Extracurricular Learning

Outside of the classroom, here are some unique learning opportunities for youngsters on Bali.

Families with children of any age can enjoy art museums and collections to gain inspiration for new hobbies and activities. A treasure trove like Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets in Mas near Ubud can be a perfect outing. In restored joglo houses nearly as captivating as the thousands of masks and puppets on display, it’s great for a budding architecture buff, a theatre fan, or young artist. Free.   8 am – 4pm daily. maskandpuppets.com

Older students who love costume and fashion, and who may think there’s nothing here for their interest in couture, can visit Sanur’s jewel box Museum of Vintage Bags, 111 Jalan Danau Poso. Singaporean fashionista and progressive designer of the online Strange But Cool brand, Tina Lim gives entrants of her boutique preview displays from her world class collection of twentieth century handbags, the bulk of which are housed behind a mysterious closed door. Awaiting there is a brightly lit palace of once-trendy styles, unusual shapes, and clever constructions. Admission of Rp150,000 defrays the considerable cost of air conditioning and insurance, and is well worth paying if you show a flair for design or have interest in engineering of packaging and materials. Nothing’s behind glass, so it’s inappropriate for young children. Call ahead for hours of operation: 0361 4720027 strangebutcool.com

There may still be room at (central Denpasar) CushCush Gallery’s next two Hands On charcoal art workshops for kids age 8 – 16, these last two are led by international artist Budiman Ong on 20 and 21 April, 9 am to 12 noon. Free, but space is limited, so call or WhatsApp Nike to reserve at 089664772657. Resulting artworks enter a gallery exhibition of 3 months, opening 31 May.

Art Geed Art: one great resource with courses on new techniques and crafts. Penestenan. 085847130941 or on facebook & instagram. artgeedart@gmail.com

The Bale Banjar Culture Club brings audiences face to face with local living treasures at its monthly gatherings. On May 13 at the Ayodya Resort in Nusa Dua, theatre and dance impressario Made Sidia (creator of such jaw-dropping spectacles as the Agung Show at the Bali Safari & Marine Park) will be speaking, with collaborator Peter J. Wilson, about the art of combining Balinese and western theatrical elements. Super for a budding theatrical director, choreographer or producer. Cash bar opens at 6; lecture starts at 7. Free.

Bale Banjar Culture Club happens monthly at the Ayodya on second Sundays. Widely admired author, artist, and former Editor of the radical Latitudes magazine, Diana Darling is slated for June. In July, Bali veteran, important memoirist and witness to history, Jan Mantjika will appear. Learn recent Bali history and gain cultural insights!

See a desire to connect up with comics fans, games developers, comics writers and illustrators in west Java? How fun to jet your young Indonesian-speaking comics fans to their first comics convention! There’s even a manga open competition and lots of 2D animation workshops; 23 June in Serang City, Banten. Get full details at www.an1mage.org, site of the online teen magazine an1mage. The website has a link to the website of the convention’s site, hotel Mahadria, but you could make a getaway weekend of it and stay just an hour away at a resort in the coastal areas west of Serang.

The Kulkul Farm near the Green School is a great place for hands-on workshops on permaculture and the craft of natural dyeing. In fact, workshops on these skills are coming up, the dyeing one April 22 – 24. Appropriate for some teens, as most of these students are adults. Go to kulkulfarmbali.com for workshop information.

An amazing music education opportunity just flew in over my aling-aling! Renowned Bali-based, international jazz artists Astrid Sulaiman (classically trained as a concert pianist) and her husband Yuri Mahatma give private piano and guitar lessons. This is a fabulous chance for a dedicated student to learn from some great improvisational jazz musicians. Contact them at 0818173170.

Lastly, sometimes a young mind needs to immerse in a festival for inspiration. A big one is coming to Klungkung, one of Bali’s great cultural cities. The Semarapura Festival runs 28 April – 2 May and it’s right in the heart of town, 7:30 am – 11 pm daily. Culinary competitions, music, a cultural carnival, art, small business exhibitions, and some of those impressive mass cultural performances are scheduled. www.klungkungkab.go.id and 0366 2105 for info.


By Renee Melchert Thorpe

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