What's in your forgotten-hobby pile? Drawing paper and pencils? Maybe you've got a dozen cooking utensils, bought during a “Top Chef”-driven fever of culinary energy. It's time to bring that stuff out again. Or to find something new to occupy your brain's free time. Hey, it's a new year, right? Some people resolve to lose weight. Others resolve to finally learn how to weld. Or work a sailboat. Or change the oil in the car. We found dozens of ideas of this ilk right here in Columbus. Explore away!

What’s in your forgotten-hobby pile? Drawing paper and pencils? A divided container of beads and wire from your jewelry-making phase? Maybe you’ve got a dozen cooking utensils, bought during a “Top Chef”-driven fever of culinary energy. It’s time to bring that stuff out again. Or to find something new to occupy your brain’s free time. Hey, it’s a new year, right? Some people resolve to lose weight. Others resolve to finally learn how to weld. Or work a sailboat. Or change the oil in the car. We found dozens of ideas of this ilk right here in Columbus. Explore away! — Kristen Schmidt

Stories by Jim Fischer, Amber Hage-Ali, Jackie Mantey, Brooke Preston, Emily Thompson and Elizabeth Weinstein


Columbus Idea Foundry

Woodworking, metal work, welding, functional arts

The Columbus Idea Foundry is housed in a fantastic multi-use, semi-open concept warehouse space in Franklinton. The organization’s members and associates offer classes in a wide variety of industrial skills. Chief operating officer Casey McCarty said classes generally have three types of audiences: artists, makers and entrepreneurs looking to add a specific skill to enhance their work; “edutainment” types who want to learn a skill in a laid-back, supportive environment; and those looking for a cool, creative social experience with friends or dates. “There aren’t many places that offer a ‘casual welding experience,’” McCarty said.

Typical class cost: Prices vary

421 W. State St., Franklinton, 614-653-8068, columbusideafoundry.com

Jazz Arts Group

Instrumental or vocal jazz performance, jazz appreciation

Classes in jazz improvisation once offered by Jazz Arts Group became so popular, they evolved into the Columbus Community Jazz Band. This big band rehearses in three distinct seasons, and each session culminates in a public performance. Zach Compston, director of education and community engagement, said JAG’s Jazz Academy also offers a Vocal Lab, a six-week course for anyone who likes to sing during which they will receive coaching from a vocal instructor and a pianist, and which also culminates in a public performance of two or three songs with a piano and rhythm section. Want to focus on becoming a better jazz listener? Try the Offstage at the Jazz Academy series, which features talks with music director Byron Stripling and guest artists.

Typical class cost: $100 for returning members, $125 for new members

769 E. Long St., King-Lincoln District, 614-294-5200, jazzartsgroup.org

Art With Anna

Acrylic painting

Anna Sokol’s studio offers “Wine Your Art Out,” perhaps the least intensive way for true beginners to explore painting for the first time. These social events include drinks and step-by-step instructions in a casual and approachable environment. “Some people may not want to sign up for a class, even for beginners, right away. For them, this is an efficient, even entertaining, evening,” Sokol said. “Wine” events are most often private parties for 10 or more, although there are public events offered the first and third Friday of each month. Sokol said additional workshops are being added, and the studio also offers an abstract painting class for adults as well as family painting classes.

Typical class cost: A public “Wine Your Art Out” session is $35; a private party for 10 is $350

420 N. Cassady Ave., Bexley, 614-252-1881, artwithanna.com

Columbus Cultural Arts Center

Printmaking, jewelry making, watercolor, weaving

The CAC is a gallery and studio space operated by the City of Columbus Recreation & Parks Department. Professional artists and makers teach a varied slate of classes in 2-D and 3-D art. “It can be scary to a beginner coming into an art class,” said arts manager Geoff Martin, who said the CAC’s typical students are people in their 20s and their 60s. “We make sure they get a basic understanding of the tools.” Alongside traditional classes in painting, ceramics and drawing is a slate of fabric classes, Martin said. “We have 40 full-size looms,” he said. Martin said the center offers classes in dyeing as well, meaning you could take a class in wool dyeing, a wool spinning class and finally weaving, using wool you colored yourself.

