OLLI at BCC Calendar of Events
OLLI at BCC
Fall 2022 Semester
September 19 - November 18
Expand your mind with OLLI at BCC's fascinating courses offered online via Zoom and/or in-person in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
Whether you are brand new to OLLI at BCC or a seasoned member of our learning community, you'll enjoy hearing from our terrific instructors and getting a sneak peek of our fall semester of non-credit classes at our free open house. No tests, no grades, just learning for the love of learning.
Register here or call the OLLI Office at 413.236.2190 (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Eastern) to register by phone with a credit card, or with any questions you may have. To sign up for OLLI courses, you need to be an OLLI at BCC member. (Not a member yet? Join here. )
OLLI Fall Semester-at-a-Glance
Our Fall Semester runs September 19 - November 18, 2022, and includes a mix of in-person, online, and hybrid (online and in-person) courses. All classes take place in Eastern Time.
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | Introduction to Hiking in the Berkshires | Elizabeth Dillman | In Person | Limit 15 CLOSED - AT CAPACITY
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. | Today's Headlines| Steve Tobin | Online
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. | From First to Final Draft | Lou-Ellen Barkan | Online | Limit 10 CLOSED - AT CAPACITY
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | Reading King Lear | Carl Atkins | In Person, BCC
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | Contemporary Issues in Macroeconomics and Finance | Geoffrey Woglom | Online | Limit 35
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Architects of Western Massachusetts | John Dickson and Guests | In Person, Berkshire Museum | Limit 50
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. | Artists on Film: The Impressionists | Ralph Pearson and Jock Brooks | Online with One In-Person Session In-person session is filled to capacity
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | An Introduction to Six Great Operas, Part Three | Christine Casey | Online
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | Writing A Legacy Letter | Jay Sherwin | Online | Limit 20
10:00 a.m. - Noon | The Role of the Law in American Democracy | Philip McKnight | In Person, Williams College Faculty Club | Limit 50 - CLOSED - AT CAPACITY
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Reading Middlemarch | Nancy Travis | In Person, BCC | Limit 30
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. | George Eliot, Her Life and Ideas | Alice Roth | In Person, BCC | Limit 30
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | The Greatest Violinists of All Time | Ken Stark | In Person, Berkshire Museum
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | A Walk in the CCC Woods | John Dickson and Erin Hunt | In-person at Various Locations | Limit 10 CLOSED - AT CAPACITY
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi | Harvey Weiss | In Person, Berkshire Museum
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. | Biblical Archaeology | Philip Halpern | In Person, BCC and Online | Limit 30 in Person
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | Latin America: Why the Left Has Made a Comeback | Martin Weinstein | Online
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | American Dreams: Plays About the American Immigration Experience | Jeannie Woods | In Person, BCC | Limit 20
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Science Conversations | Hank Gold | Online
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. | Creating Health: Applying the Science of Lifestyle Medicine | Mark Pettus | Online
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | The New Court and Its Hard Right Turn | Tom Gerety
Not sure which classes you want to take? Sign up for one or more Flexpasses, which allow you to attend six individual class sessions of your choice within a semester, as long as the class is not full. Click here to learn more about Flexpasses.
Course fees are $50 for one course, $95 for two or three, and $125 for four or more courses within a semester. Each Flexpass counts as one course.
Call 413.236.2190 (Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm Eastern) to register by phone with a credit card, or with any questions you may have. To sign up for OLLI courses, you must be an OLLI at BCC member. Not a member yet? Join here. Needs-based partial scholarships are also available. For more information on scholarships, email email@example.com.
Note that our online courses are recorded, unless otherwise noted. If you cannot attend live, or if you miss a session or two, you can request a link to the recording and watch it at your convenience.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413.236.2190. We look forward to hearing from you!
OLLI at BCC members are invited to join OLLI's Shared Interest Group
Play Reading Shared Interest Group
Meets Once or Twice a Month
from 3:00 to 5:00 pm Eastern
Free and open to all OLLI at BCC members
Do you love reading plays? Our SIG gives participants a chance to read aloud and analyze scenes and characters from prize-winning plays.
We meet once or twice per month for two hours, usually on a Friday afternoon, so as not to conflict with other OLLI courses. During the year we are open to suggestions as to which plays to read, while in the summer, when hopefully theatres will resume performances, we choose plays that we can both read and view.
