The Baltimore Free School

We need your help to make the Free School sustainable! Click here to help fund the work of organizing and bringing new educational technology to our classroom!

The Baltimore Free School is a grassroots, collectively run and community-funded project, with a classroom inside Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse at 30 W. North Ave. Building upon a long tradition of horizontal organizing, collaborative learning and participatory education, we believe that the empowerment of people of all ages and backgrounds to share and learn is vital to the health of any community. To that end, we work toward creating a space where the exchange of ideas can occur without the exchange of money; a space where we can learn to relate to each other in new and meaningful ways. By building this infrastructure, we hope to form a microcosm of the world in which we want to live.

After a hiatus in 2013, the BFS is re-opening in a brand new classroom inside Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse. We are now accepting proposals for classes starting in January of 2014; just click here to get started submitting a proposal. If you want to get involved with organizing the Free School, or have any questions about the project or the course process, please contact us at freeschool@redemmas.org.

If you’d like to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project, including new technology for the classroom and funding for dedicated community outreach, please donate here.

Take a course

Every course offered through the Baltimore Free School is 100% free of charge to learners. Sign up online today!

Teach a course

Anyone can teach a course or organize a discussion or workshop at the Free School; propose one right now!

Support the BFS

Get involved as a volunteer organizer or make a tax-deductible donation to help us keep the doors open.

More info

Information on renting the space for private meetings, our consensus-based collective structure, our history and more.

Upcoming Courses

    • Sun, Aug 02 @ 2:00 PM
    ()

    Galimoto: It takes a village. all ages welcome

    Create your very own galimoto while experiencing and engaging in community practices.

    "Galimoto," a Malawi word, is a push toy created by children that is made of scraps of various materials.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Sat, Aug 01 @ 2:00 PM
    • Sat, Aug 08 @ 2:00 PM
    • Sat, Aug 22 @ 2:00 PM
    • and 1 more session
    (North Ave classroom)

    Learn To Debate

    This course will prepare particpants to engage in and apppreciate structured debate. While the course is designed for those who are new to debating in a structured way, more experienced particpants are of course welcome. The course will occur over 4 sections, each section is a standalone, but those who are able to attend each section will be more prepared to debate.

    • Sat, Jul 18 @ 11:00 AM
    • Sat, Jul 25 @ 11:00 AM
    • Sat, Aug 01 @ 11:00 AM
    • and 4 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Arts Village

    Arts Village is a comprehensive program for middle school aged children created today inspire innovate and launch. Creating an environment that young artist can develop their craft. As well as learning too develop community relationships with businesses artist and Potential partners. The basic is art as a vocational tool.

    Portfolios: We examine portfolios in week one. Creating a chance too gain insight into what schools and Potential customers are looking for.

    Shadowing: The best will shadow artist working in their respective filled. GraphicMedia, Community Development, or Agitation0.

    Saturday : 11 am - 2 pm weekly starting June 20 - October 10.

    Doors will open at 10am for warm up materials and refreshments will be provided.
    Families will be per registered.

    • Thu, Jul 30 @ 7:00 PM
    • Thu, Aug 27 @ 7:00 PM
    • Thu, Sep 24 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 1 more session
    (North Ave classroom)

    Marxism Today by CPUSA

    1st session.  In The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Frederick Engels states in a bold way how the breaking up of primitive communalism created classes and class struggle.  The book outlines in chronological order the stages of class and class-divided societies, namely slavery, feudalism and capitalism/imperialism.

    Why is this important for us today? It's important because most people do not understand the role of the state and its political and economic structures which are the two pillars of any class-divided society.

    • Tue, Aug 04 @ 7:00 PM
    • Tue, Jul 28 @ 6:00 PM
    (TBA)

    Psychedelic Seminars

    This is a discussion group providing safe spaces for open and honest conversations about psychedelics

    • Sun, Jul 19 @ 10:30 AM
    • Sun, Jul 26 @ 10:30 AM
    • Sun, Aug 02 @ 10:30 AM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Montaigne's 'Essays'

    An 8-week close reading and discussion series on a selection of Michel de Montaigne's Essays.

    • Wed, Jul 22 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Aug 26 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Baltimore Area Cooperators: Beginners Helping Beginners: A cooperative study group

    Our study group is open to all Baltimore region folks interested in learning more about cooperatives and building a cooperative culture in Baltimore. We meet monthly, do individual reading and host group workshops to broaden our collective knowledge about cooperatives and inspire and edcate one another on our respective cooperative ventures. 

    • Sun, Aug 09 @ 7:00 PM
    • Sun, Aug 16 @ 7:00 PM
    • Sun, Aug 23 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 5 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    DIY Sexual Health: Reclaiming Knowledge and Choices in Abortion, Contraception and Reproductive Options

    This course will introduce students to the foundational concepts and frameworks of reproductive justice and health. Together we will unpack and discuss the current medical knowledge about abortion, contraception, queer and trans* sexual health and reproductive options and how to navigate the medical industrial complex as a patient and reclaim the power to be in control of your own body.

     

     

     

    Taught by Kaity Molé, RN, BSN, Co-Director of Baltimore Doulas for Choice 

    • Thu, Jul 16 @ 6:00 PM
    • Thu, Jul 23 @ 6:00 PM
    • Mon, Jul 20 @ 6:00 PM
    • and 1 more session
    (North Ave classroom)

    Power and Its Subversion in Modern America

    Course Summary

    The course will explore different systems of institutionalized power and how they interact with each other. Sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia and colonialism will be analyzed through a feminist lens and within the context of national and global capitalist economic systems. We will work to re-visit American history and identify where and how these prejudices shaped that history. Instances in the history activist organizing where the welfare and visibility of any of these groups were positioned as at odds with each other will be analyzed. The histories discussed will be used as a spring board for discussions of activism in daily life. Students will be encouraged to critique the material that I present and to introduce their own readings and narratives. As the course progresses, I will do additional research on new ideas that the class brings to light and I will bring in more information on topics which the class is particularly interested in.

    The course will be tentatively scheduled to take place weekly, on Tuesday evenings, for six weeks during June and July.

    While readings will be suggested for each class, I will try to structure the class in such a way that people who do not have time to do outside reading can also participate and learn.  

    • Sun, Jul 19 @ 4:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Jacobin Reading Group

    We meet monthly to discuss socialist politics, typically structuring our discussion around readings from Jacobin magazine. Our conversations are lively and non-doctrinaire; no prior experience is necessary. 

    • Wed, Jul 15 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Aug 19 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Socialism Reading and Discussion Group

    This monthly course will offer an open space to discuss socialism and get connected with others on the Left. This class and meeting will provide a forum for discussion and debate of the political questions facing activists. The monthly discussion group will focus on socialist politics and ideas. Readings from socialistworker.org, the International Socialist review and other books and journals will inform the monthly discussion. 

     

     

    • Wed, Jul 22 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Aug 19 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Sep 23 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Cooperative Study Group:Beginners Helping Beginners

    Dear Baltimore Free School Folks

     

    The Catonsville Cooperative is interested in starting a beginner study group for people that would like to rigorously study successful (and not as sccessful) cooperatives in order to help build their knowledge about cooperatives and also inform their own infrastructure building. We are considering hosting the study group in a variety of places and would hope one of them could be the free school. We would like to rotate spaces to accomodate people coming from all over the area. I look forward to hearing from you. With gratitude, Holly - holly.leon@gmail.com - 443-897-0080