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'Learnapalooza' Brings Free Cooking, Finance, Yoga Classes to Lakeview

 Learnapalooza returns to Lakeview on July 19.
Learnapalooza returns to Lakeview on July 19.
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LAKEVIEW — Ever wanted to learn origami or design a Wordpress theme?

You'll have your chance on July 19 when Learnapalooza returns to Lakeview for the third year.

The one-day festival offers dozens of free workshops on everything from beekeeping to financial planning. It launched in Wicker Park in 2010 after local Maggie Schutz heard about a similar program in Washington, D.C.

"I thought it was such a cool concept and so perfect for Chicago," she said. "It'd be a shame not to have it."

Through "the magic of the Internet," Schutz connected with co-founder Sarah Press, and Learnapalooza was born. This summer, it'll hit three Chicago neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Lakeview and Logan Square.

Local businesses donate space and classes in each 'hood, and sessions are free.

"It's an opportunity to meet people in your neighborhood, but also explore the neighborhood — places you wouldn't normally go," said Adela Mizrachi, who volunteers with Learnapalooza.

"As an adult, it's really hard to meet new people," Schutz added. "It's not the social norm to just go up to someone in a coffee shop and start talking to them. ... So why not meet your neighbors while trying something new?"

More than 40 free classes will be offered in Lakeview on July 19. Dimo's Pizza at 3463 N. Clark St. will teach students the art of pizza making. And LooseLeaf Lounge, 2915 N. Broadway, is offering an intro to tea tasting.

Other classes include: Thai yoga bodywork, line dancing, creating homemade bath products, beginner's Japanese and "401 on 401Ks."

Organizers ask that you register for classes online, where it's possible to sign up two people at once. Some walk-in spots will also be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Learnapalooza kicked off this year in Wicker Park on June 28. It'll be in Lakeview on July 19 and Logan Square on Aug. 16. The Logan Square schedule isn't available yet.

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