We encourage our members to prepare and lead discussions on plays that interest them. Thriving on group participation, we allow two sessions to cover each one. Particular editions are selected that can be ordered online or from the Lenox Bookstore.
In the past our meetings have been in-person, but this year our group has been very successful on Zoom. We hope to see you there!
Please email Barbara Waldinger, Karel Fisher, or Alice Roth for additional information and to receive the Zoom link.
Schedule of Forthcoming Play Reading Events
Our upcoming meetings are:
June 3 & 24 A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill (continuation) - led by Karel Fisher
July 1 & 8 A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing - led by Katherine Kidd
Aug. 12 & 26 Smiles of a Summer Night screenplay by Ingmar Bergman- led by Don Roth (the film was the inspiration for Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music)
Sept. 16 & 30 Seascape by Edward Albee - volunteer needed
Oct. 14 & 21 The Lion in Winter by James Goldman - volunteer needed
The editions we will be using for the upcoming plays are as follows:
Click on the links below to order from websites. Some books may be obtained from your local library.
A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill (Yale University Press, 2006) is available as a paperback from Amazon for $12.95 (and less expensive new and used copies are also available). The paperback includes an introduction by Stephen A. Black. The cover is black with a small two-toned gray moon on the right side. Eugene O'Neill's name is in all lowercase letters in yellow.
A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing (Oberon Modern Plays, 2012) is available as a paperback from Amazon for $14.95 and from Kindle for $13.45 (and less expensive new and used copies are also available).
Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (Simon and Shuster, 1960) is available as a used hardcover or paperback from Amazon. Prices start at $2.00. Includes Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Magician.
The Acting Edition of Seascape by Edward Albee can be ordered from Dramatists Play Service for $13.00.
The Lion in Winter: A Comedy in Two Acts by James Goldman (Samuel French, 2011) is available as a paperback from Amazon for $10.95 (and less expensive used copies are also available).
Also, check your local libraries for availability of the plays.
If possible, try to read the entire play prior to the first session for each play.
OLLI at BCC members are invited to join OLLI's
Happy Needlers & Hookers: A Needlework Shared Interest Group
Taking a break for the Summer - we'll meet again in the Fall!
Meets In-person on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the Month
at the Lenox Community Center
65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240
from 12:30 to 2:00 pm Eastern
The Center is closed on major holidays.
Free and open exclusively to OLLI at BCC members
The Happy Needlers & Hookers Needlework Group is a Shared Interest Group for people that like to knit, needlepoint, cross-stitch, crochet or enjoy any other "needle-based" craft.
The Lenox Community Center has again graciously given us a time slot to use their living room. The difference this year is that all the furniture has been moved out because of children's activities that go on in that room. We will have use of their folding chairs and a table if we wish. We will need to follow Lenox Community Center policies for wearing masks and social distancing.
You can work on any project you wish. The camaraderie and time we spend together is what we find so enjoyable.
One project idea we could work on is from an OLLI member in Reno Nevada. She has set up a project where her knitters and crocheters make hats, scarves and mittens for local homeless shelters. I will be contacting shelters to see if this is something they would need. We can provide patterns if you don’t have one.
All levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced.
Let Carolyn know if you will be joining us so we have an idea of how many will be attending.
We also invite you to check out our Photo Gallery on Flickr to see some of the projects we have been working on in the last few months. Let us know if you have any photos you would like us to add to this album.
Mindfulness & Meditation SIG
Mondays online from 12:00 to 1:00 pm Eastern
No sessions on holidays.
Click here to RSVP to receive the Zoom link weekly.
You only need to register once.
We do not record SIG sessions.
Mindfulness has many applications but is most associated with/as a meditation practice. The term mindfulness can be defined as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.
In a variety of ways, this practice can provide one with skills that allow greater equanimity, while being with both the struggles and the joys that arise in life. There is a lot of flexibility within the practice, making it compatible and adaptable within different lifestyles.
Please contact Roberta Vogel for additional information.
Murder, Mystery & Mayhem: A Book Group
for an online discussion
The Fourth Monday of Every Month
from 1:30 to 3:00 pm Eastern
The September 26 meeting has been moved to October 3.
OLLI's Murder, Mystery & Mayhem: A Book Group meets once a month, typically on the 4th Monday at 1:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. We typically meet for no more than 1.5 hours. Historically, the meetings were at someone’s house. In this past year, however, the gatherings have been Zoom-based.
