Free classes taught by immigrant professors and experts return to Prospect Park

September 2, 2022

Photo credit: Gregg Richards

A “pop-up university” offering free classes and workshops taught by immigrant professors and experts from around the world returns to Brooklyn this month. Organized by the Brooklyn Public Library and the Prospect Park Alliance, University Open Air provides immigrant teachers, professors, and academics who were trained outside of the country a chance to share their knowledge with the public during free courses held outdoors in Prospect Park. University Open Air takes place on the lawn outside of the Boathouse in Prospect Park on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 8 through September 18.

Instructors participating in the program hail from countries like China, Spain, Pakistan, France, Taiwan, Tibet, Cameroon, Ghana, and Japan, where many were experts in their fields, but had to choose new careers upon entering the United States. Courses offered range from meditation and Chinese tea culture to cybersecurity and technical drawing.

See the full lineup of free University Open Air courses and reserve a spot here.

“We are happy University Open Air is back in session. With instructors from around the world, we invite the community to explore new perspectives and ideas—from literature to art and science—in beautiful Prospect Park amid nature and one another, far from the screens which have occupied our attention for the last few years,” László Jakab Orsós, the library’s vice president of arts and culture, said.

Since launching in 2019, the program has reached more than 1,000 students. Instructors are compensated for their work.

“As a gathering place for many immigrant communities, Prospect Park is the perfect backdrop for University Open Air’s enriching and enlightening programming,” Maria Carrasco, vice president of public programs at Prospect Park Alliance, said.

“The Alliance is proud to partner for another season with the Brooklyn Public Library to bring accessible community events to the park with this exciting lineup of free classes.”


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