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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute  

Special Programs

Most events are free and open to the public • Call 828.251.6140 for additional details.

Advance Care PlanningMembers at lecture

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville will hold an advance care planning workshop Thursday, October 16, 2014, 7-9 p.m. at the Reuter Center.

The workshop will feature a panel whose members are experienced in addressing end-of-life issues. Discussion will include communicating your treatment wishes to loved ones and to medical personnel, ethical and legal issues, and the uses of advance directives.  Ample time will be reserved for questions. Assistance will be provided for anyone wishing to complete a legally valid advance directive, including the notarization required in North Carolina, using the Five Wishes format.

Click here to view a sample of the Five Wishes brochure.  Preparation for you to do before the workshop:  Talk to your possible "power of attorney for healthcare", the person who would make health care decisions if you are unable.  Click here for a video of a sample conversation, starring OLLI member Mary Campbell and Aruna Josyula, one of our panelists.  If you have internet-access, print the sample Five Wishes brochure and study it and write down any questions you might have for the panel.  This workshop is free and open to the public.  For more information, email the workshop coordinators, David Mouw MD,PhD and  Mary Campbell  BSN, COHN-S  at:  or call OLLI at 828-251-6140 or email olli@unca.eduClick here to view an event flier.   

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Asheville Community Theatre’s Readers Theater

The Autumn Players (part of Asheville Community Theatre) is a troupe of seasoned actors dedicated to taking the theatre experience into the community. Readings of great literature by experienced performers can spark deep understanding and kindle lasting interest. As words jump from the page with conviction and emotion, stories come to life. Tickets are $5 at the door.

  • Sunday, June 1, 2014, 2:30 p.m.: Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Anita Chapman. In this classic family drama set in Norway in the 1880s, a mother who has devoted her life to keeping up appearances finds herself haunted by the past when her son comes home with a mysterious illness.
  • Sunday, August 24, 2014, 2:30 p.m.: The Lion in Winter by James Goldman, directed by Jim Reid. There’s plenty of gamesmanship mixed with driving ambition at the palace of King Henry II when the king, his wife, Eleanor of Aquitane, who has been imprisoned under her husband’s command, and their three sons gather together to determine who shall inherit the throne of England. 

For more information on the Autumn Players, click here. 

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Asheville Living Treasures

Asheville Living Treasures (ALT) is an organization whose mission is to honor the elders of Asheville and Buncombe County, who have devoted their lives to making our communities a better place to live, by publicly honoring them and their achievements and recording their stories for future generations. Any senior, age 70 and above, and resides in Asheville/Buncombe County is eligible for nomination.  There are two sessions per year- Spring (cancelled for 2014) and Fall. The next recognition ceremony honoring the Treasures will be held at the Reuter Center on October 19, 2014, 1-4 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.  The oral histories of each Treasure are archived at the UNC Asheville Ramsey Library, Special Collections department.  For more information visit or contact ALT Chair, Marnie Walsh: 828-298-2231,, or Committee Member, Carmen Ramos-Kennedy: 828-423-6476.

Astronomy Club of Asheville

The Astronomy Club of Asheville meets the first Thursday of each month except July, 7-9 pm, with an interesting lineup of speakers and topics. OLLI members may attend the club meetings and star gazes, with club members on hand to advise and assist them in the basics of astronomy and the techniques of observing celestial phenomena. Participation at club meetings and events is free. For more information on the Astronomy Club of Asheville, visit their website at

  • Thursday, June 5, 2014, 7 p.m.:  Members only meeting at the observatory
  • Thursday, August 7, 2014, 7 p.m.: Adam Thanz, director of the Bays Mountain Planetarium, Kingsport, TN, “Planetariums—Their Design and Operation” 

Club membership is free.  For more information on Astronomy Club of Asheville, click here.

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Blue Ridge Orchestra

The Blue Ridge Orchestra (BRO) will hold open rehearsals on Wednesdays, May 14, 21, and 28, 2014,  7 p.m., and then the group is taking the summer off. They will again rehearse in the Reuter Center’s Manheimer Room beginning  Wednesday, August 27, 2014. OLLI members can look forward to the BRO’s October concert, Prelude to All Hallow’s Eve, to be performed in the Manheimer Room on October 25 and 26, 2014For more information on Blue Ridge Orchestra. 

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Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society

The mission of the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society (EMAS) is to promote an awareness and appreciation of nature, to preserve and protect wildlife and natural ecosystems, and to encourage responsible environmental stewardship. EMAS will hold meetings at the Reuter Center on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 pm; all meetings held at the Reuter Center are free and open to the public. For more information visit the EMAS website:

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 7 p.m.: Curtis Smaling on “The Golden-Winged Warbler Project”
  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 7 p.m.: Ed Hauser on “Ocean Sustainability”

  For more information Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society, click here.

Fab Fridays Lunch & Learn Lectures

This lecture series is on hiatus during the summer months.  Check back in the fall when members and guests are invited to enjoy stimulating presentations and dynamic question-and-answer sessions from local experts, about everything from music to travel and medications to wellness.  Purchase lunch in the Reuter Cafe or bring your own brown bag to enjoy during the talk.  End your week and start your weekend with Fab Fridays!  This series is organized by the Health Education Series Committee and the Lunch and Learn Committee.  Fridays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m., Reuter Center Manheimer Room.  Free and open to the public.

