Bartending, Mending, Baking and Writing Songs: Making Things at The Word Barn
Exeter venue provides the how-to, led by creatives, experts
The one bright side of staying home for much of the past year is that there has been time to learn new skills. And now The Word Barn, in Exeter, is providing a roster of experts who can help people take those hobbies and skills to the next level.
The Word Barn has announced the creation of a virtual Makers Series for the month of February, offering the public access to a variety of workshops and sessions presented by local, regional, and international instructors and artists. Workshops span a variety of topics, from playwriting to mixology, bird watching to fermentation, visible mending to creating a layered soup stock. Instructors include Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Don Zolidis and Juno Award winner David Francey.
“The month of February can be rough in the best of times, so we thought we’d create a way for people to learn new skills, or explore their interests, while we all ride this thing out,” says Ben Anderson, who co-founded The Word Barn with his wife, Sarah. “It’s also a way to help out these artisans who are part of our struggling community right now.”
Feb. 12, 7 p.m.: Intro to Mixology
Led by Portland mixologist Jim Maldonis, participants will be taken through the steps to master cocktails using basic ingredients and barware. Maldonis is also offering an Intermediate Mixology class on February 26 (register here) for more experienced and adventurous home bartenders, and a Mocktail Intro class on February 19 (register here) where participants will make a cherry lime rickey and chocolate creme soda.
Feb. 15, 7 p.m.: Visible Mending Workshop
Participants will learn simple techniques to repair and embellish garments in a meaningful and joyful way, and to engage in a creative activity, connect with themselves, and give new life to the things they already have.
Feb. 18, 5 p.m.: Rage Baking
Kathy Gunst, a James Beard Award-winning journalist and the author of 15 cookbooks – as well as the resident chef for NPR’s Here and Now – will be hosting this baking workshop, with Katherine Alford, co-author with Gunst of the newly-released Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury.
Feb. 21, 4 p.m.: The Art of the Song
A trio of songwriters will lead this session on songwriting. The group features three-time Juno Award winner David Francey, along with Craig Werth and Guy Capecelatro III.
Feb. 21: Investing in Stocks: A Crash Course in Butchery/Foundation for Better Soups and Stews
This one-hour crash course in butchery, stocks and building the foundation for better soups, sauces and stews will be led by Evan Mallet, the award-winning chef/owner of the Black Trumpet, in Portsmouth.
Feb. 28: Introduction to Playwriting
Don Zolidis will guide would-be playwrights through this creatively-rewarding pursuit. Zolidis’ plays for young people are among the most-produced in the country, and have received more than 7,500 productions, appearing in every state and in 51 countries. Zolidis received the Princess Grace Award for playwriting, and his plays have received two Edgerton New Play awards and multiple NEA grants among other honors. In 2013, his play White Buffalo was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
Other workshops include:
- Feb. 20: Intro to Fermentation – register here.
- Feb. 21: Birding; From The Backyard & Beyond – register here.
All workshops will be held virtually, using Zoom as the hosting platform, with a cost ranging from free to $25. Registration and information can be found on The Word Barn website.
Registration fees and donations collected will be divided among the instructors, The Word Barn, and the Continuum Arts Collective – a non-profit organization that works to provide musical instruments, art supplies, and instruction to underserved students in the Maine and New Hampshire areas.
The Word Barn is a micro-venue in Exeter, providing audiences and performers with an intimate, but professional setting, with a strong community gathering feeling. It has featured the likes of Broadway sensation Anais Mitchell, Lake Street Dive’s Rachael Price & Vilray, superstar Tyler Childers, and Dinosaur Jr.’s Lou Barlow.
Like many other venues, The Word Barn shut its doors in mid-March 2020 and has remained dark ever since. It then transformed its back field into an open-air, distanced, and contactless gathering space during the warmer months. Now dubbed The Word Barn Meadow, the space has hosted a variety of music, literary, environmental, and wellness events including regular Owl Prowls, yoga sessions, and performers like Martin Sexton, Lady Lamb, Ryan Montbleau, and Livingston Taylor. A gathering place for language and song, The Word Barn was created to promote the sharing and cultivation of the arts in an open and welcoming setting, and contribute to an already existing and thriving arts community. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thewordbarn.com.