The Love of Learning at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod Knows No Seasons

There’s no such thing as “off season” at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, but summer does offer some special treats, including great classes and day camps for kids and a boatload of ways to engage and entertain yourselves and your company. Concerts and exhibits are amazing (and the Cultural Center has plenty of those and other events for all interests), but fun ways to learn new things are also fantastic.

The Cultural Center’s resident chef, Joe Cizynski, teaches extraordinary, delicious classes for adults every week and seasonal cooking camps for kids and teens, as well. Resident artist Odin Smith teaches a monthly Friday Night Wine Down, which involves eating delicious food and sipping your own beverage while painting a masterpiece to take home.

Meanwhile, Odin and several of the other residents artists (Claire Marcus, Judy Cournoyer, Julie Blanchard, Julia Cumes, and Lance Walker) offer classes in everything from photography and collage to oil, watercolor, and acrylic – both studio and plein air. Renowned painter Sarah Holl teaches a monthly painting and drawing class with a live model, Jamin Eldredge and Holly Heaslip teach several types of ceramics classes – including camps for kids – and Lenore Lyons teaches a variety of art and literacy classes for a range of ages. New in 2019 are classes on writing your own obituary with John S. Parke, steel drums for kids with Amy Hughes, and singing/songwriting and piano for kids with Jessica LaFlamme.

To round out the schedule, Ed Grossman teaches how to organize and protect digital photos, Sean Murphy teaches Irish history and music, Holly Heaslip teaches Tai Chi, Lees Yunits offers yoga, and Guido Farina teaches Italian on Saturday mornings – and there’s always something new just around the bend. Fall brings other instructors, both familiar and fresh, to fill the Cultural Center’s Education Wing with poetry and prose, fine craft, and other activities of all kinds. And the staff is always open to suggestion.

As with all things at the Cultural Center, its educational programs are a reaction to community needs, evolving to fill gaps, target priorities, and address challenges. The Rise and Shine Program for youth at risk is an excellent example of how creative activities can help to solve social problems, offering free, high-quality, student-driven classes, workshops, and mentoring to young people across the region. In this and other ways, the Cultural Center strives to enhance the quality of life for residents and the experiences of visitors by offering excellent but affordable programming without duplicating what’s available nearby.

In fact, when planning the construction of its Education Wing, the Cultural Center directors surveyed 1,700 high school students and hundreds of artists and arts organizations to determine how best to serve the community. In response, they built a facility with a Culinary Arts Center, a Recording Studio that would be free for young musicians (including a professional sound engineer and training in how to run the equipment), a Photography and Digital Arts Studio, a Mentoring Studio, and a Ceramic Arts Studio … all based on the priorities expressed by those surveyed.

“All the Arts for All of Us” is not just the Cultural Center’s motto: it’s their practice. So if you’re interested in taking, teaching, or suggesting a great class, simply get in touch. Amy Neill, Director of Education, can be reached at 508-394-7100 or Or stop by to see her or any of the staff at 307 Old Main Street in South Yarmouth. For more about the Cultural Center and how to join, give, or get involved in any way, visit

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.
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