Summers in Acadiana don’t come delicately. I know it’s summer when my sunglasses are foggy before sunrise. June storms settle in in the late afternoon. Cicada songs make my backyard a small theatre for a nightly symphony.

The oppressive heat combined with the rain lends a lanquidity that can be sleepy or sultry. I find I don’t feel as ‘on’ during the summer, which is a good and bad thing. I read more fiction and drink more gin, but this summer, I want throw something new in the rotation.

To strike a better balance between old comforts and new skills, there are plenty of workshops, classes, and group gatherings both this weekend and throughout the summer to expand your skill-set and general knowledge, and ways to meet like-minded people. I’ve compiled a list of things to do and where to do them, and I hope you find something inspiring and enriching.


This Week:

Basin Arts: Partnering & Contract Improv Workshop. This Thursday, Chicago-based dance artist Taylor Mitchell and Alex McBride of Limon Dance Co. in New York City will share their insight on improvisation techniques, including partnering skills and improv resources. The class is $20 per person and $17 per Basin Arts Class members.

Basin Arts: 3-Day Oil Painting Workshop. Beginning this Friday at 5 p.m., this weekend-long workshop will focus on capturing images of objects like flowers through direct observation. No experience is required. Jaik Faulk instructs each class meets from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This workshop is $125 and includes all supplies.

Vermilionville: Creole Culture Day. This Sunday will be a day full of Creole tradition and education for this event, cosponsored by Lafayette City Government. Festivities kick off at 10 a.m. and include a bayou boat tour, cooking demonstrations, spoken word performances, a sharing circle, and a meet-and-greet with Pierre Landry, America’s first African American Mayor.



The Wurst Biergarten: Makers Society of Lafayette. This new group of makers was established by local painter Kali Picard. Artists of all skill levels are invited to learn a new style or technique each month. This month’s meeting is Monday, June 18 at 6 p.m.

Basin Arts: June and July adult dance and fitness classes. Courses in movement are always underway at Basin Arts, and this season’s adult (16 and older) classes include courses beginning as early as 6 a.m., and as late as 7:30 p.m. Dance classes include ballet, contemporary jazz, tap, hip-hop, and modern dance styles. Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga as well as pilates classes are also available. Basin is also offering unlimited classes for June and July for $125.


There you have it. Whether you’re dancing or painting, yes and-ing or learning more about where you’ve come from, I hope this list inspires you to learn something new!