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Inwood Laundromat Becomes English Classroom

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Hector Canonge holds an English class at the Magic Touch Laundromat in Inwood - New York, NY - Aug 2, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Hector Canonge holds an English class at the Magic Touch Laundromat in Inwood – New York, NY – Aug 2, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

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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.

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