Prominent North Carolina-based artists and performers have teamed up to establish Since4Eva, a Durham-based online arts school that aims to bridge the gap between art and academia.
Kym Register is the owner of The Pinhook — a Durham-based safe space for queer and otherwise marginalized people to express themselves — as well as the lead singer of the country-folk band Loamlands. They teamed up with Heather Cook from the NorthStar Church of the Arts to establish Since4Eva in order to connect artists in a way that goes beyond music and streaming.
“We really want there to be an archive of classes that people can choose from across so many genres,” Register said. “Part of this is our desire to be venues that help artists navigate platforms that can take the creativity out of art. Streaming is, as far as we know, not a very creative endeavor. So we want to bridge that gap between artists and community that we’re currently experiencing.”
Since the school's semester began in early October, Register said they’re excited about the number of people who have signed up and are getting involved.
“It’s taking on a life of its own,” Register said.
Other teachers are in high spirits about how well the semester is going so far, including Denise Padilla de Font.
Padilla de Font is teaching a sold-out course titled "The Artistry of the Archetype." In this class, she and a group of five students get to know the role the three main archetypes that affect negative self-talk — the Judge, the Victim and the Wise Adult — play into psychology. From there, they’re able to use that knowledge to create their own mythological map.
Padilla de Font devotes the majority of her time to her career as an art therapist and women’s counselor at River Water Healing, as well as being a full-time mom of two. She said her desire to bring healing during a chaotic time was what drove her to teach a class that would be affordable for most people.
“My mission is to make unique classes that are relevant to coping with the state of our chaotic world right now and accessible to everyone without the barrier of bureaucracy and capitalism,” Padilla de Font said.
Besides Padilla de Font’s class, Since4Eva has a variety of other courses to offer during its inaugural semester that covers a myriad of topics while incorporating elements of art, history and representation for marginalized groups.
Register teaches a class called "Gear for Queers!" to give musicians an opportunity to learn how to organize their pedalboards from individuals with unique perspectives. The class will begin on Oct. 29 and operate through weekly discussions each Thursday at 7 p.m. through Nov. 19.
"NaNoWriMo," taught by Cook, begins on Oct. 26 and hosts weekly workshops each Monday at 5 p.m. through Dec. 4. The class will challenge aspiring novelists to take a spontaneous approach to writing and creating an entire first draft during National Novel Writing Month.
The remaining courses listed on the Since4Eva website cover a variety of topics, from learning music theory to listening to DJ Mab Segrest tell the story of systemic racism within asylums in the South. It has a star-studded guest list that includes poet laureate Jaki Shelton Green and Grammy-nominated country artist Tift Merritt, among others.
“I'm excited to be a part of such a fantastic crew of folks at Since4Eva,” Padilla de Font said. “It's truly an honor to be a part of this movement in continuing education.”
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