Arts and Humanities
4:14 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

From Bollywood Dancing to Backyard Chickens: The How-To Festival

Challenging the out-of-date idea that libraries are only quiet places for reading and research, the Louisville Free Public Library brings its How-To Festival back for a second year. The library will present experts on everything from Bollywood dancing to gardening Saturday at this popular community learning event. 

The short classes range from quick practical tutorials, like how to tie a bow tie or sing the national anthem, to introductions to larger projects, like backyard chicken farming and going back to college as an adult.

Maria Whitley is one of the owners of Shine, a wellness studio in Nulu. She’ll be teaching a session on Nia, an innovative movement practice.

"Nia is a holistic movement practice that combines dance arts, martial arts and the healing arts of yoga into one hour of super-fun dance," says Whitley. "There’s flexibility, agility, mobility, strength and stability. So in every Nia class you’re going to experience these five sensations, to varying degrees.”

Whitley will also teach a session on how to make music with young children, based on her experience teaching Music Together, an early childhood music education program based on the belief that all children are musical and can learn to sing and keep rhythm. But Whitley says kids' music classes don’t only benefit the young students.

“The adults feel better when they leave, too. This is where the wellness comes in," she says. "Singing is good for you. Music is good for you. It elevates your spirit, it gets all these godo hormones going, and you feel better when you walk out.”

If movement and agility don’t sound appealing, there’s also a session on how to be a statue all day on the front lawn. No, really. There's also office yoga, Bollywood dancing, First Aid for pets and a session on "How to Make Simple, Safe, Spectacular Homemade Rockets." WUOL's Daniel Gilliam will also be on hand to teach a session on how to appreciate classical music. Read his preview. And long-time Louisville journalist and former Courier-Journal books editor Keith Runyon will discuss living "A Life By the Books." Read his preview.

Fifty classes will be offered across the five-hour event.  Read the day's full schedule. Last year's festival attracted about 1,000 visitors to the main library. How-To Festival is free and runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the main library (301 York Street).