Each week, Hoopla and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance team up to showcase arts and culture events in Eastern Iowa. Below are the hidden gems. Ever thought about taking a pottery class? Now is the time to start! The Ceramics Center/Iowa Art Works, Inc. offers a Beginning Wheel class as an introduction to working with clay on the potter’s wheel. Class begins Monday, January 7. You will learn basic techniques and explore various forms, such as bowls, mugs and vases. This class is for individuals with little to no experience. Classes are 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Mondays, January 7-February 25. Cost is $115 or $105 for Ceramics Center members. Call 319.365.9644 to register today! CSPS/Legion Arts presents the Grant Wallace Band, performing at CSPS Hall this Saturday, January 5, at 8:00 p.m. Grant Wallace Band is a project of protean Chicago composer-performers Ben Hjertmann (voice), Chris Fisher-Lochhead (viola), and Luke Gullickson (piano). Named for an esoteric California artist who practiced interstellar telepathic communication in an isolated cabin, Grant Wallace Band is weaving a fresh, diaphanous sound from threads of indie rock, experimental jazz, folk and bluegrass. Sprung from Chicago’s new music scene, these conservatory-trained musicians banded together to blend their diverse musical interests and create songs based on folk and jazz streams that maintained both the compositional integrity and eclectic palette they learned in their studies of classical and contemporary music. An extra spark comes from an affinity for outsider artists, including the band’s namesake, a California artist who drew structural diagrams of the universe based on professed telepathic communications with beings from other star systems. Since its debut the band has charmed and surprised Chicago audiences at venues including Uncommon Ground, the Gallery Cabaret, Opera Cabal and Northwestern University. Tickets are $12/advance, $15/at the door. The UI Opera Studies Forum will present a pre-opera talk on Berlioz's Les Troyens on Thursday, January 3, at 5:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre (UCC) Executive Boardroom, Room 2390. This event is free and open to the public. UI faculty members Robert Ketterer and Roberta M. Marvin will guide audiences through the story of Les Troyens (English translation: The Trojans) in preparation for the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD theater transmissions of the production, which are shown live at venues worldwide. Les Troyens will be screened at Sycamore Cinema in Iowa City on Saturday, January 5, at 11:00 a.m. For a full synopsis, cast lists, and video previews of Les Troyens, visit the Metropolitan Opera website. The Opera Studies Forum is part of UI International Programs. View the schedule of other upcoming lectures at http://international.uiowa.edu/opera-studies/events. Linn County Conservation invites you to experience citizen science in action with Bird Banding this Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Wickiup Hill Learning Center in Toddville. Winter conditions draw a large number of birds to the feeders at Wickiup Hill. The bird banding crew will be banding birds caught near these feeders. Large numbers of goldfinches, woodpeckers, cardinals and other birds can be observed. Birds are banded indoors so close-up views of feather colors and behaviors can be seen. Cost is: $2.50/adult, $1/child (16 and under) or $5/family. Reservations are not required. The Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center invites you to Milonga en El Centro - Tango Dance Party this Saturday, January 5. Dance, listen and enjoy authentic Argentine Tango Music! A Milonga is a festive time to concentrate on dancing, socializing and enjoying refreshments with fellow dancers and friends. Event is 7:30 - 11 PM at 28 S. Linn St. in Iowa City. Admission is $5 at the door and includes snacks and nonalcoholic drinks. Feel free to bring your own favorite snacks or non-alcoholic beverage to share. Open to general public, no registration required.