Books are selected one year in advance… and are not your typically hot present-day offerings. At the meetings, we discuss the chosen book, of course, but often we talk about other books we are reading, movies we have seen, serials we’ve watched/are watching on TV, etc.
Please contact Bruce Cohen for additional information and to receive the Zoom link.
Books on the 2022 List:
January - Paper Son by S. J. Rozan*
February - Briarpatch by Ross Thomas
March - Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
April - Cover Her Face by P. D. James
May - Death Benefits by Thomas Perry
June - Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannelec
July - Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
August - Murder at La Fenice by Donna Leon
September - Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
October - Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan
November - Sculptress by Minette Walters
December - What The Dead Know by Laura Lippman
* Author will join us
Poetry Reading Shared Interest Group
for an online discussion
The First Thursday of Every Month
from 6:30 to 8:00 pm Eastern
The format of our meetings is flexible, and what has worked well so far is that at each meeting we decide upon a topic and a leader for the next meeting. The topics might range from the oeuvre of a particular poet or poetess, a particular style of poetry, or a particular period of poetry. Each participant is encouraged to submit one or two examples of the topic that interest them, and the job of the leader is to organize the order in which these poems will be read and discussed.
Please contact Steffi Fletcher for additional information and to receive the Zoom link.
The OLLI Distinguished Speakers Series presentsProfessor James Harold on
What Makes a Work of Art Immoral and What Should We Do About Immoral Works of Art?
Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. EDT
Online via Zoom
Politicians, pundits, and ordinary people often accuse works of art of being immoral. But what could that mean? Sometimes we are concerned about the "message" of an artwork, sometimes about the effects of the work on the audience, and sometimes about the personal morality of the artists. Furthermore, once we determine that a particular work of art is immoral, how should we respond? Short of censorship, are there other reasonable responses that individuals or groups can make to morally dangerous art? In this lecture, Professor Harold examines and evaluates a variety of answers to these questions.
James Harold is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College, and the author of Dangerous Art: On Moral Criticism of Artworks (Oxford University Press), and editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art. He is the former Director of the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts.
Professor Harold is interested in both ethics and aesthetics, but most of his work is at the intersection of these two fields. Heis interested in imaginative engagement with artworks, audience engagement and interpretation, and other aspects of artistic practice and reception. Professor Harold teaches a wide range of courses in ethics, metaethics, medical ethics, philosophy of the arts, and the philosophies of ancient Greece and pre-Han China.
Admission is $10 for OLLI at BCC and Berkshire Museum members, and $15 for the general public. Admission is free for Berkshire Community College students, youth 17 and under, and those holding WIC, EBT/SNAP, or ConnectorCare cards.
Pre-registration is required. Register safely and securely online or call 413.236.2190 (M-F 9am-4pm) to register by phone with a credit card.
In Partnership with the Berkshire Museum
Listening to Chamber Music SIG
from 1:00 to 2:30 pm Eastern
Currently meeting on Zoom.
Attention chamber music lovers!
The Listening to Chamber Music SIG is for people who are interested in chamber music and who would enjoy learning about and listening to chamber music repertoire with other chamber music aficionados. The proposed format will be that the leader of each meeting will provide program notes about a piece, the group will listen together and then discuss what they think about the piece. This is the proposed format, it is expected that the group will tweak it and decide together what works best and which chamber works will please our collective ear.
Please contact Harriet Wetstone if you are interested in this Listening to Chamber Music SIG and she will supply additional information and the Zoom link.
New Creative Nonfiction Writing SIG
Meets the second Tuesday of the month at
9:30 a.m. Eastern
Do you love to write and want to have a writers’ group to share and critique your work? If you do, consider joining our Creative Nonfiction SIG which meets monthly via Zoom. The format of our meetings will be flexible but will focus on each member sharing their work and receiving mindful critique from other group members. At each meeting we will pick a leader for the next meeting. That leader will assign a prompt for the next meeting’s writings or writers may choose their own subject.