Typical class cost: Prices vary

139 W. Main St., Downtown, 614-645-7047, culturalartscenteronline.org


Wholly Craft

Embroidery, sewing, product photography, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making and other workshops

Wholly Craft offers beginner-level workshops and parties for anyone interested in learning a new craft skill (from embroidery to crochet to jewelry making). Last year, the store launched monthly themed Pinterest parties, and they have quickly become their most popular offerings. At a Pinterest party, “you can be a beginner or an experienced crafter that needs to find more time to craft,” said owner Olivera Bratich. “It’s a fun night out for friends and a way to make time for creative practice.”

Typical class cost: $10-$30

3515 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-447-3445, whollycraft.com

The Smithery

Jewelry making and metalsmith studio

Founded by jewelry artists Anne Holman and Jen Townsend, The Smithery is a working metalsmith studio and shop that specializes in artist-made contemporary jewelry and modern craft. It also offers a diverse range of jewelry making workshops that are designed for those who have no prior experience. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own stamped initial layered necklace, copper cuff bracelet or hammered texture earrings, this is your place. Workshops are project-based (so you’ll go home with a finished product) and the cost of each workshop includes materials, tool usage and instruction.

Typical class cost:  $45-$75

1306 Grandview Ave., Grandview Heights, 614-867-5780, shopthesmithery.com

Yarn It & Haberdashery

Knitting, crochet, spinning and other gentle fiber arts

This is not your grandmother’s yarn store. Yarn it & Haberdashery’s tag line is “a finely curated yarn store,” and owner Esther Hall takes great pride in that. “We keep up on trends in fashion and the knitting world,” she said. “Our mission isn’t just to be a business but to support a creative community.” The trendy yarn store offers popular classes on beginning knitting and crochet, as well as more advanced classes, for anyone who isn’t afraid to experiment with bold colors, unusual patterns (Hall keeps a close watch on which patterns are trending on Ravelry, a popular knitting and crochet website) and different fibers.

Typical class cost: $25-$65 (not including materials)

1093 W. First Ave., Grandview Heights, 614-736-6464, yarnitanddash.com

Igloo Letterpress

Letterpress, bookbinding

Igloo Letterpress recently moved to a new location and in the process quadrupled its space. This is good news for fans of the all-in-one letterpress, bookbinding studio, retail shop and commercial printer, because it means Igloo now offers an expanded schedule of classes. Igloo’s most popular class is its Intro to Letterpress, in which each participant learns to print their own projects on the studio’s Vandercook #4 proof press and clamshell press, said Beth Dekker, studio director. Other classes include an Intro to Bookbinding, a poetry and printing class with local writer and artist Amy Turn Sharp, and a class taught by greeting card queen Emily McDowell on how to sell your crafts wholesale.

Typical class cost: Around $75

661B High St., Worthington, 614-787-5528,  iglooletterpress.com

Sew to Speak

Sewing, quilting

Remember those boring home economics sewing classes they used to teach in high school? So do we, and Sew to Speak is their welcome antidote. Owner Anita Gastaldo opened the sewing shop eight years ago to provide a place for crafters to buy unique fabrics. “We love helping sewers, quilters, seamstresses and crafters create,” she said. Sewing 101 and Quilting 101 are great for beginners, and garment classes fill a demand by more experienced sewers. “If you own a sewing machine you don't know how to use, or if you just want to try sewing and use one of our machines, we recommend Sewing 101,” she said. “You learn about machine sewing in two hours and you go home with a finished pillowcase. It is relaxed, no pressure, fun and very informative.”

Typical class cost: $15/hour

4610 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-267-3011, sewtospeakshoppe.com

Ohio Craft Museum

Jewelry making, metalsmithing, ceramic sculpture, and a variety of media

The Ohio Craft Museum (a program of Ohio Designer Craftsmen) offers Craftview artmaking workshops throughout the year for all crafting skill levels. Taught by professional artists, the workshops are usually related to the exhibition currently on view in the museum and are designed with beginners in mind. Upcoming workshops include “Gallentine’s Day” in February, in which participants will experiment with glass paints on a tile or bottle and decorate a wine glass, pysansky egg-decorating classes in February and March, and a screen printing ceramics class, also in March. “We strive to offer a variety of media and look to our participants to tell us what their interests are,” said education coordinator Megan Moriarty.

