Arlington Community Education to offer new classes this fall – Wicked Local Arlington

Chess Training

Arlington Community Education is offering a full schedule of online classes for adults and kids this fall. Registration is still open, but classes are filling quickly. The semester starts the week of Sept. 14.

There are over 150 adult classes, including 42 new classes. Most classes are held online via Zoom in the evening. There are also daytime options and socially-distanced walking and bicycling tours. Read on for some of the new offerings, or see all fall classes and register at

Home and garden

Have you recently got a new pup or rescue and you are trying to train him/her while social distancing? Get your questions answered in this virtual class with expert dog trainer Christine Macdonald, covering topics including potty training, barking, chewing and how to get your pup to understand and obey the leave it command or learn leash walking. Zoom Dog Training Workshop: Get Help With Puppies is Oct. 8 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $29.

Recreation and travel

Chess engages our minds and memory and challenges us to tap into our creative thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills. Learn to play or refine your skills with Chess Wizards. At Beginner Skills & Strategies, starting Sept. 23, learn how a new piece of the chessboard moves each week and practice fundamentals. If you already know the basics, including how to set up the pieces and how to move them, then delve into intermediate tactics and strategy with Next Level Tactics, starting Oct. 21. Both chess classes run Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for four weeks and cost $69.

Fine arts and crafts

Learn to twirl and whirl paper into whimsical shapes and designs at Zen Quilling with our new art instructor Dani Larosee. Quilling is an art form that uses tiny strips of paper to create beautiful ornaments and elaborate pieces of art. The quilling process is very calming; it gives you peace and provides you with an artistic outlet to keep you zen. Class runs online for four Thursdays beginning Oct. 1, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $79. Dani is also teaching a Family Night quilling class and Intro to Calligraphy and Beyond: Foundational Hand.

Music and theater

Have you ever been told you have a great voice for radio, audiobooks or cartoons? At the fast-paced, interactive and fun workshop Find Your Voice: Intro to Voice Overs led by Lau Lapides Company, learn tips and techniques to begin your exploration of vocal and verbal delivery, breathing and interpreting a script. Find out more about the craft as a hobby or career on Oct. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuition is $25.

Walking tours

On Sept. 27 from 9 to 11 a.m., take a two-hour Birdwatching 101 Field Trip of about 1.25 miles around the Arlington Reservoir, geared towards beginning birdwatchers of all ages. Instructor Benjamin Brown-Steiner will focus on demonstrating different strategies for locating and identifying birds based on their appearance, songs and calls, behavior, and habitat. To get the most out of this field trip, attendance at the lecture What to Know Before Going Outside on Sept. 24 is highly encouraged. Each birdwatching class costs $19, or take both classes for $30.

Curious minds

A new three-part DNA and Genealogy series is being taught by Dr. Leah Abraham, who used DNA results to locate her own birth parents. DNA Test Basics (Part 1) starts Sept. 22 for those new to DNA testing. Discover which DNA test to take, what services the DNA companies offer, and how to minimize cost while maximizing the information you receive from your DNA test. You Took a DNA Test: What Do the Matches Mean? (Part 2), beginning on Oct. 13, focuses on using the results to build trees. Leave the class with a better understanding of what information is available in match data and how it can help verify or create (for adoptees) your tree. At Using DNA to Advance Genealogy (Part 3), starting on Nov. 10, build your tree as you learn to use the data power of a DNA test to confirm ancestors. Work on locating sources and confirming common ancestors with more distant DNA matches. Each course meets three times on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and costs $59. Or take all three for $159.


Enhance your appreciation of dance as an exciting and ever-changing performance art at Understanding 20th Century Dance with dance instructor, lecturer and choreographer Kelley Donovan. Beginning on Oct. 7, develop an overall familiarity with dance as a contemporary art form through readings, video and discussion. Enlarge your critical perspective by discussing issues in dance, comparing points of view of major choreographers, and considering their particular contributions. This five-week class runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and costs $75.


White People Challenging Racism: Moving From Talk to Action is five Wednesdays starting Oct. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. While this workshop led by Melanie Roche-Laputkaa and Erika Nauda welcomes participants of all identities, the focus is on racism as a system that white people created, maintain and need to take immediate action to end. In this small online group setting, you will examine the role of White people in dismantling racism, in becoming antiracist and in building an equitable society. Develop a specific plan for challenging racism in the workplace, an organization or in the community, while being encouraged to find other people in your life who can provide support and serve as an accountability partner in implementing your plan. The price is $150.


All ACE kids classes are online this fall, and organized by category instead of by school, with arts and crafts, fitness and dance, STEM, languages, life skills and more. New classes include Mathletics, How to Adult, Book Illustrating & Storytelling and Architecture & Design with Sketchup. The schedule has been adjusted to reflect Arlingtons school opening plan.

Visit or email for more information or to register. Arlington Community Education is a program of the Arlington Public Schools that is completely supported by tuition received from ACE courses. ACE provides affordable education and enrichment for residents of Arlington and surrounding communities.

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Arlington Community Education to offer new classes this fall - Wicked Local Arlington

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