View our other publications:

(585) says: Good news! Brain boost edition

Dear friends—

Believe it or not, most of us just wrapped up week eight in quarantine.

How have you been spending your time? Maybe you’ve perfected your John Lennon carpet art à la this English artist. Or maybe you haven’t been quite as ambitious—and that’s OK. There’s no wrong way to quarantine. And no shame in this game.

But just in case you want to use this time to boost your brain power, learn a new skill, or brush up on your local history, we have compiled a list below of online classes from your favorite local establishments to get those synapses firing.

While you’re at it, share with Mom this Mother’s Day. What better gift than the gift of knowledge?

  • Head over to George Eastman Museum’s website for virtual tours, video tutorials and talks, hands-on activities, podcasts and audio, and much more. Video tutorials include how to make a pinhole camera or a flipbook, how to create a miniature photoshoot, and more.
  • Since 2013, Rochester Brainery has been facilitating classes on a variety of topics from their location in the Neighborhood of the Arts. While their physical space is not currently open to the public, all classes continue online via Zoom. Upcoming classes cover topics like plant-based living, terrariums, growing dahlias, and a history class discussing the Salem witch trials.
  • If you enjoy putting pen to paper or have always wanted to hone your literary skills, Writers & Books is currently hosting virtual writing workshops for adults and teens. Mini-workshops are 90 minutes for $25, and six-week workshops are $265 (non-member rates). Their intimate bookstore, Ampersand Books is shipping local and hard-to-find titles right to your door.
  • Looking to engage your local government? The Community Design Center is hosting a virtual lecture series titled “PLACEMAKING 101: Shaping the places we share,” focused on local urban planning and design. View the first webinar here and sign up for the next event in the series here. The upcoming free webinar will “help attendees understand the most common local land use processes, how to observe and articulate community needs, and how best to utilize related web resources.” And if you have a moment, participate in CDC’s “COVID-19 Community Impact” survey.
  • The Rochester Museum & Science Center may be closed, but they’ve uploaded a ton of content to their website to bring science right into your home. Online science experiments include kaleidoscope making, coffee filter chromatography, and a baking soda volcano. Watch scientists demonstrate experiments at home, partake in the Virtual Planetarium, and enjoy animal meet and greets.
  • On their “Family Fun & Learning” web page, as well as social media channels, the Genesee Country Village & Museum is sharing blog posts from their experts on everything from art history to the history of parsnips. Educational video series are also available, and an online ordering system allows for touch-free shopping of Museum-made items. If you’re interested in supporting GCV&M with a donation, there’s no better time than now! Their new matching campaign doubles funds raised, up to $50,000, now through June 15.
  • Quarantine is a great time to pick up a new skill. Interested in learning bookbinding but never had the time? Now you do! Flower City Arts Center is taking their art classes online, with offerings like bookbinding, block printing, watercolor, photography, and more available via Zoom. When the doors reopen, visit the Center, housed in a historic firehouse in downtown Rochester. In addition to providing classes, programs, and workshops, they also provide facilities to their studio artists and exhibit work in their galleries.
  • If the warming weather has you itching to get outside and get your hands in the dirt, Cornell Cooperative Extension can help with gardening tips. Check in on Monday, May 18 for their “Garden in a Bucket” virtual workshop for container gardens. The Monroe County 4-H Team will also be sharing a series of brief videos for families, featuring tips and small garden projects.

This weekend, we’re wishing our readers a very happy Mother’s Day.
Stay safe and healthy!
And don’t forget, you can crack open our May-June issue online for free.

– Jinelle Vaiana, contributing writer
[email protected]

Subscribe to our newsletter