Like many of us Craft Coven-ers, I’ve been creating art and crafts since I was a kid. Making things has always been a passion of mine. Over the years, that has mainly included painting, learning to knit, crochet, weave, quilt, and sew, and DIY-ing my entire house.
But, thanks to coming of age during the last recession and some very pragmatic mentors, I never pursued a career in art. Instead, I followed my talent for writing into journalism. Currently I lead a consulting practice that helps newsrooms make their work more community-centered. Throughout my career, however, I’ve often found myself producing email newsletters – it’s a useful (but niche) skill in the newsroom because it’s one of the best ways to get editorial products right to an audience. Almost everyone has an email address and they don’t have to navigate an ever-changing social platform to receive a message.
That’s how in late 2022 I found myself thinking about creating a weekly email of Philly arts and crafts events. I was constantly seeing cool event listings in Facebook groups or local Instagram accounts, but I couldn’t keep track of them well enough to actually attend any. I figured others might feel the same way. Plus, I was in a bit of a creative rut and wanted a way to connect with and give back to the Philly arts community. A newsletter seemed like a great solution.
So, Art Class Philly was born in January 2023. Each Sunday I click through my inbox, social media, and the bookmarked calendars of dozens of local maker spaces and creative shops. I look for events that fit the following criteria:
Attendees will leave the event having made something
They happen on one day, aka they’re not an ongoing class
They’re targeted to adults, not children
They happen in the city limits of Philadelphia
There’s a link where someone can learn more or sign up
I had to establish this list because otherwise the email would go on forever and your inbox would probably mark it as spam. I find as many of those events as I can that are taking place in the next three weeks, and pop them into the template I use in MailChimp. Usually I send out the emails by noon – but sometimes your girl has got to sleep in!
To answer one frequently asked question: no, I don’t get paid for this. I consider gift-giving the love language I speak to others, and this is a small gift to the local creatives and small businesses that inspire me every day. No one pays to have their listings in my newsletter and I try not to be biased towards one organization or another – except when it comes to Craft Coven events! Cassie has been a great supporter of this project since the jump!
To sign up, just click here I welcome anyone who has event listings to share or has questions or suggestions for me to send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find my artwork at aubreynagle.com