From Kaufman-Astoria Studios to the Museum of the Moving Image or just the fact that Christopher Walken was born and raised there, Astoria has a reputation for being an art friendly place. Oddly enough though there are no art conservatories in the area where kids, teens and adults can go to learn how to draw or play the piano.
Luckily, Micah and Jane Burgess wanted to change that. The married couple, who both have backgrounds in music (Micah has a master’s from NYU in guitar and last year worked with Cirque de Soleil. Jane has two degrees in vocal performance and still performs professionally) decided to open up Art House Astoria, a school where people can come and share their love for music and the arts, all for an affordable price.
When you get off at the Broadway stop (N or the Q) in Queens you might miss the place. But just look for the big Presbyterian Church of Astoria sign and you’ll find Art House tucked away in there.
Though the space looks small when you first step inside, in actuality it houses a piano lab, an art studio and several different lesson rooms. Definitely walk in and ask the Burgesses about what they offer, you might end up signing up for a swing-dancing lesson.
Not interested in taking classes? Come by on a Sunday when they’re holding their monthly salon series, where artists, musicians and writers can come and share their work.
After spending a little time with the couple, I got to see what they do, learn why they opened the school in Astoria and what they hope the future will hold for the space.
Watch below for their answers.