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Open Spaces event provides opportunity for students to learn and share skills

Open+Spaces+event+provides+opportunity+for+students+to+learn+and+share+skills
Courtesy of Open Spaces Facebook

Open Spaces is an event orchestrated by professor of world languages and cultures Jean-Pierre Taoutel. The space allows individuals from a variety of backgrounds to connect and share their passions and skills with one another.

“Every day, people come to this place to teach others something new. For example, they teach dance steps, gymnastics, martial arts movements or other such skills,” Taoutel said.

A native of France, Taoutel’s idea originated from the Parisian center, 104 Paris. Inspired by the nature of this concept, Taoutel received an Inclusion Initiatives Grant from Iowa State in 2019 to recreate this experience on Iowa State’s own campus.

“The idea is to promote cultural understanding and to break the borders between people. It provides community members a chance to learn a new skill or share a talent of their own,” Taoutel said.

Taoutel’s Open Spaces events aim to connect individuals of different backgrounds and spread the knowledge of students’ various skills and talents.

“We have seen all kinds of talents: dance, music, origami, knitting, crochet, martial arts, hacky sack and even lasso throwing,” Taoutel said.

Open Spaces seeks to create a positive environment for students to not only share their skills but also connect with each other and create an inclusive environment for students to learn.

“Open Spaces helps people from all kinds of backgrounds escape the social media bubble and connect with real people from ISU in a fun and interactive environment,” Taoutel said.

Previously held at the Memorial Union, the Open Spaces events will move to the Student Innovation Center this year. Taoutel plans on holding the event on a monthly basis.

Open Places will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday on the first floor of the Student Innovation Center.

“Don’t be shy to participate in the activities and to try new things. Bring board games, chess boards, cards, yoga mats, musical instruments, anything you like to do and share it with others,” Taoutel said.

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