraries ​in her hometown of ​​Chicago. She is most comfortable with a pen in one hand and a fork in the other. Nicole is also the founder of Doors Open Dishes, an initiative committed to keeping the doors open to the group homes and workshops of individuals with special needs by partnering with chefs and restaurants across the city. Follow her on Twitter (@Write_To_Eat) or on Instagram (@WriteToEat).

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