Research Club is a clubhouse for inquisitive people
July 27, 2010 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Research Club is a clubhouse for inquisitive people
For the past year, I've been running a little organization called Research Club here in Portland, Oregon. It started out as a monthly dinner at my house, which then turned into a monthly series of free brunches and lectures at an art gallery downtown, and has now turned into a permanent location shared with micro-cinema, Grand Detour. The official line is that Research Club is a community-supported think-tank.

We host at least 4 events a month -- a First Friday exhibition, Study Hall, Homeroom, and Research Club Tonite.


Study Hall is when we invite members of the community to give presentations or lectures on things that capture their imagination, or projects they're working on. It's very similar to the brunches we used to host, except with less free food. We don't have video up from the two recent Study Halls yet (though the presentations were amazing -- Amber Case's new iPhone app, homemade balloons used to make open source maps of the gulf oil spill, theory and practice of joke telling, and the history of applause to name a few), but the lectures from the final brunch will give you a good idea of what it's like.

Homeroom is more like show-and-tell, and often turns into a mellow party.

Research Club Tonite is our monthly talk-show, filmed live in our space, on which we wrap up highlights from the month in Portland and interview artists and otherwise interesting people. We're still editing the pilot, but the next episode is going to be filmed this Saturday.

I'm posting this finally because

a) we now have enough content online that people who have never been can get a sense of what goes on here from the website
b) we're starting to teach classes. The first one starts this Saturday!
and
c) we're going on tour in Europe in October, and I'd like the input of the MeFi community on how we can make what we do interesting and valuable to people anywhere, not just in Portland.

All of our events are free, except Research Club Tonite (which is free to members) and most classes (which are discounted to members of RC, the Dill Pickle Club, Nationale, and the IPRC)

We also have a lately-neglected group blog, for which we are always seeking contributors. And then there's Draw Your Brain, which we also do.

and then there's our other project blog

We are always looking for new, inquisitive people who have ideas they want to share. Come on by!
posted by nímwunnan (10 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Hey, very cool! I might even try to get out of the house one of these days and stop by.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:28 AM on July 27, 2010


I love the idea of a local community think-tank! and impressed that it's attracted considerable activity.
posted by Bwithh at 11:33 PM on July 27, 2010


This is a wonderful idea. I wonder if, and hope that, other communities would be as receptive to it as yours.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 2:48 PM on July 29, 2010


This sounds wonderful. Congrats on your venture going so well. I'd love to find something like it where I live.
posted by Georgina at 11:42 PM on July 29, 2010


I find this concept thriiling.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:31 AM on July 30, 2010


Very cool and neat. Like a Salon on steroids! Can we steal/adapt this idea?
posted by cross_impact at 2:33 PM on August 1, 2010


This rules. Thanks so much for doing it. I live in Portland and would love to get plugged in, but am having trouble finding out how to do so on your website. Is there an email list?
posted by stewieandthedude at 2:52 PM on August 1, 2010


Thanks all for commenting and voting. If you're local and you're interested, just send an email to info@research-club.org, and we'll put you on the mailing list. Our weekly updates also post to our blog at researchclub.posterous.com.

If you're not local, the recipe is simple and we encourage others to spread these ideas, whether or not they want to call it "Research Club." MeMail me and I'll give you specifics.
posted by nímwunnan at 12:18 AM on August 3, 2010


Wow, what a great idea. I have planned for years to finally start a 'salon' at my home, but of course never done anything about it. Yet you have just shown how it can be done. Great work.
posted by Megami at 11:38 AM on August 17, 2010


This looks cool as hell. Too bad I'm in LA
posted by klangklangston at 9:19 PM on November 12, 2010


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