The ukulele is the recorder of the string family: anyone can learn to play one in minutes with minimal instruction. You can, too, regardless of your current musical knowledge. Just show up at the Davenport Main Library (321 Main St. in Davenport) on Tuesday, July 31 at 6p.m. You do not have to be a card holder to attend. In an hour-and-a-half, Alan Morrison and Rebecca Casad of AM Guitar Works will teach you to play a ukulele. Then, you can torment your enemies by playing Israël Kamakawiwo’ole’s Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World mashup until they leave town.
The uke workshop is not a one-off. Davenport Public Libraries offer fun, creative events and courses year-round. Most are free and require no registration. Many are open to all age groups, though some events are just for kids or young adults. On Thursday, July 19, teens are invited to DPL’s Eastern branch to make sculptures. Teen events like this one are generally more social, less expensive, and more fulfilling than some other popular past times, such as going to a movie or playing video games. Not that those can’t be social activities. DPL actually offers recent-release movie nights and meet-ups for gamers.
The libraries' arts workshops, though, are something special. As arts programs continue to dwindle in public schools, millions of students miss out on the chance to enrich their lives and develop artistic potential. The Quad Cities is lucky enough to have library systems that provide services to supplement public education. Not only do these courses offer a creative outlet, they teach valuable skills. On Monday, July 30, for example, the public is welcome to attend a printmaking course at Main starting at 6:30p.m. When you know how to make prints, you can make your own T-shirts, give prints as gifts, and cover your whole living room wall with your own artwork. You could even sell printed items for a profit.
Again, most workshops are open anyone who shows up at the appointed place and time. Certain courses, however, do require registration. The Summer Book Arts Academy is a series of free courses every other Wednesday at Main, but if you want to participate, you must register for each 4:30p.m. class. On July 25, SBAA students will learn to make booklets using accordion binding, while Hannah Eddy from Nourished Lettering will teach students hand lettering on August 8.
With family movie nights, LEGO meet-ups, discussions, and lectures, there’s almost always something going on at one of the libraries in town. Whether you’re eager to learn or just feel like being social, don’t miss out on all the free entertainment available at Davenport Public Libraries.
Image credit: Compiled using images from Davenport Public Library