Typical class cost: $14–$20, with a discount for museum members

1665 W. Fifth Ave., Grandview, 614-486-4402,ohiocraft.org


The Seasoned Farmhouse

Cooking, baking, brewing, kitchen skills

This charming Clintonville event center and recreational cooking school was born from the dreams of its founder and chef Tricia Wheeler (she’s also editor-in-chief of Edible Columbus). A new group of classes is posted every three months, emphasizing seasonal tastes, local produce and a fun, anyone-can-cook spirit. Perhaps you’d like to start with Beginning Knife Skills, though, just to err on the side of caution. From old-school nods (Classic French Cooking, Lasagna Workshop) to trendier takes (Clean Eating, Vegan Cookie Jar Favorites), there’s something for every palate. If all the mouthwatering choices overwhelm, go with our personal favorite: Donuts for Doughnuts.

Typical class cost: $20-75 per class meeting

3674 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-230-6281, theseasonedfarmhouse.com



Spagio chef Hubert Seifert’s classes are as appetizing as they are educational; students sample the modern European (and beyond) dishes he creates in the Aubergine Private Dining Club’s world-class kitchen — it’s just a few doors down from Spagio in Grandview Heights. Banish any reality-show borne notions that a top chef can’t be any fun. Seifert’s classes emphasize the fun with a lighthearted, interactive approach that welcomes questions. From Cooking with Beer to Feast of Provence, each engaging offering is a quick, delicious dive into regional culinary history and traditions.

Typical class cost: $85 plus tax and gratuity

Aubergine Private Dining Club, 1295 Grandview Ave., Grandview Heights, 614-486-1114,  spagio.com

Le Gateau

Desserts, cookies, wood-fired pizza

Sue Larson, owner of Westerville’s Le Gateau, is a local cake wizard, creating gorgeous confections for weddings, corporate events and even professional sports teams. While she and her team can’t teach you how to make a magazine-cover worthy wedding cake in one of their 3-hour classes, they will gladly share the basics of other delectable desserts or wood-fired pizzas. Le Gateau’s interactive classes are part demo, part hands-on, and (like wedding cake), best shared with a small group. Keep your baking energy up by enjoying appetizers and a sweet treat during class; you’ll even get a take-home bite or two.

Typical class cost: $72 for a 3-hour class

7978 State Route 605 S, Westerville, 614-939-1930,  legateau.net

The Commissary

Cooking, baking, preserving and more

The Commissary’s magic is that it’s that rare place designed for food enthusiast andfood professional — here, the two symbiotically intermingle through dinners, classes and more — and all fall more deeply in love with food and community in the process. There’s something almost every night; classes (drop-in and multi-session) range from the basic and broad (Intro to Bread, Intro to Pastry) to the more trendy or specific (Kimchi, Whole Hog Butchery). Classes require no experience and are inclusive of parking, tips and tax unless otherwise noted. Not sure where to begin? Join the Open House Tour every Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

Typical class cost: Varies by class length, complexity and instructor, from $10 to $300+

1400 Dublin Road, Marble Cliff, 614-636-3164,  thecommissarycolumbus.com

The Winemaker’s Shop

Winemaking and beer brewing

The Winemaker's Shop is a Clintonville homebrewing and winemaking supply store, offering laid-back, beginner-friendly classes in each. The two-hour homebrew course includes live demos, and covers history, equipment, sanitation, ingredients and more (since they brew outdoors, the next class won’t be offered until spring), and the fee includes a starter coupon. The 90-minute winemaker class focuses on wine made from concentrates, using a kit. Process, ingredients, and equipment are covered as well as demos. If you’re interested in getting into the DIY vintner game, don’t delay: These classes are so popular (and at just $12, so affordable), they tend to book up several months in advance.

