10 Professional Art Classes for every age in the Fox Valley: September 2019

The art scene in the Fox Valley is booming the last few years, and we noticed a lot of cool opportunities for you, dates, lovers, friends, and kids to learn different skills.

Step 1: Basic Hand Lettering Class – Preparation for Calligraphy

When? September 6th

Where? Letter Create

A prerequisite for all Letter Create Workshops is the Basics Hand Lettering Class.

This class translates into all forms of writing techniques including brush lettering, calligraphy, modern flourish script, paint lettering, to name a few.  It is a pencil and paper penmanship class. They recommend you take a Step 2 class if you would like to learn calligraphy, brush lettering, or flourish calligraphy.
Tickets/Sign Up

Hand Lettering

Water & Skies Landscapes Watercolor Class

When? September 11

Where? : Mud & Prints

Channel your inner Bob Ross OR your inner Lee Mothes!

This is a three week class and you meet two hours each Wednesday to really develop your skills over time. Wednesday September 11th, 18th, and 25th from 6pm-8pm.

Classes are beginner friendly (ages 10+)

Tickets/Sign Up

Immersive Painting Class: “Critters” (Ages 12+)

When? Sept 12

Where? Mud & Prints

An immersive painting class led by Terri Einer. Fun for all ages & skill levels. Bring a picture of a critter to life! They call it their “Critter Class”

Bring a friend and master your skills. No experience is necessary. Learn about loose, spontaneous styles as you discover your own artistic voice. September 12th from 6pm to 9pm. $45/person entry fee.

Tickets/Sign Up

Terri Einer “Critter” example from a past class.

Dot Art Class

When? September 14

Where? The Rustic Burrow

The cost is $40.00 per person and includes a 12×12 stained project board, all paint and supplies and a light snack.

    Your choice of 6 different designs:

  • Elephant
  • Heart
  • Paw
  • Wisconsin
  • Dragonfly
  • Butterfly

Tickets/Sign Up

Functional Hand-building Workshop

When? September 14

Where? Mud & Prints

Learn basic hand-building techniques to make plates, cups, and vases. Hosted by local artist Samuel Thompson.

Tickets/Sign Up

Clay Animation (Ages 11 – 14)

When? September 18

Where? Trout Museum

Participants are in charge of every step of making a claymation. Develop a story, create clay characters, build set design, select music, and learn the basics of video movement in this fun beginner class. Students will have the opportunity to work with a variety of materials as they plan, produce, and assemble their videos. Working in teams of 2-3, students will use a stop motion app on an iPad to record their clay animations.

Tickets/Sign Up

Collage And Print Class (Ages 12+)

When? September 18

Where? Mud & Prints

Learn to incorporate layers into your art with a printmaking collage class hosted by Mel Kolstad.

Only $40, materials included. Ages 12+

Tickets/Sign Up

Multi-Arts Studio (Ages 8 – 11)

When? September 18

Where? Trout Museum

This after school class is a crash course in all things art! Painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, and more! Repeat students welcome!

Every Wednesday until November 6th.


DIY Rug Making Class

Where? Letter Create

When? September 22

Make your own rug in this workshop.  You can bring additional fabric (any type) to this workshop to create a more interesting depth to your rug.  We will have a limited variety of fabrics to choose from. Cotton is the best fabric to use. T-shirts make a great option as well.

Everyone will go home with a 2×3 foot rug.  If you do not finish your rug during the workshop you will take home the instructions and be able to finish your rug at home. 

Tickets/Sign Up

Time to get creative! Have fun. We hope this inspires a few people to make the leap, and try their skills.

Best April Events in Northeast Wisconsin

April Events in the Fox Cities 2019

This month has some solid events. There’s even some outdoor events on 4/20. Northeast Wisconsin really respects the green after a long winter. Check out the awesome events from beer and (mac n) cheese to litter cleanups to popup dinners, here are the best April 2019 events we could find.

Manitowoc Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) : Sip Sip Hooray!

When? April 5 @ 6PM

Where? Sepia Chapel

Looking for a way to give back to the community? Join Manitowoc County’s CASA program for a fun night out! Cocktail and social hour start at 6, immediately followed by dinner and a performance by Janet Planet at 6:30. Admission includes signature drink, dinner by Courthouse Pub and dessert by French Creek Bakery. Proceeds from this event go directly to Manitowoc County CASA Program!

Fifth Annual Pig Out

When? April 5th @ 6PM

Where? Badger State Brewing

This event is present to you by Badger State Brewing and Ahnapee Brewery. It entails a pig roast to benefit the Friends of the Ahnapee State Trail. The event will take place at Badger State Brewing from 6 – 9 PM. The cost is $35 per person, with options to bundle if you have a table of 8! The cost covers a pork meal, a specialty brewed beer, and an opportunity for some awesome prizes all while supporting a wonderful organization committed to making the community and outside visitors aware of all the quality aspects of the trail!

