Well this is interesting. Appended to my regular monthly calendar of upcoming Powell's events (Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon are coming in September, guys! THE SUMMER BOOK DROUGHT IS FINALLY ENDING!) were three listings for something called "Powell's City College," described as "a series of classes on the arts and culture of Portland taught by members of the community with expertise in a particular field." The three courses offered are "Theater for the Theater Goer," "How to See a Japanese Garden," and "Portland Exceptionalism"; they range in length from several weeks to one day, class size is limited to ten people, and the cost per course is $195 .

I'll post the course descriptions after the jump for your perusal.

Theater for the Theater Goer
Through first-hand experience, course participants will be quickly introduced to the work of the playwright, actor, director, and designer in the making of a theater production. The final class session will involve attending a performance of Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson at Portland Playhouse (NE 6th and Prescott) at 7:30pm on October 12. Additional costs include reduced-price ticket to the Portland Playhouse production and opening-night festivities.
Instructor: Director and two-time Drammy-award-winning actress, Lorraine Bahr
Fridays, Sept 21-Oct 5, 3-5pm / Powell's City of Books
Friday, Oct 12, 7:30pm / Portland Playhouse

How to See a Japanese Garden
In this one-day course, class participants will learn about the essentials of the Japanese Garden. Topics include: What Is an Authentic Japanese Garden? Where Does the Creative Artistry Come From? Seeing and Appreciating Japanese Garden Details. What Does a Japanese Garden Add to Our Lives?
Instructors: Japanese garden specialist and Principal Designer of Owen Wakefield Design, William Cook, and Owen Wakefield Design partner, Gwil Evans
Saturday, Oct 13, 9:30-3:30pm / Powell's City of Books

Portland Exceptionalism
It is often said Portland is like no other place, but could that be true? This four-session inquiry looks around the world for other cities that are like Portland, with a particular interest in cities outside the USA: modestly-sized, culturally particular, out-of-the-way cities — those small gems that sit in relation to the nations they are part of as Portland does to the United States. Current culture, history, city planning, and architecture will come into view in this global search for other Portlands.
Instructor: Award-winning novelist and architecture/urban planning writer, Matthew Stadler
Thursdays, Oct 18-Nov 8, 1-3pm / Powell's City of Books