Inwood Laundromat Becomes English Classroom

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Walk into a Laundromat in Inwood these days and you’ll hear the gurgling of the washers and the whirring of the dryers, but you might also hear something else.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman In Upper Manhattan

Local artist Hector Canonge decided to teach free English classes at the Magic Touch Laundromat twice a week for a month.

“A laundromat is a community space. People come here, they spend some time doing the laundry, really not doing anything, just waiting for the machine and waiting for the cycles,” Canonge said. “Why not use that in something that’s going to help people learn English?”

He uses the equipment and garments to help introduce people to the English language.

“Wherever there is an opportunity, I want to take part of it,” said one of Canonge’s students.

In a way, Canonge said he sees his classes as a public art project.

“I’ve been exploring this idea of turning spaces that are not conventional [into art]. In this case, art is happening here, but at the same time, learning is happening here,” he said.

 Canonge said it’s his first time teaching English.

“The whole project will go for a month. At least I want to have people to wet their feet in what is learning English, that it’s not so hard. It’s not so foreign. That’s it’s something not to be scared of,” he said.

This project is just one being overseen by the non-profit Laundromat Project. It’s all about bringing different kinds of art to people who can’t usually afford it.

What do you think of the project? Sound off below in our comments section.

More from Alex Silverman
  • Silvia Totti

    Me encanta la idea, gracias Hector por hacer un tiempo en tu agenda y dar esta hora de clases, que estoy segura beneficiara a mucha gente de nuestra comunidad,….me siento muy orgullosa de ser amiga tuya…acciones como las tuyas hacen grande a la humanidad…..

  • Niki

    Hater… I just wish you could have been there to see his teaching method and the passion for the project. In 1 hour of the first class, 10 students were making simple sentences like “I wash my red dress,” and “My name is.” Before you judge and put your empty thoughts publicly, you should learn and appreciate what other people do for a community and their success in doing it. And YES, art is education !

  • Disgusted

    The “artist” is getting a lot of free publicity here and in several other places for a 30 day stint of “teaching” without any skills. What a phony!

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