Special Programs

Most events are scheduled here at the Reuter Center, and are free and open to the public • Call 828.251.6140 for additional details.

Advance Care Planning

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville will hold an advance care planning (ACP) workshop Friday, February 5, 2016, 3-5 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 NC ACP "Short Form".  Click here to access a copy of the form.

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.  If you have internet-access, print the NC ACP "Short Form", study it and write down any questions you might have for the panel.  This workshop is free and open to the public, adults of all ages.  For more information, email the workshop coordinators, David Mouw MD,PhD and  Mary Campbell  BSN, COHN-S  at:  olli.acp@gmail.com  or call OLLI at 828-251-6140 or email olli@unca.eduClick here to view an event flier.   

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Asheville Living Treasures Program

Asheville Living Treasures (ALT) is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to honor elders of Asheville and Buncombe County who have devoted their lives to making our communities a better place to live. ALT publicly honors selected older adults and their achievements and records their stories for future generations. ALT is seeking nominees 70 years or older who reside within Buncombe County. Send your nomination letter to  ashevillelivingtreasures.com (preferred) or to Asheville Living Treasures, Attn: Carmen Ramos-Kennedy, 24 Curve Street, Asheville NC 28801. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about the nominee. Nominations for the spring recognition ceremony may be submitted starting January 15, 2016, and ending March 15, 2016. For more information call 828.423.6476.

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 $6 at the door.  For more information on the Autumn Players, click here. 

  • Sunday, February 14, 2016: A special performance - "We're Not Done Yet: Wonder Women from 55 to 100" directed by RoseLynn Katz, a lively series of skits that showcase women in  the second half of life as they learn, take classes at OLLI, have adventures, fall in love  and laugh at the unique challenges of growing older. Donations at the door welcome.
  • Sunday, February 28, 2016:  "Table Manners" from The Norman Conquests, a trilogy of plays by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Jim Reid.

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Astronomy Club of Asheville

The Astronomy Club of Asheville meets the first Thursday of most months from 7 p.m., with an interesting lineup of speakers and topics. Please note that there will be no meeting in January. OLLI members may attend the club meetings and star gazes; club members will be on hand to advise and assist in the basics of astronomy and the techniques of observing celestial phenomena. Participation at club meetings and events is free to OLLI members. For more information on the Astronomy Club of Asheville, visit their website at www.astroasheville.org.  Meetings scheduled as follows:

  • No January 2016 meeting
  • February 4, 2016: Topic TBA

And on April 19, 2016, the Astronomy Club of Asheville will host a special presentation on The May 9, 2016 Transit of Mercury:  How and why it occurs and where and how to observe it.  On May 9, 2016, a Monday, our solar  system’s smallest and innermost planet will transit across the disk of the Sun, as seen from Earth, for the first time in nearly a decade, and here in the Asheville, North Carolina region, with clear skies, the entire 7½ hour event will be visible.  This Mercury transit may be thought of as a special type of partial (very partial) eclipse of the Sun by a planet! Find out all you want to know about this rare event on Tuesday, April 19th, 2-4 p.m., in Room 206 of the Reuter Center.  Bernard Arghiere, long-time OLLI astronomy instructor, will present a fascinating explanation of this unique event, discuss where and how to observe it safely, and answer your questions.  This event is free and open to the public.

The Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association

The Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association (CNPA) was founded in 1992 to promote nature photography in the Carolinas, to help conserve and preserve the diverse natural ecosystems in the Carolinas and to educate others interested in nature and wildlife photography. The CNPA-Asheville Region’s goal is to develop a group that will more fully experience the beauty of Western North Carolina through photography. Activities in the Asheville region include photo outings, seminars, workshops, exhibits, photo contests, image critiques, and monthly meetings at the Reuter Center, held the second Sunday of each month, with a social beginning at 5:30 p.m., meeting 6-8 p.m.; meeting dates are February 14, March 13, April 10, May 8, June 12, 2016.  For more information please go to: www.cnpa-asheville.org

Chamber Music Chat

Offered by Pan Harmonia, Chamber Music Chat is a new lecture series sure to delight!  Pan Harmonia is an independent repertory company based in Asheville and directed by flutist Kate Steinbeck. Now in its sixteenth season, Pan Harmonia has been nationally recognized for its unique work and superb artistry. Meet the musicians of Pan Harmonia in these informal sessions. Learn about their process, inspiration, the music they love and more!  On Friday, February 26, 2016, 3 p.m., explore the bombarde (a woodwind instrument used to play traditional Breton music) and Breton music with clarinetist Rosalind Buda.   For more information, visit the Pan Harmonia website: www.pan-harmonia.org

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Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society

The Elisha Mitchell chapter of the Audubon Society (EMAS) was formed in 1986 with a mission to promote birding and an appreciation of all nature, and to preserve wildlife and natural ecosystems. The chapter spearheaded an effort to preserve a  lakefront property and now owns and manages it as the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. EMAS offers free educational programs on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. and leads bird walks at the Sanctuary on the first Saturday of the month. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!  General meetings scheduled at the Reuter Center are March 15, April 19, May 17, and June 21 2016.

On April 5, 2016, 7 p.m., EMAS will offer a special meeting titled "The Project Puffin: Bringing Atlantic Puffins Back to Egg Island."  The National Audubon Society initiated the Puffin Project to learn how to restore the Atlantic Puffins to historic nesting Islands in the Gulf of Maine.  Derrick Jackson, author of a book on the project, will talk about the challenges and the outcomes.  Join us for a special program on this adorable bird.

f/32 Photography

f/32 is a diverse group that shares 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 Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7 p.m.  For more information: www.f32nc.com

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Fab Fridays Lunch & Learn Lectures

Fab Fridays Lunch and Learn Lectures offer an exciting line up of lectures, stimulating presentations and dynamic question-and-answer sessions from local experts, about everything from music to travel and medications to wellness. 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., Reuter Center Manheimer Room.  Free and open to the public.

