Just Seven Months After Launching, Oak Cliff's School Class Is Shutting Its Doors.
Just seven months after opening School Class, his nonprofit, delightfully offbeat adult learning center, John Neel announced today that his entity will be shutting its Oak Cliff doors for good starting November 1, citing falling behind on rent as the cause.
“I thought I would end up getting at least half the rent in donations,” Neel tells Central Track. “I had a little jar by the door, and typically would get about $10 total each time I did classes. If I did them more frequently, and had a suggested donation of like $5, it probably would have worked. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end. Except, I just can't afford an extra $800 a month.”
Shame, too: School Class' concept was a great one, a forum in which resident experts could gather and teach one another about their crafts and knowledge bases, all in the form of school-styled lectures — kind of like more-instructional TED Talks, but without the pretension and with more beer.
Among the classes taught in the organization's short run at its next-door-to-the-Kessler storefront: “Gourmet Easy-Bake Oven;” “Rain Water Catchment 101;” “Stud Your Muffin;” and “Earn a Paycheck as a Creative.”
“It was fun while it lasted, and the classes were getting better every time,” Neel says. “[But] it is tough to support a free school especially if I don't have much time to devote to it. I guess it's time for an obituary, unfortunately.”