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This fall, The Mustard Seed Project (TMSP) and Two Waters Arts Alliance (TWAA) teamed up to help KP seniors explore new creative talents in a series of classes called “So You’ve Always Wanted to Try…”

Photo: Adria Hanson/TWAA

The classes were intended to be friendly for newcomers and those experimenting with art for the first time. “We set up these classes for people who maybe had no experience, and have in fact ‘always wanted to try,’” said Mustard Seed’s Executive Director Edie Morgan. “It was intended for people who are not at a high level of experience, to give it a go and try something new and creative.”

The three separate classes focused on drawing, watercolor painting and mixed media, each with four weekly sessions. The series may expand to more topics in the future. “Drawing felt like a good basic, starting point, for a series especially. There are so many talented artists who teach out here,” said Morgan.

Despite fairly limited advertising, the classes were a big hit. “The first class filled up very, very quickly,” said Morgan. “Actually, the folks who were in the first class were so enthused about it, and having such a great time, that they were ready to sign up for the second round.” She attributes the popularity of the classes mostly to word-of-mouth. “There was definitely a core group that continued through, and they told their friends, and people added on.”

One of the major reasons classes like these are possible is that TMSP now has a place to hold them. Last February, TMSP moved into the former Roadhouse Restaurant building in Key Center, giving it a dedicated space for programs. “We’ve been painting, redecorating and moving things around. It’s become a very pleasant space,” said Morgan. “We’re having all kinds of different programs, events and now, classes in that space. We’re creating a gathering place that is comfortable and pleasant, and can be used for all kinds of different activities.”

The Mustard Seed has been exploring new options for community programs since its move into the new building, but a grant from the Greater Gig Harbor Community Foundation and the partnership with Two Waters Arts Alliance allowed it to get the project off the ground sooner than expected. Artists willing to teach some of their skills were contacted through TWAA, and TMSP began advertising to the community.

After three courses with positive reviews, the project organizers are looking forward to what might be on the schedule for next year’s classes. “It’s our intent to continue classes and to offer a variety,” said Morgan. Exercise and dance classes have been considered as well as more art classes. Morgan also suggested the possibility of music courses, including a potential offering with the theme of “pull your guitar out of the closet and try again.”

“It makes everybody here feel good to have a group of excited people come through the front door, create art and build community.” said Morgan. “There’s great energy around it all; it’s very positive.”

More information about The Mustard Seed and any of its upcoming events can be found at themustardseedproject.org, at 253-884-9814, or at their Key Center office. This first series of classes cost $25 for four 90-minute sessions, but pricing and scheduling for the future is still undetermined.

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