Possibly you’re the kind of person who went to school for something practical and now pays their bills with the skills they learned earning a degree… but you really want to be able to impress the cute tattooed guy you see at the dive bar you go to every Friday with something “artsy” or crafty.  Or, possibly you went to school to learn to shoot “tasteful” and “artful” black and white photos of S&M scenes… and now you need to decide between your parents’ basement and a studio apt. in a building that regularly catches on fire (Seriously, this happens…)  Either way, 3rd Ward has something for you.  Philadelphia’s latest (I’m guessing) and (certainly) hippest educational institution serves to both help novices dip their toes into the world of the fine arts and help those who chose to go the “creative” route in college learn to market themselves to get one of the three positions available to the forty in their graduating class.  They even have a number of single session classes that just seem like a supercute/hyper-cool way to spend an afternoon.

3rd Ward photo 3For those looking to learn a new craft, 3rd Ward offers things like “Introduction to Hand-Drawn Animation” ($250), “Precious Metal Clay Workshop: Transforming Clay into Silver” ($129), and “Introduction to Woodworking: Materials & Techniques” ($369).  For those already immersed in the arts, they offer things like “Public Speaking Workshop: Storytelling for Artists” ($49), “Finding Funding/Grants, Fellowships & Other Forms of Hidden Treasure” ($179), and “The Artist in Practice: Standards & Guidelines” ($119).  And for those just looking to casually “broaden their horizons,” they have things like “Works on Paper: Intro to Collage and Mixed Media” ($79), “Digital Camera Workshop: Manual Settings & Composition” ($59), and “Accessories Workshop: Totes” ($79).  Personally, I’m finding myself most drawn toward “Corset Making: Foundation + Construction ($279), “Street Photography: Real World Environments” ($219), and “Creative Screenwriting: The Horror Movie” ($359).  In addition to offering courses to the general public, 3rd Ward also offers coworking spaces for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to work collaboratively, bouncing ideas off of each other (coworking memberships are $149 a month, with dedicated desks starting at $249 a month).

3rd Ward photo 23rd Ward Philly (the flagship is located in Brooklyn) opened this May at 1227 North 4th Street in Northern Liberties and boasts a pretty sweet, 27,000-square-foot loft/gallery space and a roof-deck.  And even if you’re not interested in getting too hands-on, 3rd Ward offers a bevy of events, including Wednesday’s weekly “Drink N’ Draw: Live Figure Drawing & Drinks,” where, for ten dollars, you can drink beer and draw live models.   In addition, upcoming talks include “Woman Inherits the Earth: Panel Discussion with the Artists” (June 29th) and “Philly Startup Hackers Presents: ‘Ship Talk’ Featuring Randy Schmidt” (July 11th).  They’re also hosting Learn.Make.Inspire., “A celebration of creative curiosity and talent,” which is offering $5,000 in prizes.  If you want in, all you have to do is enter here (You do have to have a Facebook…) and submit a photo of whatever you’re learning, making, or inspired by, to be evaluated by online votes and an expert team of judges.