Typical class cost: $12

3517 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-263-1744,  winemakersshop.com

Woodhaven Farm


Woodhaven Farm classes include both demonstration and hands-on participation, but our favorite part might be the generous sampling of all prepared dishes. Chef Tami Cecil’s Cooking Series 2016 gets underway this week, and will cover foods to keep winter’s chill away, including soups, stews, stromboli, pizza, and foods from Mexico and New Orleans. The scenic 10-acre farm and professional-grade kitchen make this a great place for those who love food but not hectic kitchens. The farm is designed to emphasize cooking as a team-building skill, making this perfect for a workplace outing, or even just a date night with your better half.

Typical class cost: $50 per class, or $140 for a series of 3

11401 Woodhaven Road, Johnstown, 614-470-2665,  woodhavenfarm.com

Franklin Park Conservatory

Cooking, baking, brewing

The conservatory is a well-known urban oasis of foliage and scenic selfie backgrounds, but did you know it also offers a surprisingly robust schedule of amazing culinary classes? Class subjects tend toward the seasonal (Cooking with the Seasons: Winter, Winter Dinner Party) and the health-conscious (Cooking for a Healthy Heart). If you’re the type who hears “cooking class” and assumes everyone wears frilly aprons and eats their feelings, ease into the modern, egalitarian 21st century kitchen with Beer Brewing Basics (with Blaze Burke from North High Brewing), Kings in the Kitchen, or Healthy Super Bowl Snacks.

Typical class cost: $35-60, with discount pricing for members

1777 E. Broad St., Near East Side, 614-715-8000,   fpconservatory.org

Omega Artisan Baking

Baking, pizza, bread

In terms of general overall atmosphere, you’d be hard pressed to do better than a class inside Omega Artisan Baking, in the heart of the North Market, after hours. Amy Lozier’s upcoming Beginning Bread Making and Making Pizza and Flatbread classes are one-night, hands-on affairs, so wear something that you don’t mind accessorizing with copious amounts of flour. Each class is limited to a cozy 20 participants and includes a light dinner and parking. But all you really need to remember is this: Mmmm, delicious carbs.

Typical class cost: $85

North Market, 59 Spruce St., Arena District, 614-224-9910,  northmarket.com

Glass Rooster Cannery

Cooking, herbs, preserving

Classes at the rustic Glass Rooster Cannery (a licensed cannery and sustainable farm) are perfect for anyone who wants to take their urban farmer street cred from simply sipping from Mason jars to actually preserving food in them. Herbs, yeast and sourdough bread making, mozzarella cheese making, broths — if it reminds you of your Gram Gram’s favorite simple but delicious family recipes, you can probably learn to make it here in Sunbury.

Typical class cost: $49-$65

1673 South State Route 605, Sunbury, 614-499-2958,  glassroostercannery.com


Aquatic Adventures

Scuba diving

Aquatic Adventures features two large pools, a friendly, knowledgeable staff and two scuba diving courses. Discover Scuba is a two-hour introduction to scuba diving for beginners or just the curious explorer looking for an adventure. Open Water Certification is an entry-level course for the more dedicated diver. Students pass three levels that incorporate academics, pool sessions and open water dives on their way to navigating the big blue. The facility is open year round.

Typical class cost: $35-$295

3940 Lyman Drive, Hilliard, 614-545-3483,   aquaticadventuresohio.com

Kinetic Climbing and Fitness


Opened in July 2014, Kinetic Climbing and Fitness is a growing bouldering and fitness gym. Owner Tony Reynaldo, a professional climber with over 24 years of experience in the sport, is enthusiastic about climbing and will make newcomers feel very comfortable. Know before you go: This gym is strictly bouldering, so there’s no top-roping or harnesses involved. Although the walls are smaller than other bouldering gyms, the routes are constantly changed, making for fresh strategic challenges.

