NextClass is designed for people to visit if they’re interested in trying local activities, including a number of classes and workshops focused on art, technology, business, life skills, language, kids and fitness.
When The Austin Space opened up a few months ago, owner Benny Tan received many requests from locals wanting to host workshops or experiences at the space.
“That’s when I realized that the community has a lot to offer, and people may not necessarily have the right resources to offer them,” Tan said. “So I decided to create a platform for local people to host experiences.”
One of the first to reach out to Tan was Stephanie Langert. As a human resources professional and stand-up comedian, Langert uses her broad experiences to teach communication skills, and is currently offering an “Intro to Improv” class.
The course will help those interested in learning to hone their improv skills, as well as improve their presentation and public-speaking abilities.
Through exercises, games and simple scenes, Langert will teach students the fundamentals of improv, as well as help them to develop their imagination, flexibility, and confidence.
Other experiences include a social media class, where users can learn how to effectively brand their business or selves on various platforms, and a social media advertising campaign class to develop Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ads.
For children and adults, there is also an art class focusing on cartooning. Experiences usually range from $45 to $65.
Unlike The Austin Space’s typical event rentals, which are charged by an hourly rate, the venue takes a small percentage of whatever the NextClass experiences end up selling.
There’s no upfront charges for the hosts, and if no one signs up for an experience The Austin Space won’t charge them.
Since the website is new, Tan has focused mainly on the Forest Hills area. After the pilot round, he hopes to receive feedback from the community in terms of what they’d like to see and what they deem useful.
In the future, Tan says the website will feature residents from around the borough who are interested in hosting an experience.