Fox Cities Kidz Expo 2019

When? April 6th @ 9 AM – 3 PM

Where? Fox Cities Exhibition Center

Fox Cities Exhibition Center
Credit: Post Cresent

Have you gotten a chance to check out the Exhibition Center in Appleton yet? If not, here’s the perfect opportunity! Activities for this family event include face painting, inflatables, costumed characters, crafts and balloon animals! There will also be brief seminars with information on various community activities.

Mini Golf on the Town

When? April 6th @ 1 – 6 PM

Where? Downtown Appleton

Can’t wait to get out on the golf course? We have the perfect solution! …kind of. Nine holes of mini-golf are being set up at different bars with beverage specials at each bar. You and your team can register at a participating bar – $60 per foursome. See y’all at the after party at D2!

Free Electronic Recycling

When? April 6 @ 9 AM – Noon

Where? Sunset Park Kimberly, WI

Join the local community and K9 Tech at Sunset Park in Kimberly for an opportunity to finally get rid of your old electronics that are just collecting dust – for FREE! This isn’t an every day opportunity, don’t miss it!

K9 Tech Recycling event in Appleton
Credit: K9 Tech Recycling

Chris Company Pop-Up Dinner

When? April 6th @ 6PM

Where? W5562 Center Valley Rd, Black Creek

A popup dinner in a historic 1887 schoolhouse located in Black Creek, Wisconsin. Tickets are $75 for one person and $130 for two. The event promotes unique venues and the best local food and wine in Northeast Wisconsin.

Game of Thrones Trivia

When? April 9 @ 7 – 9 PM

Where? Fox River House

Are you dying to know how well you know Game of Thrones? You’re not alone. Come test out your knowledge at Fox River House downtown Appleton on April 9th from 7 PM to 9PM. Bring a friend and make it an intense competition.

Game of Thrones Screenshot for Game of Thrones Triva event in NE Wisconsin
Credit: Game of Thrones

Mac and Brew Fest

When? April 13 @ 6 – 10 PM

Where? Sunnyview Expo Center

21+ – $30 a person, $50 a couple.

Alright Wisconsinites… beer and cheese – everything we could ever want! Share a laugh with some awesome comedians, devour mac and cheese through various tastings, and find your new favorite beer or wine! If none of that tickles your fancy, there will also be dancing and indoor yard games. The cost is $30 a person. Make it a date, and couples can sign up for $50 for two! All of the funds raised from this project are for Oshkosh South West Rotary projects.

Dueling Pianos

When? April 13 @ 7PM

Where? Dockside Tavern

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor
Credit: NEW Piano Guys

I’m sure you’ve heard of the NEW Piano Guys by now. If you haven’t, you need to. You really won’t regret it. Check them out at Dockside Tavern on April 13th!

Loop the Lake Earth Day Hike

When? April 20 @ 9AM

Where? Arrowhead Park, Neenah

Credit: Post Cresent

Here is another opportunity to check out one of the newer additions to our community. On April 20 (rain date April 27) grab a friend or simply you hiking shoes and get out on the Loop the Lake Trail that encompasses Neenah, Menasha, and Fox Crossing. This event is free and it begins in Arrowhead Park in Neenah. The loop is about 3.5 miles. There will be refreshments and activities at Fritze Park! Plan to start between 9 & 10:30 AM. Before you get your hiking shoes on, make sure you grab this Sierra Club liability waiver form to fill out and bring it with you!

Earth Day Hoot

When? April 20 @ 7PM

Where? Mosquito Hill, New London

On 4/20 at 7PM come help celebrate the Earth, with a variety of musicians in an Earth Day themed program. – Folk, acoustic, traditional music. The event is kid friendly – $5 adult, kids are free with intermission treats included.

Party like it’s 1995

When? April 25 @ 6 PM

Where? TRATS Stadium

We are all severely itching for summer – the Timber Rattlers feel it too. They’re ready to party like it’s 1995 with you. Join the TRats on April 25th for a good ol game of America’s favorite pastime and enjoy prices like you would have seen in the 90’s! $5 box seats, $4 bleacher seats and $3 grass seats. Enjoy popcorn and cotton candy for $1, and craft beer and brats for just $3! This is an event you don’t wanna miss!

Broadway Beer Hop

When? April 27 @ Noon

Where? Lyric Room, Green Bay

On April 27th, for $20 a person you can hop around town and sample beer from four different breweries! You’ll have a punch card that can be turned in at the end for a chance to win some cool prizes. The event will start at noon and go until 4 PM!