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f/32 Photography

f/32 is a diverse group of people who share an appreciation and love of photography. Members range from amateurs who like to take point-and-shoot snapshots to working professional photographers. At monthly meetings, they share their work, learn new methods, and keep abreast of the latest industry news and equipment. OLLI members are offered free membership in f/32. Attend on Wednesdays, May 14, June 11, July 9, and August 13, 2014; all meetings begin at 7 pm with a social time beginning at 6:30 pm. For more information:     For more information on f/32 Photography Group, click here.

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Medicare Choices Made Easy!

Are you new to Medicare? Are you confused by the many choices? Unbiased and accurate information is available from trained volunteers from the North Carolina Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program. In partnership with OLLI, a free class will be held on Friday, July 25, 2014, 2-4 pm in the Reuter Center.  This session will be an overview (plans, parts and policies) of Medicare. Spaces are limited, so reserve your space by calling the Buncombe County Council on Aging, 277-8288.

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MOTION Dance Creativity Workshop

On Sunday, June 29, 2014, 3 p.m., MOTION Dance Theatre Artistic Director Nick Kepley, will lead  a one and a half hour workshop detailing specific methods utilized by choreographers across the globe and explain how their concepts of creativity can be applied to nearly any job in any career field. How can we unleash more creative potential during corporate brainstorming sessions? How can restrictions and guidelines be used to enhance productivity rather than hinder it? The workshop will feature performances by MOTION dancers, culled from critically acclaimed companies around the country. Tickets will be raffled for MOTION's upcoming performances, July 11-12 at Diana Wortham Theatre.
Warning: Although participants will not be asked to dance, they may leave feeling inspired to do so!  Scheduled in the Manheimer Room, this workshop is free and open to the publc.

Opera Talk

Asheville Lyric Opera (ALO) brings great stories and music to life on Asheville’s premiere theatrical stage, the Diana Wortham Theatre. Come enjoy a behind the scenes journey as ALO General Director David Craig Starkey and a cast of industry professionals guide you through their operatic world.  Mark your calendar to attend these lively and informative musical presentations on Fridays, May 30, June 27, July 11, and August 22, 3 pm in the Manheimer Room.  Free and open to the public.

Proton Therapy Lecture

Proton Therapy-a New Radiotherapy Treatment by Bradlee Robbert lecture scheduled for May 14, 2014, 11:30 a.m., in the Manheimer Room and is free and open to the public. Radiation therapy has been around nearly 100 years but traditional radiation therapy utilizes x-rays.  An x-ray has no weight and travels at the speed of light.  Now there is proton therapy which is particle therapy.  The advantage of  particle or proton therapy is that this subatomic particle can be accelerated or slowed down to stop the radiation dose inside the human body.    This presentation would discuss some of the past, present and future possibilities of the future of radiation oncology specifically highlighting proton therapy and will  show actual treatment plans and compare them to traditional radiation therapy.   Bradlee Robbert, Director of Patient Services at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute, is a licensed radiation therapist with a bachelor’s in healthcare administration and nearly 15 years of medical experience and 10 of those in radiation oncology.

Radiation Lecture

On May 15, 2014, 7 p.m., Dr. Perry Sprawls will offer an interesting talk on radiation in our lives today.  There are different types of radiation, and with the exception of light, it is invisible.  That often gives it a mystic characteristic and a cause for concern because of our natural “fear of the darkness” and things we cannot see. When we become more familiar with the radiation in our lives today, knowing its characteristics, where it comes from, how it is used in modern society, and its effects on the human body, we can make intelligent decisions and live in harmony with this part of our environment. In this program we review the different types and sources of radiation, their benefits to individuals and society, and the actions to minimize risks.  Perry Sprawls is Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Emory University, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, with over 50 years of experience in the use of radiation for medical purposes.   This talk is offered in collaboration with the WNC IEEE.
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Symphony Talk with Daniel Meyer

The best way to enjoy the Asheville Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks concerts is to come to the Symphony Talk for
the inside scoop on the music, composers, and soloists. Come early to get a seat; this popular series is very well attended. Free and open to the public. Asheville Symphony Orchestra’s music director and conductor Daniel Meyer will speak about the performance for the next evening’s concert and local music aficionado Chip Kaufmann will speak about the composers. Symphony Talks during OLLI’s Spring term are:    Friday, May 9, 3 p.m.: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with piano soloist Mariangela Vacatello and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 “The Year 1905”.  For more information about the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, or to find out how to purchase tickets for performances at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, visit

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World Affairs Council

Come to the Reuter Center for these fascinating lectures and panel discussions that aim to advance international awareness and foster Western North Carolina's global ties. OLLI members receive a discount on WAC annual membership fee.  WAC will offer their popular Great Decisions Series in February and March with topics that range from political Islam in Africa to China's foreign policy, from energy independence to economic statecraft and trade, and the defense and the rise of new technologies to food security and climate change.  Meetings are scheduled for Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.  Topics and speakers include:

  • May 6, 2014, "Individual Liberties", by UNC Asheville faculty Mark Gibney

   For more details about programs, consult the WAC website.

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Last edited by on July 15, 2014