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

    • Tue, Oct 21 @ 5:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Tubman City Anarchist Black Cross

    Monthly letter writing meetup in support of political prisoners.

    • Fri, Nov 07 @ 6:00 PM
    ()

    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. 

    • Sat, Nov 01 @ 12:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Learn Crochet - All Levels

    Learn the basics to crocheting, pattern reading, and project completion - work at your own level!

    BYOY - Bring your own yarn (and hook!)

    • Sun, Oct 26 @ 12:00 PM
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    One State Solution in Palestine

    We are trying to set up a group of local Jews and Palestinians who are willing to study the idea of the One State Solution, and do something about it. The main idea is to understand the One State Solution in every way possible, to try to come up with ways of achieving it, and to make plans for holding a massive conference on this matter. The dream is to come up with a rough draft of a liberational vision, one all inclusive, democratic, just, and promising.

    • Sat, Oct 25 @ 12:00 PM
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    Wikipedia Workshop and War of 1812 Edit-a-thon

    In honor of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore, Baltimore Heritage is teaming up with Baltimore Wikipedians to organize a War of 1812 Edit-a-thon dedicated improving and expanding Wikipedia’s coverage of Baltimore history. New to Wikipedia? Come out early for a one-hour workshop (beginning promptly at noon) that will walk you through setting up an account, editing existing articles, and creating new articles. No experience is required for either the workshop or edit-a-thon, just bring your laptop and get ready to make your mark on Wikipedia!

     

    • Sat, Oct 25 @ 2:00 PM
    (TBA)

    Possibilities for Urban Permaculture--And Why It Matters

    There are twelve generally recognized principles in the practice of permaculture and this course will give an overview of these principles with examples of what each might look like. Participants are asked to bring a notebook to jot down ideas for use in their personal environment and will be given links and resources to various do-it-yourself projects that can be used, even when space is tight. We will learn how even people living in small apartments can find room to grow herbs or salad greens using upcycled water bottles and a hydroponic solution with an electric pump, for example. Participants will be challenged to think creatively about where they might find space to grow their own food and why it is important to lobby their city council members to create food-bearing spaces in city parks, using integrated pest managment instead of chemical pesticides for the general population to harvest. 

     

     

    • 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
    (TBA)

    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. 

    • Sat, Nov 01 @ 4:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Jacobin reading group

    We'll meet monthly to discuss radical politics, using articles from Jacobin, a socialist quarterly, to structure our conversation. The purpose is to engage with leftist ideas in a lively, open, non-doctrinaire environment. No prior knowledge is necessary, and meetings will be on Friday nights at 7 p.m

    Readings and updates here:

    http://baltimorejacobin.tumblr.com/

     

    • Sun, Oct 26 @ 3:00 PM
    • Sun, Nov 02 @ 3:00 PM
    • Sun, Nov 09 @ 3:00 PM
    • and 3 more sessions
    (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. 

     

    • Wed, Oct 29 @ 8:00 PM
    (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 abdvnprt@gmail.com. We also have a facebook group called Baltimore Free School Black Feminism and Intersectionality.

    • Sun, Dec 07 @ 10:00 AM
    (Franklin Classroom)

    Wikipedia workshop

    We will share techniques for editing Wikipedia. Everyone is welcome.