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

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, Jan 11, 2015 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Skeptical Idealism

    Fun with Philosophy: Skeptical Idealism

    What is philosophical idealism?  From Plato to Bishop Berkeley to Felix Adler to Arthur Eddington, versions of idealism have advocated for the existence of substantial non-material reality.  Idealists have proposed such things as eternal and perfect “Forms,” “ethical manifolds,” and “mind-stuff.”  From a skeptical perspective, however, is there any room for non-material reality?  Hugh Taft-Morales, from the Baltimore Ethical Society, tries to bring this esoteric topic down to earth.  Come have some fun with philosophy and check your ego at the door!

    • Sat, Jan 10, 2015 @ 10:30 AM
    • Sat, Jan 17, 2015 @ 10:30 AM
    • Sat, Jan 24, 2015 @ 10:30 AM
    • and 5 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Reading 'Germinal' by Emile Zola

    Close reading and discussion of Zola's masterpiece Germinal: an unflinching portrayal of a coal-miners' strike in nineteenth century France.

    • Sat, Jan 10, 2015 @ 4:00 PM

    Mail Social

    Come hang out and learn the not-yet-lost art of letter writing. Write down your thoughts to your loved ones or seal them in an envelope to send to a stranger!

    • Sat, Dec 20 @ 12:30 PM
    • Sat, Dec 27 @ 12:30 PM
    • Sat, Jan 03, 2015 @ 12:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Open Knitting/Crochet Circle

    Join us in bringing together a creative, inclusive open community of crafters. All levels welcome to attend. Swap tips and work on projects!

    • Wed, Dec 24 @ 6:30 PM
    • Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 6:30 PM
    • Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 6:30 PM
    • and 3 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Reading the Zohar

    Together we will read through the Zohar, the seminal text of the Kabbalah Jewish school of thought. We will approach the text by way of its historical, cultural, literary, and traditionally esoteric significances. Supplementary reading may be involved, open group discussion a definite, and a fun and beautiful introduction to Jewish mysticism a given. 

    • Fri, Dec 19 @ 6:00 PM
    • Fri, Dec 26 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Dharma Punx Baltimore

    Dharma Punx Baltimore is a new chapter within Dharma Punx Nation. We are an alternative meditation community, inspired by the Insight/Vipassana tradition. We work to cultivate mindfulness as a tool for transformation. 

    • Mon, Jan 12, 2015 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, Jan 20, 2015 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 6:00 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Digging Beyond the Surface to Create Mutually Beneficial Relationships

    This course will introduce students to the proper techniques necessary in order to build mutually beneficial relationships, both personally and professionally. 

    • Sun, Dec 21 @ 3:30 PM
    • Sun, Dec 28 @ 3:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Social Justice Poetry Workshops (for youth 13-21)

    Dew More Baltimore will hold free weekly poetry workshops for youth 13-21 every Sunday from 3:30 to 6:00 PM.

    Workshops will be led by professional poets and published authors. Guest advocates and activists will be invited to provide social justice workshops. 

    Through thought provoking workshops participants will learn how to use their art to address the social ills impacting them and/or the larger community. 


    (North Ave classroom)

    Black feminism and intersectionality

    Organized by the Baltimore branch of the International Socialist Organization

    The Baltimore branch of the International Socialist Organization is getting together to begin educating ourselves about Black feminism and Intersectionality. None of us are experts and nobody is "teaching" the class, but rather we will go through the material collectively. We invite anyone with any level of experience with this topic to join us and share your perspective! The way we structure the group is simply to ask for a volunteer to facilitate, and any Black woman who wants to facilitate is given priority, in recognition of the fact that there are very few spaces where Black woman's voices are allowed to be dominant. We spend time discussing reading that has been chosen by the group, but also leave space for open discussion about any relevant current events, media, blogs, etc. that members want to talk about. We see this group as being shaped by its members, so anyone can suggest readings or changes to the structure at any time. To get on the listserv for the group and receive the readings, please email Alana Davenport at We also have a facebook group called Baltimore Free School Black Feminism and Intersectionality.

    • Sat, Dec 20 @ 2:30 PM
    • Sat, Dec 27 @ 2:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Public Safety Collective

    A Baltimore ‘Families Against Police Brutality’ Bloc initiative; a collective of friends, families and victims of police brutality, from both the living and dead, grieving proactively to uplift the community.

    The Public Safety Collective is an autonomous citizens review board of the Baltimore City Police Department.

    • Researching and archiving the history, laws, policies, and practices of the Baltimore City Police Department
    • Organizing an independent media platform where that information will be accessible to the public for free, in addition to reflections of current events and communiques from the 'Families Against Police Brutality' bloc. 
    • Mobilizing 'Cop Watch' program; community outreach, distributing literature, observing police activity, providing direct aid, facilitating resource accessibility, recruiting, networking.