Typical class cost: $14 day pass, $55 monthly membership

717 Hadley Drive, Hilltop, 614-674-6402,   kineticcolumbus.com

Vertical Adventures

Rock climbing

Vertical Adventures’ 45-foot walls are a great place for beginners and more seasoned climbers to explore rock climbing and bouldering. The facility offers an open climb; staff members will belay (operate ropes) for beginners. Ready to learn some useful skills? Vertical Adventures’ Rope 101, 102 and 104 courses gradually introduce new climbers to the techniques and tools they’ll need to ascend and descend. And each class comes with some access to the facility, because practice makes better. A separate course in movement gives climbers the footing (literally), balance, strategy and focus they need to become better climbers.

Typical class cost: $30-$60

6513 Kingsmill Court, North Side, 614-888-8393,   verticaladventuresohio.com

Alum Creek Sailing Association


Formed in 1982 to promote the sport of sailing, this organization continues its mission through basic sailing classes. Learn how to navigate and handle various types of boats from an experienced, hands-on staff who have charted big bodies of water. The association’s classes combine “Shore school” (orientation and introduction to sailing) and on-the-water classes aboard 22-to-27-foot sailboats on the Alum Creek Reservoir.

Typical class cost: $150

3241 Lewis Center Road, Lewis Center, 614-467-9016,   alumcreeksailing.com

Midwest Native Skills Institute

Survival skills

Voted one of the top five wilderness survival/self-reliance schools in North America in 2014 by the American Survival Guide Magazine, MNSI is acknowledged for hands-on training. The institute offers a variety of multi-day survival classes that teach nonmilitary survival skill sets to people who want to feel comfortable in the woods with as little equipment as possible. Classes are open to all skill levels of people who want to learn how to, as the tagline goes, “Survive … Thrive … Stay Alive.”

Typical class cost: $750-$795

Location to be determined with director, 440-526-3672,   survivalschool.com

Mad River Outfitters

Fly fishing

If you’re a lover of pristine nature and peace and quiet, fly fishing might be your sport. And Mad River’s in-house fly fishing enthusiast, Brian Flechsig, is eager to show you the ropes. The business offers multiple classes — a free beginners’ program, fly casting, saltwater fly casting and basic knots and rigging among them — designed to get you outdoors and enjoying fly fishing. Mad River even offers an entomology course designed to help you pair a fly (a delectable decoy bug) with the appetites of the fish species in the water where you cast.

Typical class cost: $25 for small-group classes, $50 for private classes

813 Bethel Road, Columbus, 614-451-0363,  madriveroutfitters.com


Pilger’s Old Skool Boxing & Fitness Academy

Boxing, fitness, strength training

Saw “Creed” and suddenly wondered whether you would like boxing? Good news: You can try it out at this gym, which combines old-school boxing with modern-day strength and conditioning. You don’t have to be in the best shape to start, either. Trainers customize fitness plans based on your readiness level and help you reach your goals. In addition, Pilger’s offers a women-only boxing and fitness bootcamp. Pilger says his gym is “a non-threatening, non-commercial setting. It’s a place people really enjoy being. And that’s the way it should be.” Bonus: The first class is free.

Typical class cost: $99-147 for monthly membership plans, based on workout frequency

1034 Goodale Blvd., Grandview Heights, 614-940-6049,  osfsfa.com

Danceville, U.S.A.

Ballroom dancing

Danceville, U.S.A. opened last winter in the Short North as a one-stop shop for all your ballroom dancing dreams and ambitions. Certified professional instructors teach private and group lessons in waltz, tango, foxtrot and merengue, swing, salsa and cha-cha — and beyond. Danceville also hosts private parties. The instruction comes with plenty of cred: Studio dance director Tony Meredith is a professional ballroom dancer who has appeared in the films “Dance with Me,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Let It Be Me” and “The Last Days of Disco.” He has also appeared regularly as a guest choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Typical class cost: About $20, with special offers available

47 E. Lincoln St., Short North, 614-223-1774,   dancevilleusa.com

BalletMet Columbus

Ballet, jazz, tap, modern dance, barre, pilates

BalletMet ranks among the nation’s largest and most acclaimed dance companies, but you don’t have to be a professional dancer to try a class at the academy. BalletMet offers 24 dance fitness classes for dancers of all skill levels. The most popular classes for newbies are Ballet Fundamentals and Ballet Beginner, along with the High Energy Dance Cardio class (which includes core strengthening and improvisation), and Dance Fitness Circuit (dance-inspired circuit training). In addition, BalletMet offers “a killer barre class,” said Taylor Starek, a BalletMet spokeswoman. “Who wouldn’t want to experience a barre workout in an actual ballet studio at a ballet company?”