Earth Day Event & Fox Valley Cleanup

When? April 28 @ 10:30AM

Where? Mr. Brew’s Taphouse

Whatever your thoughts on Climate Change are (cough cough, it’s here folks) i think we can all agree that littering is not OK. On April 28 from 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM, starting at Mr. Brew’s Taphouse there will be a cleanup happening by the Fox River east of downtown. Garbage bags and water will be provided but it is recommended that you bring gloves! Of course, you won’t want to miss the after party immediately following the cleanup at Mr. Brews. The first 72 people over 21 years old will get a free event t shirt!

Image result for picking up trash

Editors Pick – Best Event in April

I’m impartial because I’m big on outdoor activities and clean up projects, but I like to pick the best events based on excitement. I think the most exciting event this month is the Mini Golf on the Town. So there’s my pick for the month. We’re extremely excited for the warm season in 2019. Which event do you think sound the most exciting?

Storycatchers: A Movement Capturing the Fox Cities.

Do you recognize these lyrics? “Everyday when you’re walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view”. If you guessed the Arthur theme song, you deserve a pat on the back and high five! Yes, Arthur, the TV show. That is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me that everyone in the world knows something that you don’t, everyone has a story to tell, and an original point of view to share. It is author, community organizer, and story catcher Tara Pohlkotte’s Job to help YOU find these stories.

“So what is Storycatchers?”

Storycatchers is a nonprofit, story telling initiative in the Fox Cities run by Tara Pohlkotte. The mission of Storycatchers is to create community with shared storytelling through different mediums like recordings, teaching workshops, and her free live storytelling events which have been packing venues all over the Fox Cities.

The live storytelling events are Tara’s most popular and well known ways of engaging the community. I like to describe it as an adult storytelling open mic in different unique locations, like cafes, the library, museum or on stage. People come to hear unexpected everyday people tell extraordinary stories about their lives. Tara focuses on the storytelling, with a minimalist setup including a microphone and a music stand.

Storycatchers event and minimalist stage setup.

Tara told me. “I wanted to explore the idea of why stories have stayed around for so long and why they are so important. We tend to think of stories as something elementary, something for kids…But why is that? [It was] Then I started understanding the human need for that connection.”

These stories are not the same as the bedtime stories for kids. They are unfiltered and uncensored stories about real life. Which isn’t exactly the same as “story time” for kids. At the beginning Tara struggled with parents bringing their children to the events, especially at her first event entitled “Stories of Youth.” Here the storytellers told stories from their past (stories that may not have been the most kid-friendly). The live events are designed for a mature audience, an outlet for people who want to be heard and tell their stories.

“People ask me, ‘Can I bring my 14 year old?’ And I say, ‘It depends what kind of parent you are…These aren’t fables being told, and they aren’t everyday stories.'”

As we age more people reserve stories for children, but Tara wants to reinvent the term storytelling, and treat it as the art that it really is. However, that doesn’t mean that children aren’t allowed. Tara recounts a time where her youngest storyteller, Jonathan a brave 11-year-old told the story of his struggles with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and what that means to him at 11 years old. At that point Johnathan’s mother hadn’t told her family about Johnathan’s mental illness, but his bravery inspired her to share her own experiences battling mental illness in her life on the same stage. That event was a very powerful moment, and it accomplished Tara’s goal.

Storycatcher event.

“This is bigger than me or even the live events, this is about creating something for the community. It gives people of all ages and walks of life a chance to tell their stories.” Tara did have one last message for all of the story lovers in the Fox Cities.

“While the live events are entertaining and fun, we are just getting started unearthing the stories that we need to hear in our community… We are working on a project called ‘Voices from the Margins,’ where we are trying to identify underrepresented voice in the Fox Cities and I think our job is to hep them tell their own stories. Going and getting stories that may not come to us is what is really amazing. We may have to just sit and be quiet to listen to these stories and to find them, but they are more than worth the effort to find them.”

You can see Tara at her next 2 events, Storycatchers Live: Voices of Our Elder Caregiving Community on November 16th, and Storycatchers Live: Holidazed and Confused on December 8th. The events are free but donations are encouraged. Donations are vital for the nonprofit to keep thriving, so don’t hesitate to support the art!

Thank you for reading. Share this with that storyteller in your life! Maybe they’ll end up at the next event. RJ is a contributor writer at Venture Wisconsin. RJ is also a magician. Be sure to follow his Facebook page for his upcoming classes and events.


