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6697small- AndreaHello! My name is Andrea and I am a sales manager for the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau. I am an avid traveler, and I love the experience of meeting new people, experiencing new unexpected environments, the FOOD, the art, music and just soaking it all up.

Each month I am going to introduce you, our visitor, to all things Columbia, especially our fabulous arts community. Along the way we will explore some of our fabulous locally- owned restaurants or one of our many music venues or fabulous festivals. I hope you enjoy this city as much as I do, and of course, we would love to have you back many times to take advantage of WHAT YOU UNEXPECT.

February – the second month in and perhaps one of your resolutions is to embrace your creative side or try a new craft. If that’s the case, you are in luck. Columbia offers a lot of ways to discover your inner Martha Stewart. Whether you are a visitor, resident or attending a conference, we have many options, not only for individual crafts, but also for team-building crafts.

Each month you can find classes available at the Columbia Art League, Access Arts, Paint the Town and The Mud Room. These organizations offer the opportunity to be introduced to a new skill or technique and network with fellow art enthusiasts.

One hidden gem is the Craft Studio located on the MU campus in historic Memorial Union. Each week the Craft Studio holds classes and workshops in printmaking, ceramics, fibers and more. If you are looking for a team building experience, their Creative Team Building workshop “addresses specific challenges that many organizations struggle to overcome through mediated discussion and creative projects.” They offer workshops in Creative Marketing Solutions and Vision & Goal Setting as well.

harold's doughnutsopens IMAGE file If cooking is more your creative speed, try “Love Your Craft Cooking Series” with Melissa at Harold’s Donuts. You and your team will be able to make donuts like pros at this fun class, and you’ll leave with practical knowledge of how to make doughnuts from home.

Back to 2 Basics offers teams another chance to work together and cook a meal. Games are incorporated throughout to keep things lively, and the grand finale is when everyone gets to sit down and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

These are just a few of the unique and fun options Columbia has to offer. Whichever team-building experience you choose, you are sure to be enriched. And who knows, you may even find a great new hobby! Enjoy, and we hope to see you back in Columbia soon!