Typical class cost: $18; first class is free

322 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus; McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St., Worthington; 614-229-4860,  balletmet.org

Columbus Eastside Running Club

Running, marathon training

The Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC) strives to help runners of all ability and experience levels reach their personal goals of participating in 5Ks, 10Ks, half- and full marathons. The club, led by 11 coaches, offers training and education on proper running techniques and overall health and fitness to its members, along with comprehensive training programs for various races in the region. “This season, we are working with our coaches to develop a weekly strength training class for runners,” said CERC president Andrew Ives. “Many runners just run, but core strength training is also important.” Anyone is welcome to try running with the club at one of its weekly Saturday morning group runs (which meet at St. Charles Preparatory School, 2010 E. Broad St., Columbus) before joining.

Typical class cost: $82.50 per season


Marathoners in Training

Distance-race training

Fleet Feet Sports’ MIT program has helped more than 5,000 people reach their goals of finishing a half- or full marathon to date. The program started in 2001 with just six participants; 1,000 people enrolled last summer. MIT organizes groups by pace, so walkers are teamed-up with walkers, and those who are on the verge of becoming elites train together as well. “It’s a community of people and a really fun environment,” said Jenn Scrimenti, Fleet Feet Training program director. “The number might sound overwhelming, but it’s not at all.” The program also includes fitness coaching, nutritional guidance, coaching newsletters, educational workshops and direct access to affiliated doctors.

Typical class cost: $100-$130 per season or $220 per year


Brewga: Craft Yoga at Zauber Brewing Company


If you’ve ever been at Zauber Brewing Company on a Sunday morning, watching international soccer matches over coffee (from Das KaffeeHaus) and brunch (from Explorer’s Club), you may have done a double take when people with yoga mats started trickling into the bar for Brewga, the growing trend of practicing yoga in, well, a brewery. Since June, yoga teacher Clarissa Pape has led a Sunday morning mixed-level power flow yoga practice at Zauber, and it has been growing steadily, thanks to word of mouth and social media. The class has a low-key, no-pressure vibe and is perfect for beginners, Pape said. “A lot of people bring their friends and boyfriends by convincing them they can have a beer after,” she said, with a laugh.

Typical class cost: $5; first class is free

909 W. 5th Ave., Grandview, 614-456-7074,   facebook.com/brewgacraftyoga

The Bounce Club

Trampoline fitness

Is there anything more fun than jumping on a giant trampoline? Get back in touch with your inner child while also burning some serious calories at this indoor trampoline park. According to Bounce Club owner Trisha Yocom, rebounding off a trampoline not only gets you in shape but also works out your lymphatic system, helping release toxins from your body. They gym’s Fit Jump classes are hour-long workouts featuring bootcamp-style training on the trampolines, and everyone knows jumping jacks and lunges are way more enjoyable when you are literally bouncing off the walls. After class, “you may leave exhausted but you will feel really good later,” Yocom said.

Typical class cost: $12, with various packages available; first class is free

3967 Presidential Pkwy., Powell, 614-79B-CLUB,   thebounceclub.com


Swing dance and Lindy hop

SwingColumbus is a volunteer-run collaboration of people dedicated to spreading the love of swing dance and Lindy hop in Columbus. Specializing in authentic jazz dances from the 1920s ’30s and ’40s, the group runs a “Swingology School” which includes classes and workshops on various styles of dance. The most popular class, said SwingColumbus board president Shannon Varner, is on the Lindy hop. “It is the granddaddy of swing dances,” she said. “This is usually the dance that folks first see on the dance floor; everyone smiling and having a great time. It is dynamic, infectious and gets everyone's toes tapping.” Typical class cost: $5-$10

