If you’ve ever been at the family dinner, out for drinks with friends, or in the break room at work and you’ve shared recipes, computer fixes, or even how to make a crochet stitch, Susan Solberg will be the first to tell you that you’ve just experienced a mesh—a spontaneous, energetic sharing of skills. It’s an idea Solberg, a former history teacher, took to heart when in the summer of 2012 she and Emily Letras created Baltimore Mesh, a potpourri of low-cost classes held in one location once a month. (Solberg now partners with Michele Canapp, who assists in training teachers, networking, and other outreach.)
“A SkillShare afternoon,” Solberg explains, “Is like sampling an amazing array of tasty, unusual dishes at a terrific restaurant, in the company of interesting, fun new pals.”
The next SkillShare will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in South Baltimore on Saturday, November 9th from 1-4 pm. For $22 dollars, participants can choose four 1-hour classes from a grid of 16 to attend, and this month’s offerings run the gamut from martial arts to meditation, crochet, and kielbasa-making.
With college costs skyrocketing and even local classes on web design, art, writing, and languages costing well over $100 for six-week sessions, a one-day compressed, yet relaxed, potluck of learning for only $22 is a brilliant alternative, one that Solberg has seen grow from a few friends and family attending to as many as 60 people signing up for recent SkillShare sessions.
Not only can you take away some fabulous skills from Mesh Baltimore–SkillShare instructors have taught everything from mozzarella making to writing and computer classes, gardening, composting, and improv–you can contribute your own areas of expertise as well. Solberg says they are always on the lookout for new instructors to teach topics related to history, crafting, art, life skills, and more. And, as this former Mesh instructor can attest, instructors are compensated quite handsomely, with some monetary reimbursement, cookies and other tasty treats, and even free SkillShare classes.
Whether you contribute as instructor or student, you will probably enjoy a fun afternoon. But if you’re lucky, you might just walk away with a newfound passion with little risk on your initial investment.
“If you’re not sure what you’re looking to learn, it’s a great way to get a taste of a few different things–like making pesto or basic WordPress–without having to commit upfront to a long, expensive cooking or computer class,” explained one participant of the June 9th SkillShare.
To find out more out about Mesh’s SkillShare session on November 9th, future classes, volunteering, or registration, visit Mesh Baltimore at: