Sonoma Community Center, did you know?
By Mia Epstein
Sometimes it’s easy to become stuck in the regular patterns of the day and not venture out of the little Glen Ellen, Kenwood, and Oakmont bubble. For an artsy adventure, a place to check out is the Sonoma Community Center (SCC). They are now open for inperson, hands-on art classes, rather than strictly virtual. Virtual classes were held throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and inperson was made available the first week of June. This is exciting for anyone in need of some social interaction and a reason to leave the house.
The arts departments are expansive, and many classes and open-studio opportunities are offered. “Many people are surprised when they learn about our robust art and cultural programming at the center,” said Kala Stein, director of Ceramics and Arts. “This programming makes us a community center like no other — we have world-class teachers and facilities, and are a cultural resource for the whole region, pulling in students and volunteers from Sonoma County, Napa County, and the Bay Area.”
There are classes in ceramics, fiber arts, dance, and more. The ceramics department is the largest, which is beneficial because the amount of appliances needed for ceramics is quite large. This is an asset for anyone interested, because working in ceramics at home is often not possible. Classes are available for people of all ages and participants from any region are welcome. People come from Santa Rosa, Napa, Vallejo, Petaluma, and all around the Valley. The SCC is a place for community building and giving back to the place we call home. It also provides an opportunity to step out of one’s comfort zone and meet new people while trying new activities.
The activities range in difficulty, making them open to artists of all levels. Whether art is something you have been always meaning to try or a lifelong passion, there is bound to be a class to fit your level. Some noteworthy events include Fiber Arts Happy Hour and Bilingual Paint Night. There are more fun events, which will definitely spark creativity and humbling laughs.
The SCC used to be a grammar school and became the community center in 1952. This means there are large rooms, which used to be classrooms, that are perfect for galleries or renting out to companies for meetings. The kitchen can also be rented out to chefs of all kinds for culinary experiences. The secret garden, a treasure on the campus, is home to a serene environment to create art, with inspiration surrounding. Also, many summer camps for kids are held in the outdoor spaces.
Volunteers are often sought for varying positions throughout the community center, which is a great way to get involved in the community. As an added bonus, there are electric car chargers in the parking lot — not only for Teslas. To get in touch with your artsy side or become more connected to the community, visit sonomacommunitycenter.org for more information and sign-ups.