The group’s weekly event, Swingin’ Wednesdays, is held 7:30 p.m. at Nyoh’s Buckeye Bar & Grill, 2871 Olentangy River Road, Campus. 614-467-0102,  swingcolumbus.org


Rev1 Ventures

Business concepts, reaching customers, networking

Formerly known as TechColumbus, Rev1 Ventures rebranded in spring 2015 to expand its scope beyond technology companies. The new name reflects the nonprofit’s focus on startups, beginning with the Concept Academy, a selective three-day program that helps prospective entrepreneurs home in on their business idea. From there, Rev1 offers a Venture Acceleration program to help businesses reach their goals, as well as funding resources. With a modern 62,000-square-foot space near the heart of Ohio State University and a portfolio of successful technology and life sciences companies, Rev1 is well connected and respected in Central Ohio’s business community and beyond.

Typical class cost: Free

1275 Kinnear Road, Campus, 614-487-3700,  rev1ventures.com

Wild Goose Creative

Marketing, freelancing, networking

Calling Columbus’ creative class: This one’s for you. Artists, poets, comics and storytellers gather at this volunteer-run Old North gallery and venue for stellar programming and performances. But Wild Goose takes the art a step further, with networking events, panel discussions and more geared toward creative freelancers and entrepreneurs. Don’t miss The Business of Art Series, a free panel discussion held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the second Monday of every month. The goal? To nurture Columbus’ arts community.

Typical class cost: Free

2491 Summit St., Old North, 614-859-9453,  wildgoosecreative.org

The Women’s Small Business Accelerator

Business planning, finance, marketing, HR, leadership

Founded in 2013, the Women's Small Business Accelerator supports women business owners through educational programming, with a focus on entrepreneurs in the early stages of development. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners from a range of industries—health care, business consulting, food and more—can learn everything they need to know from a six-month intensive class on building a business, weekly workshops, a mentoring program and roundtable discussions on topics like business challenges and creative solutions. WSBA also offers shared office space that facilitates collaboration, says Andrea Shuba, administrative and marketing coordinator. “Women just do business differently than men, and tend to do more networking, one-on-one collaboration. So our programs are sort of set up around that model.”

Typical class cost: Free to $25

403 W. Main St., Westerville, 614-426-4252,  wsbaohio.org

The Commissary

Food industry business, crowdfunding, networking

The Commissary advertises itself as a meeting place for food enthusiasts and food professionals, with cooking classes that cover pizza, kimchee, tamales, dumplings, seasoning and much more. In addition to commercial kitchens, this Dublin Road space houses a Food Truck Base Camp with storage and parking for those looking to join the mobile food biz, chef meet-ups and classes on crowdfunding, business basics and more. Foodies rub shoulders with professionals at The Commissary, which aims to position itself at the heart of Columbus’ food community.

Typical class cost: $10 to $75

1400 Dublin Road, Marble Cliff, 614-636-3164, thecommissarycolumbus.com

Columbus Idea Foundry

E-commerce, social media for business, patents, business development

Walk into the Columbus Idea Foundry on any given day, and you’re more likely to see members in work boots and safety glasses than suits. But don’t let that fool you—CIF is more than a maker’s wonderland. In addition to instruction on woodworking, jewelry making and welding, the Franklinton facility also offers classes on social media for business, patents and intellectual property and business development seminars. Many of the classes are geared toward makers who are ready to market their products, so it’s perfect for the Etsy entrepreneur, artisans and crafters.

Typical class cost: Free to $40

421 W. State St., Franklinton, 614-653-8068,   columbusideafoundry.com

Ohio Small Business Development Centers

Business planning, social media strategy, sales, marketing

Columbus State Community College’s Ohio Small Business Development Center is a local arm of America’s Small Business Development Center Network, a national business education and training program. SBDC’s course catalog is built for entrepreneurs from all industries, with general business planning classes to instruction on accounting software. With a diverse team of advisors who specialize in seeding and growing businesses, SBDC offers a wealth of information, tools and resources for new and prospective small-business owners.

