Buzz Wor­thy

Learn How to Throw a Jab and Fry a Turkey — All in One Day

The Washington Post Sunday - - Trend Stoper -


one knows ev­ery­thing, but ev­ery­body knows some­thing. While it may sound like a Karl Marx-in­spired bumper sticker, the slo­gan is the or­ga­niz­ing prin­ci­ple be­hind Satur­day’s Learn-a-Palooza, a first-time event that was born on an Adams Morgan neigh­bor­hood e-mail list two months ago and has blos­somed into an all-day fest o’ learn­ing. It in­cludes free 30- and 60-minute classes on what­ever vol­un­teers want to teach — from belly-dance aer­o­bics and Pi­lates to how to fix a bike flat or fry a turkey.

Learn-a-Palooza founder Ros­alyn Lemieux, 31, of the Dis­trict was in­spired by the egal­i­tar­ian, com­mu­nity-driven mul­ti­me­dia art fair Ar­tomatic (through May 20 in Ar­ling­ton). She thought that if art was re­placed by classes, the ben­e­fit would be twofold: fos­ter­ing a di­verse, close-knit com­mu­nity and draw­ing more peo­ple to lo­cal busi­nesses and cen­ters.

The orig­i­nal plan was to house the event in one build­ing, but or­ga­niz­ers opted to spread it out, mainly in the Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, U Street and Dupont Cir­cle neigh­bor­hoods.

“We chose neigh­bor­hoods that we live in and that we felt were in tran­si­tion,” Lemieux says. “There has been so much eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, and while that can be re­ally great for th­ese ar­eas, it also cre­ates a real ten­sion [be­tween long­time res­i­dents and the peo­ple who are mov­ing in] be­cause things get more ex­pen­sive, and so many changes take place.”

Peo­ple may vol­un­teer to teach up un­til the day of the event, Lemieux says. “There’s so much po­ten­tial in this. I would like to see, rather than 37 work­shops, 200 or . . . even more,” she says. “It takes noth­ing to hold a 30-minute work­shop, and it’s great for your busi­ness. We’d like to con­nect more with the Latino com­mu­nity, too.”

She hopes that if the event does well, it will spin off into other neigh­bor­hoods. “We’re cer­tainly en­cour­ag­ing any­one to take up the model,” Lemieux says. “We’ve got­ten calls from Seat­tle and Albany, Ga., on how they can start their own Learn-a-Palooza, and ours hasn’t even hap­pened yet!”

To see a sched­ule, teach a class or of­fer a venue for one, visit


City Fit­ness in­struc­tor Nino Ma­long will teach box­ing ba­sics dur­ing Learn-a-Palooza.

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