Local Community Theatre - Four years ago we had our first experience with community theatre by performing with other children and adults from the community in the Wizard of Oz. This summer we are back at it again with the King and I. At least twice a year there are plays or musicals being produced that allow children to participate. There is no cost except for maybe a costume and the gas money to get back and forth to rehearsals and performances. Both times we chose to perform in performances that would happen during the summer that would not conflict with our other drama group. Your child will receive lots of instruction in drama, music and dance, especially if the performance is a musical. All basically for no cost. I'm sure some local theatres will even have you learning some costuming and stage makeup in the process.
Small Cooperatives - Many times when we discuss Cooperative we are talking about the larger cooperatives that involve dues or monthly fees. I actually co-direct a local Cooperative that is going well and has many families involved. When I refer to a small Cooperative I am mainly talking about a handful of families that get together anywhere from once a week to only once a month. Try to match up with families that maybe have parents that can teach some art or music instruction. If they teach the art and or music, you can use one of your skills to teach something else on the same day. This way everyone wins.
Apprenticing - My daughter is very artistic and loves to draw. We only pay for lessons or classes occasionally. An idea that we are currently delving into is apprenticing with a local art studio. Not only are you learning while working but sometimes the business will give you discounts or free lessons for the work you do. We are using our apprenticing experience for more of a learning how to run a business kind of experience but offering your self up for free labor is sometimes very appealing to a small business owner or teacher. You never know until you ask what kind of arrangement can be worked out for your child to receive free art lessons or discounted classes.