Typical class cost: Free to $25

939 Goodale Blvd., Suite 208, Grandview Heights, 614-287-5294,   sbdccolumbus.com


Finances, retail incubation, food safety, product development

When Inna Kinney and her family moved to Columbus from Moscow in 1974, they had a hard time assimilating. In Moscow, her father was an engineer and her mother was an accountant. But they didn’t speak English and their education wasn’t recognized here, so they had to start over in the professional world. That experience led Kinney to launch the Economic and Community Development Institute in 2004, with the hope of helping other immigrants. Today, ECDI provides community members with loans for small businesses, education, buying a home and more. ECDI also offers specialized programs, like the Food Fort incubator and Women’s Business Center, as well as several business literacy classes.

Typical class cost: Free to $25

1655 Old Leonard Ave., Near East, 614-559-0115,   ecdi.org

SunDown RunDown Group

Leadership, finances, idea generation

SunDown RunDown Group started with business pitch events in Columbus in 2013 and has since expanded to include five regional chapters that each host meetups and events. Entrepreneurs from all industries are invited to submit their pitches on the SunDown website prior to a pitch event. The concept is simple: You have five minutes to tell the audience of business community members about your idea, followed by five minutes of feedback. Beyond pitch events, SunDown also hosts Lunch and Launch workshops, featuring business success stories, and classes and workshops on business basics.

Typical class cost: Free to $145



Alternative Auto Care

Car maintenance, used-car shopping, environmentally sensitive auto care

Ugh. There’s nothing worse than feeling like the fear of your car breaking down is being manipulated to rip you off. Alternative Auto Care in the Short North knows the struggle is real. This female-owned, LGBTQ-friendly shop offers classes like “Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask a Mechanic” and “Used Car Shopping Doesn’t Have to Be Traumatic.” Other classes cover ways to make auto repair more eco-smart and the basics of what is under the hood of your four-wheeled baby. The classes are typically free unless there are supply costs (if you’re learning how to change your own oil, you’ll have to pay for that). A mechanic can come to you for a group gathering or you can register for a class, which usually start-up in spring. 

Typical class cost: Varies, but often free

136 W. Fifth Ave., Short North, 614-294-0580,   alternativeautocare.com

Organizing Matters


If your experience with organization education is basically that one day in home ec and a few well-meaning Pinterest posts, a class with Organizing Matters might be exactly what your closet and cupboards need. You can sign up for one of three packages of this local company’s course, called “Four Weeks to Your Clutter-Free Home.” The least-intensive package, Empowered, offers an hour-long webinar, a study guide, printable organization templates, a one-month subscription to a members-only Facebook group, and, most intriguing, entry to a clinic about “Navigating the Sea of Organizing Products.” Because let’s be honest: You have a whole closet dedicated to storing everything you bought to store things.

Typical class cost: Varies




Financial fitness, home buying, home repair

This non-profit organization that works to build healthy homes and communities in Columbus hosts free home-ownership and financial fitness classes. Homeport’s been bringing in record enrollment numbers, noting a single-year high of 869 attendees last year alone. You can take one of four two-hour classes on a weekday or one of two four-hour classes on the weekend. The home classes cover everything you need to know before, during and after buying a house; there’s even an online class about how to buy a home online. If you’re not in the market yet, getting an education on how mortgages and credit works can’t hurt. The financial courses cover budgeting, financial planning, setting up savings, and taxes and insurance.

Typical class cost: Free

3443 Agler Rd., Ste. 200, East Side, 614-221-8889,   homeportohio.org

Columbus State Community College

Personal finance, money management, investing, personal development

The college teams with Ed2go to offer a smorgasbord of noncredit online classes that sate your appetite for useful knowledge. The list of non-credit online courses is long and varied. You can get a certificate in stress management. Get an introduction to natural health and healing. Learn how to meditate or design a healing environment. Pick up a skill like grant writing or Wordpress site development. There’s also a whole section on personal finances and investments that’s worth perusing, whether you want a whole download on stocks, bonds and investing or a focused take on how to successfully manage your own bank account.

Typical class cost: $99

550 E. Spring St., Downtown, 614-287-5353,  cscc.edu