What is creative nonfiction? It can be essay, memoir, personal narrative, travel writing, food writing, chronicle, fact-based essays, or biography. The commonality is that the writer uses literary techniques to tell the facts allowing the reader to understand the situations described in a fuller, more emotional way. As one writer — Melanie McGrath, whose book Silvertown, an account of her grandmother's life, describes her writing — the known facts of her stories are "the canvas on to which I have embroidered. Some of the facts have slipped through the holes—we no longer know them nor have any means of verifying them—and in these cases I have reimagined scenes or reconstructed events in a way I believe reflects the essence of the scene or the event in the minds and hearts of the people who lived through it. ... To my mind this literary tinkering does not alter the more profound truth of the story.”
For more information and/or to join this SIG, please contact Pam Pescosolido.
New OLLI at BCC members are invited to
New Members Get-Together
Friday, October 14, 2022
Online at 5:30 p.m. Eastern
Register here to RSVP and receive the Zoom link.
The OLLI Membership Committee welcomes our newest members to a New Members Get-Together!
-Meet other new OLLI members
-Learn about everything OLLI offers
-Ask us anything about OLLI
-Explore volunteer opportunities within OLLI
Click here to RSVP and receive the Zoom link.
We look forward to seeing you!
President, OLLI Board of Directors
Membership Committee Co-Chair
Wednesday, December 15th
from 10:00 to 11:30 am Eastern
Interested in Genealogy? Want to learn more about how to research your family's history? This group meets monthly to exchange ideas on how to do this. This collaborative group meets to discuss best practices in genealogical research and help each other find new approaches.
Please contact Lisa Swigart for additional information and the Zoom link.
Shattered Crystals: A Talk By Holocaust Survivor, Eve Kugler
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. EDT
Presented by BCC and co-sponsored by OLLI
Online via Zoom.
Free & open to all, registration required.
Forum Credit Available for BCC Students
In October 1938 Eve’s 79-year-old grandfather was arrested along with thousands of other Polish Jews living in Germany and returned to Poland in the first ever Nazi deportation. Ten days later Kristallnacht occurred. Six Nazis rampaged through the family home, destroying household possessions and her grandfather’s sacred Jewish books before marching Eve’s father out of the family home to transport him to Buchenwald, as she and her sister watched. During that night the Nazis smashed the windows of her father’s store, and the next day the Nazis ordered her mother to sweep up shards of glass for hours from the shattered store windows that littered the pavement. Their synagogue, founded by Eve’s grandfather, was incinerated while the fire brigade stood by. Eve’s mother was eventually able to secure her father’s release from Buchenwald. After arriving home, he left for France and the family was evicted from their home. In June 1939 the family fled to France on a forged visa.
When the Second World War broke out, the French interned her father because he was a German citizen. Destitute and fearful for her daughters’ safety, her mother placed the girls in an OSE home for Jewish children outside of Paris where she became a cook. As the Nazis neared Paris in June 1940, the home survived heavy Nazi bombardment. With the fall of Paris and the French surrender, the children were evacuated to central France, where they lived under Nazi occupation. In 1941 the home received a visa for America for a small number of children. Mainly orphan children were chosen, but when at the last minute two lost their place due to illness, Eve and Ruth took their place, leaving her parents and Lea behind. For the next five years Eve lived in New York City in three different foster homes, sometimes separated from her sister.
In the Nazi roundup of Jews in 1942 the French Resistance hid Lea then aged 5 ½ in a Catholic convent. Eve’s parents survived four French concentration camps, twice miraculously spared from deportation to Auschwitz. Her father struggled as a forced laborer on the Nazi project to strengthen the seawall in Calais where they expected the Allied invasion to take place, until he managed an almost unheard-of escape from this camp.
The family was reunited in New York in 1946. Eve worked as a journalist until she moved to London in 1990.
Eve speaks regularly at schools sharing her family’s history. She created and edits Shattered Crystals which contains testimonies of child survivors who attended her high school and is used by educators in the U.S. and Great Britain to teach the Holocaust. Shattered Crystals, her book, about the family’s Holocaust history and a poem about Eve, ‘Grains of Light’, commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Eve speaks regularly in schools, synagogues and to civic groups about this history, and has given presentations throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. She regularly accompanies young people to Poland on the annual March of the Living
Eve was invited to speak at the Jerusalem Post London Conference, March 31, 2022 and before the House of Commons in London on April 3, 2022. Most recently (September 15/16) she gave presentations to students in Leipzig, and Halle and was part of the Stolpersteine dedication in Halle on September 14. She will be presenting in Dubai in November 2022.
