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Course Catalog

The Professional Amateur

In insecure moments we can remember that amateur comes from the French word meaning “lover of.” To be uncertain is to love is to begin.

Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice says, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” As art-makers our ego and insecurities can often close the door preemptively on our own artistic investigations. We have to actively cultivate the Professional Amateur within—the one who is brave, willing to not know, be unrefined, explore possibilities, and essentially, to trust. With the understanding that creativity itself is a skill that can be honed, we’ll engage in a variety of exercises, aiming for a radical return to a more innocent mode of perception. Shira will share tactics from their own creativity praxis, which spans decades and multiple mediums including writing, songwriting, painting, and illustration.

Instructor: Shira Erlichman

Class Type: 1 Session

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Term: Fall 2019

Start Date: 11/14/2019

Days of the Week: Thursday

Time: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$81.00 Member Price:
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$90.00 General Price:

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Shira Erlichman

Shira Erlichman is a poet, musician, and visual artist. She was born in Israel and immigrated to the US when she was six. Her poems explore recovery –– of language, of home, of mind –– and value the "scattered wholeness" of healing. She earned her BA at Hampshire College and has been awarded the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe, as well as a residency by the Millay Colony. Her debut poetry book, Odes to Lithium, is out in September 2019. She is also the author and illustrator of the picture book Be/Hold. When not on tour, she lives in Brooklyn where she teaches writing and creates.

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