Did you know that during the Enlightenment, penny universities began to appear across England? For just one penny, people from all levels of society could purchase a cup of coffee and attend lectures and discussions on a wide variety of topics taught by their neighbors.

PDX Skillshare is a nonprofit organization that is trying to create a similar culture in our city by giving Portlanders the opportunity to teach their neighbors valuable skills.

PDX Skillshare does the work of organizing classes – scouting locations, promoting the workshops, and handling ticket sales – so that talented Portlanders can focus on sharing their passions and skills with others through hands-on, affordable classes.

The topics taught are as varied as Portland itself. This fall, the Skillshare offerings include everything from cake decorating to basic budgeting and financial planning. Fall classes are already underway – view upcoming classes at the PDX Skillshare website.

"If you have a skill you would love to share with your neighbors, we want to hear from you," said Noah Heller, founder of PDX Skillshare.

In particular, PDX Skillshare is interested in offering classes that help Portlanders learn skills that will help them lead more sustainable lives. 

In City Gardening 101: Container Herb Gardening you can learn from a seasoned green thumb on how to start gardening even if don't have a yard. In the same spirit, at Learn to Hem Your Pants students will be able to leave class with a money-saving skill that will extend the life of their clothing by making sure it fits well.

Noah thinks Portland is the perfect city to help bring back the spirit of the penny universities. "We are blessed with so many passionate and talented residents, there is really no limit to what the city can accomplish if we can share those skills with each other."

Take your learning to a new place with PDX Skillshare classes!