  • January 15, 2016: Asheville Independent Restaurant Association.  Michel Baudouin, owner and chef of downtown Asheville restaurants Bouchon, Bouchon Creperie, and Lafayette, was instrumental in organizing local restaurant owners and chefs to form Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR) in 2002. Their goal was to create a better Asheville food scene. Mr. Baudouin will discuss the inception of AIR, what it has accomplished, and the group’s  continuing success in making Asheville a food destination.
  • January 22, 2016:  (DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER ON THE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED DATE, THIS LECTURE HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 14, 2016) Macular Degeneration & the Blue Light Danger. Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. With an estimated 11 million individuals in the U.S. suffering from AMD, a figure that is expected to grow to 22 million by 2050, we are facing a coming epidemic of AMD. In addition to the increase in our aging population, we are using our eyes like never before in history. Join Dr. Kim Walters, owner of Optix Eye Care, as she discusses AMD, and the newest threat to our health, blue light which is emitted in high concentration from our smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs, fluorescent lights, and LED lighting. With 18 years of experience practicing optometry in Weaverville, NC, Dr. Walters is an expert on the prevention, early detection and management of ocular disease. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.
  • January 29, 2016: Roller Derby: From Spectacle to Sport.  The Blue Ridge Rollergirls, Asheville’s first and only all-female flat track roller derby league, has worked to actively create, promote, and sustain an environment that  fosters strength, courage, vitality and the empowerment of women in the sport. Since establishing themselves ten years ago, they have won an impressive number of matches and have earned some medals along the way.  Several members of the league will offer a behind the scenes look at the training, culture, and community that has evolved to support this exciting sport. Plus, team members will show off some skating moves!
  • February 5, 2016: Balance and Proprioception. Jason Wingert, UNC Asheville associate professor of health and wellness and director of the UNC Asheville Sensorimotor Laboratory, will discuss his research on balance and proprioception (the body’s sense of position and movement from the muscles, skin, and joints) and what happens to this sense as we age. The discussion will include information about what we can do to build our sensory and  motor awareness to avoid injuries. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.
  • February 12, 2016: Asheville’s African American Experience in the Civil War Era.  Gordon McKinney, former director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College and College for Seniors instructor, is the author of  several books on the American Civil War. In this lecture he will discuss the Civil War as a time of uncertainty for most African Americans in Asheville. As the war ended, former slaves embraced the new freedom of movement  and demanded wages and new working conditions. Many sought to reconstitute their families and establish their own churches and schools. Learn more about this interesting chapter in the history of African Americans in Western North Carolina
  • February 19, 2016: Will Your Kidneys Fail You? Kidneys and urine don’t sound interesting, but they are. Why do kidneys make up only 1 % of body weight, but use 10% of the body’s energy, and get 25 % of the blood pumped  by the heart? How did our kidneys ever wind up being so weird and inefficient? Why has the fraction of Americans over 60 with life-threatening kidney failure increased dramatically over the past decade and how can you avoid  this epidemic? David Mouw, Ph.D. (human physiology), M.D. (family practice) with added Qualification in Geriatrics, has given 11 previous Health Education Series lectures, and regularly uses the audience response system to  get audience feedback. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

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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 (SHIIP). In this partnership between the Council on Aging of Buncombe County and OLLI, a free class will be held on Friday, February 12, 2 p.m. This session will be an overview (plans, parts, and policies) of Medicare. Spaces are limited, and registration is required. Reserve your space by visiting the Council on Aging of Buncombe County website (you may click here.)   In addition, beginning at 12 p.m., representatives from the Social Security Administration will be available to answer questions about Social Security benefits and Medicare enrollment. They will also provide detailed instructions for accessing the Agency’s online services @ www.socialsecurity.gov.

Member Social

Come join your fellow OLLI members for our Winter Social on February 11, 2016,  4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Atrium.  Fun, fellowship, food and libations will be available.  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.

NC Stage Behind the Scenes with Jeeves Intervenes

Join NC Stage artistic director and co-founder Charlie Flynn-McIver as he takes you behind the scenes of the professional productions of NC Stage, Asheville’s downtown professional theatre. We’ll look into the themes, the rehearsal process, and the design process of each production. Flynn-McIver brings in the actors, directors, and designers to share their perspective (you may even see a live scene or two from the production). Get an insider’s look at the workings of a professional theatre. The upcoming lecture on Friday, January 29, 2016, 1:30 p.m., looks at the play Jeeves Intervenes, adapted from the stories of P.G. Wodehouse.  For more information about NC Stage, visit ncstage.org

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 at 3 p.m.:

Friday, January 22, 2016, 3 p.m.: (DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER ON THE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED DATE, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 5, 2016, 9-11AM) History of African Americans in Opera
Friday, February 19, 2016, 3 p.m.: 2016 ALO Winter Gala Highlights

For more information about ALO or to purchase tickets for a performance, visit http://ashevillelyric.org

Reuter Center Singers Concert

The Reuter Center Singers, OLLI's in-house choral group directed by Chuck Taft, study and perform classical, popular and show tunes. Mark your calendar to attend the Holiday Concert on Monday, December 7, 7 p.m.  Donations to support the group are welcome.

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Smart Driver Class

The four-hour AARP Smart Driver Class offers numerous tips for coping with inevitable changes in perception and reaction time, as well as increased hazards on the roads with faster cars and busier traffic. