If you are interested in learning a new skill, art medium, as well as broadening your social and cultural life, or just looking for a stress free way to improve your health and well-being, then the Hamptons Lifelong Arts Organization (HLAO) surely offers something to fit your desires with a wide variety of classes in painting, drawing, fitness, dance, Tai Chi/Qi Gong, singing, music, language, public speaking and more.
Classes span a wide variety of topics. (Courtesy Photo)
"Dedicated to providing high quality, affordable classes in Theater Arts, Healthy Living and Lifelong Learning," along with providing opportunities to encourage socialization, HLAO's goal is to "support and empower the arts and healthy living programs aimed at helping people creatively flourish across their lifespan."
Membership is open to adults age 18 and up, with programs offered by local artists, teachers and organizations "to provide a wide variety of courses in acting, singing, dancing, painting, fitness, developing healthy lifestyle habits, community involvement and more." HLAO offers information and resources that aid and encourage participants to pursue healthier and more active lives.
Many classes meet at Stony Brook Southampton, although not affiliated with the school, the courses offered are for personal enrichment only. AARP rents the space from Stony Brook, so you won't get a degree, but you will certainly enhance your overall sense of well-being and perhaps improve your quality of life with increased benefits to sleep, mood, memory and energy levels.
According to Lori Newell, Director of HLAO, along with James West, this organization is important as "AARP wants to improve the quality of life for current retirees and future retirees. Life in the Hamptons can make people feel isolated, and we know that a major component to improved quality of life is socialization - being able to get out and meet new people or connect with old friends. By offering affordable classes that stimulate the mind and body in a creative, healthy and artistic atmosphere the class offerings are designed to offer something for everyone."
Currently, for a low membership fee (just $150 for six weeks), HLAO is offering access to over 30 classes each week. Additionally, there are specialized free programs for those with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The Parkinson's free dance just began on Monday, April 11th and a dance class for Alzheimer's will hopefully start next month.
"We invite people to let us know if there is any class they would like to see us offer," Newell explained. "This program is for the community and we encourage people to let us know what types of classes/programs they would like or need."
HLAO offers something for everyone, so if you want to be heard - try public speaking; if you want to learn some new moves - try a dance class; want to limber up - there's exercise classes too, and if perhaps you have a few dusty canvases or drawings - try a new art class, but most importantly, get out, get excited and socialize with some new and old friends.
For more information, visit www.hamptonsarts.org.
Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.