OLLI at BCC members are invited to join OLLI's Shared Interest Group
Gotta Reads: New York Times Best Sellers Book Club
The Third Thursday of Every Month
from 4:00 to 5:00 pm Eastern
OLLI's Gotta Reads: New York Times Best Sellers Book Club reads books from the New York Times Best Seller list of the last few years. We look for books that are discussion worthy and thought provoking.
Club members will participate in the selection of future books.
Please contact Sheila McKenna for additional information and to receive the Zoom link.
June 16th - The Lincoln Highway
by Amir Towles
No meeting in July
August 18 - The Last Thing He told Me
by Laura Dave
OLLI at BCC members are invited to join our
History of Music in the Berkshires Shared Interest Group:
The Road House Era
Kickoff meeting online Friday, October 21
from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern
Attention musical history lovers!
UNCOVER THE RICH HISTORY OF MUSIC IN THE BERKSHIRES: THE ROAD HOUSE ERA
Aspects of the rich history of music in the Berkshires are well known in our area and well beyond: Tanglewood, the Music Barn/Inn, The Jazz School of Lenox, the Guthries and James Taylor.
But other important aspects of Berkshires music history deserve to be much better known: such as the colorful history of roadhouses like Woody’s Roadhouse of Washington, which flourished in the 70’s and 80’s and were important sources of entertainment, community and social life - drawing to this area nationally prominent touring bands like Bonnie Raitt and Orleans.
The goal of this SIG is to bring this colorful history to life and create a widely distributed podcast that documents it.
Our SIG will explore the history of the local road houses and their music and musicians—and related topics such as:
Our SIG will do hands-on research such as:
Our SIG will do hands-on research such as:
Register to receive the Zoom link.
Please contact Mark Rosenman for more information about this SIG.
OLLI at Berkshire Community College and the OLLI at the University of Richmond present:
Julius Rosenwald: The Most Important Philanthropist You Never Heard Of
Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 7 p.m. EDT
In the early 20th century, Julius Rosenwald, a child of German Jewish immigrants, President of Sears Roebuck, and visionary philanthropist, partnered with Booker T. Washington and African American communities to build 4,977 schools for Black children across the Jim Crow south. Learn more about this incredible story, the impact of these schools in our U.S. history, and the campaign to create a new National Park to preserve the history of these schools.
Dorothy Canter, Ph.D.
Dorothy A. Canter, Ph.D., an expert in the decontamination of bioterrorism agents, played an important role in the fumigations of contaminated buildings following the 2001 anthrax attacks. She worked for the federal government for 29 years, the last 15 of which at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she served as the Chief Scientist for Bioterrorism Issues from November 2001 until June 2005. Dr. Canter received both a B.S. in mathematics and a Ph.D. in biophysics from The George Washington University. She currently is the President of the Rosenwald Park Campaign. She served on the boards of the National Parks Conservation Association and the Shenandoah National Park Trust. She has visited 332 National Parks. She is a member of the board of the Capital Jewish Museum in Washington, DC,
As Senior Director for Cultural Resources of the National Park Conservation Association (NPCA), Alan Spears uses real-life stories and a conversational style to connect with his audiences to promote NPCAs advocacy of and the critical role the National Park Service plays in protecting, interpreting and managing this nation’s historic and cultural resources. A veteran advocate and member of the NPCA Government Affairs department, Alan leads community outreach and legislative engagement on a variety of park protection issues. Recent victories include joining with NPCA colleagues, partners and allies to win the designation of the Fort Monroe, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, Colonel Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers, Pullman, and Birmingham Civil Rights National Monuments. Alan’s current efforts include National Heritage Area program defense, serving as NPCA’s lead coordinator for the Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools national park designation campaign, and work in Mississippi to create a new national park site commemorating the legacy of Emmett Till, Mamie Till-Mobley, and the foot soldiers of the Mississippi civil rights movement.
Robert G. Stanton
Robert G. Stanton joined the National Park Service as a seasonal ranger and rose through the ranks to become the agency’s first and only African American Director. He has also served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Interior. He has been nationally recognized through awards and citations for outstanding public service and leadership in conservation, historic preservation, youth programs, government relations and diversity in employment and public programs. Recently he received the William Penn Mott, Jr., Leadership Award. He is the Vice President of the Rosenwald Park Campaign.
OLLI's Contemporary Gender Roles