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What’s a Learning Party?

Learning Parties bring small groups of neighbours, friends, and families together with a knowledgeable, warm and articulate guide to practice the hands-on arts, preferably so that somebody benefits  by getting to take home a solar water heater, or having their garden started for them, or getting to keep some freshly-made sauerkraut or kimchi.


People are more likely to practice and share these skills and traditions when they are grounded in a fun, intelligent and  supportive community and are learning locally at a neighbour’s home, backyard, or a community organization.


Learning parties tend to group in the following themes:  healing arts, repair, nourishing food traditions, green building and renovating, alternative energy, and cultural creation/making your own fun— an essential piece in the sustainable living puzzle! But if you’ve got a passion for sharing Euclidean Geometry and can articulate how that fits…let’s talk.


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  • Learning parties are usually about 1.5 hours long but sometimes longer.
  • Participants come to learn and share what they know with their neighbours.
  • Learning parties are generously supported by  participant donations (usually $25- pay what you feel, pay what gives you joy), or sponsored by a community organization.
  • Learning parties are organized by volunteer curators who are eager and urgent about learning and sharing the sustainable living arts.
  • Teachers/ guides  are folk with experience and wisdom to share, who are eager and urgent about sharing hands-on skills and traditions. Teachers are honoured with a stipend.
  • Hosts share their problems and challenges, a location and provide tea and a snack for participants. Hosts also invite folks they want to learn alongside with.
  • Folks where different hats: host of one learning party, teacher at another, participant at another. Though if you find yourself this involved, you might want to consider curating your own series!

If you are interested in curating a learning party series, have skills or tradition you would like to share as a teacher or a juicy problem or challenge you would like to share as  a host,  let us know!

Contact Keira McPhee at keira AT slas.ca

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