Northeast Times

Writers, bakers or accessory makers: 3rd Ward wants you

3rd Ward Phil­adelphia events dir­ect­or Jestis Deuer­lein in­side the nearly fin­ished work space at 1227 N. 4th St. SAM NE­W­HOUSE / STAR PHOTO

The Phil­adelphia branch of Brook­lyn’s cre­at­ive work and edu­ca­tion space will open in April in NoLibs. It will also fea­ture event space and a full-ser­vice res­taur­ant. 3rd Ward cur­rently seeks staff, in­struct­ors, and most im­port­antly, stu­dents.

Can you teach a unique or use­ful craft? Are you look­ing for a class to learn a new skill and ex­plore your cre­ativ­ity?

3rd Ward Phil­adelphia might be just the place for you.

The mul­tidiscip­lin­ary work­space and edu­ca­tion cen­ter is hir­ing for a vari­ety of po­s­i­tions, and will open in April at 1227 N. 4th St., just steps out­side the bound­ar­ies of North­ern Liber­ties.

In­struct­ors — and stu­dents — are needed for classes in 13 me­di­ums from wood­work­ing and jew­elry mak­ing to cook­ing and com­puter pro­gram­ming. In­strutor ap­plic­ants can also pitch an open-ended class idea.

“We’re get­ting really amaz­ing can­did­ates,” said events dir­ect­or Jestis Deuer­lein, who said that at her last count, she had re­ceived over 250 ap­plic­a­tions.

Now 3rd Ward just needs to lure in the pay­ing stu­dents.

Loc­ated in­side a 27,000-square-foot former box fact­ory and church, 3rd Ward Phil­adelphia will of­fer not only classes, but event space, a full-ser­vice res­taur­ant, and large classroom and work areas with spe­cif­ic fa­cil­it­ies for cre­at­ors of all types.

“I think we’re hungry for this in Philly,” Deuer­lein said.

3rd Ward first opened its doors in Brook­lyn, N.Y. about sev­en years ago, and has since thrived as a place for cre­at­ive types in­ter­ested in work­ing and learn­ing to­geth­er.

Plans for a Phil­adelphia branch took shape two years ago.

“Something about choos­ing a shared place where cre­at­ive people work, wheth­er you’re mak­ing stuff or writ­ing – it can be more in­spir­ing,” Deuer­lein said.

Fu­ture 3rd Ward mem­bers, for a monthly fee, can work and use all avail­able fa­cil­it­ies for their own artist­ic cre­ations as well.

Deuer­lein said that while most of the stu­dents at 3rd Ward in Brook­lyn are aged 25 to 45 and are look­ing for pro­fes­sion­al skills or per­son­al en­rich­ment, there are al­ways sur­prises.

“3rd Ward has dis­covered that some of the people who ended up be­com­ing our greatest mem­bers are not at all what we ex­pec­ted,” Deuer­lein said.

Some of these suc­cess stor­ies have in­cluded re­tir­ees and mid-ca­reer in­di­vidu­als who changed their lives by learn­ing one skill, she said.

And those skills can be di­verse. 3rd Ward spe­cial­izes in teach­ing spe­cif­ic, com­plex skills, in­clud­ing both old-fash­ioned but pop­u­lar crafts like wood burn­ing, weld­ing, and hat, shoe, or jew­elry mak­ing, and in-de­mand tech skills like search en­gine op­tim­iz­a­tion, Word­press web­site design and Fi­nal Cut Pro film edit­ing.

The 3rd Ward staff is toss­ing around ideas for one-day classes at as low as $20, while longer classes will cost more, and a monthly mem­ber­ship will cost up­wards of $150 per month.

But Deuer­lein said she’s op­tim­ist­ic that what 3rd Ward of­fers will be worth the money to artists, cre­at­ive pro­fes­sion­als and freel­ance work­ers in the neigh­bor­hood.

“It’s all about, ‘let’s see what sticks,’” Deuer­lein said. “You can’t pi­geon­hole what 3rd Ward is, be­cause it’s this liv­ing or­gan­ism.”

The April open­ing has been delayed al­most a full year from the ori­gin­al pro­jec­ted sum­mer 2012 open­ing. 3rd Ward in Phil­adelphia still needs ad­di­tion­al equip­ment and hard­ware for classes.

But staff are cur­rently put­ting the fin­ish­ing touches on renov­a­tions, and the space has an im­press­ive in­teri­or. Much of the ori­gin­al brick and con­crete walls has been pre­served, as well as rough-hewn wooden pil­lars that run from the ground floor up through the build­ing.

There’s a 1,200-square-foot roof deck, and the build­ing will also have a “green” roof with a large bed of grass.

“This space far sur­passes what is avail­able in Brook­lyn,” Deuer­lein said. “The Philly loc­a­tion was de­signed to max­im­ize class space.”

The renov­a­tion pro­ject is be­ing run jointly by 3rd Ward, loc­al busi­ness­man Paul Mai­ello, who owns the build­ing, and New York de­veloper Dav­id Belt.

Deuer­lein be­lieves Phil­adelphia is the ideal place for 3rd Ward’s ex­pan­sion, as it is home to a vir­tu­al army of freel­an­cers, cre­at­ive pro­fes­sion­als, and artists.

“This is that tem­por­ary of­fice, away from home, away from a cof­fee shop, that gives you the chance to work with oth­er cre­at­ive people,” she said.

For more in­form­a­tion, vis­it 3rd­ward.com.

Re­port­er Sam Ne­w­house can be reached at 215-354-3124 or at sne­w­house@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.

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