4 Perfect October Date Nights in the Fox Cities, 4 Different Budgets

Two people on a date

If you’re a romantic like me you are always thinking of the perfect date night with that special someone (especially if you are single). In the 1950s, the perfect date was going to a drive-in burger joint and then finishing the night with a movie. But in 2017, we are constantly bombarded with new and exciting things to do Everything from escape rooms and magic shows to scavenger hunts and boozy bike tours. There are endless things to do in the Fox Cities that would make great unique date ideas, so I’ve sifted through all of October’s events to bring you the top three date night ideas that would impress anyone. The best part is that they range from FREE to Fancy, so there’s no excuse for you to not go to at least one of these awesome events!

1. No Money? No Problem! – Total Cost, Free!

The secret to planning a great free date is to make it something you would pay for. The University Of Wisconsin Oshkosh will be hosting Cycropia Arial Dance for a free performance at the Horizon Ampitheater .


“Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Cycropia combines modern dance, athleticism, and the magic of defying gravity in their dynamic performances. The aerial dance troupe performs in fantastical costumes using single-point trapeze, bungee, lyra, and aerial fabric suspended from a custom steel apparatus.”

Combining circus performance, dance, and a little illusion, the Cycropia Arial Dance performance is free to the public and a great date that will make a memory you can talk about forever. Make sure to pick up some food in Downtown Oshkosh before you go!

2. Gator Bites and Comedy – Total Cost, $20/Person

The traditional dinner date is overdone. The concept of dinner and a movie is a cliche. Also, the point of a date is to get to know someone, and the point of a movie is to sit quietly for two hours. The solution? An interactive show at Skyline Comedy Cafe. Skyline features incredible “as seen on TV”  comics every weekend for only $15/ticket. Skyline is the best comedy club in the Fox Cities and for a good reason, they bring in the best professional touring comedians. Plus, laughter is a great way to break the ice on a first date! If you happen to get hungry because of all the laughter you can pop downstairs to Stone Arch Brew Pub, (one of the best restaurants in the Fox Cities,) and enjoy their delicious alligator bites.

3. Pop Up to a dinner date- Total Cost,  $35/Person

This date is for the foodies that don’t want to spend a ton of money on great food. Popupfoxcities is an affordable (typically) 5-course dinner. Every dinner is in a different location in the Fox Cities! Sometimes places that aren’t even meant to serve food, and that’s what makes them so unique. The catch? There are open tables and no private seating. This might put some people on edge, but it is actually a very cool experience. It forces you to talk to other people around you, make friends, and have a better time being social.

Whether the dinner is in a rustic cafe, a garden, or a museum the food is always absolutely delicious. I had the pleasure of going to a 5-course meal hosted by Timshell Cafe in Neenah. It was only $35 and it was by far the best food I have ever had the pleasure of eating, and I am a self-proclaimed foodie.  From rich slow-cooked pork marinated in coffee (the best thing I have ever put in my mouth), to creamy au gratin sweet potatoes, to bone marrow butter on fresh hot pita bread and even coo sweet goat’s milk ice cream for dessert. Chef Tracy Darling leaves you stuffed and happy, and the food just keeps coming. Besides being in a different unique location every time, Popup Fox Cities has different themes for each event. There has been a comedy dinner show, a vegan dinner, a vegetarian dinner, featured poetry, and I have even worked with the company to produce a dinner magic show. I cannot recommend this dinner enough especially if you are the traditional dinner date type. Try something new, I promise it will be all you can talk about for weeks.

3. Fancy Formal Night Out– Total Cost, $150/Person

I am personally going to this event and am super excited. This unique, fun, and food filled event will impress anyone who goes. “So You Think You Can Cook” is a fundraiser for the Children’s Museum of GreenBay like you’ve never seen.

So You Think You Can Cook

“Over the course of the night, our amateur chefs will compete for three awards, “Raise The Most Dough,” “People’s Choice,” and the “Master Chef” award. Guests will have ample opportunity to sample the competing chefs’ creations and cast their vote toward the “People’s Choice” award. Other offerings include professional hors-d’oeuvres from, a cash bar and wine wall, live music from local musicians, and a silent auction!”

If you like eating delicious food; being stuffed with strolling hors-d’oeuvres, wine, music, dancing; and charity, this event is going to be one of the best events of the year. It is the perfect formal night out, and the best part… It’s for a great cause!

About the Author

Venture Wisconsin is proud to announce that this is our first contributor post. Written by Rajon Lynch. RJ is a student at UW Oshkosh,  a young entrepreneur, and professional magician. He spends his free time planning magic based events, teaching magic classes, and finding things to in the Fox Cities. Check out his Facebook page to find his upcoming events. RJ the Magician will be writing more blogs with us in the future!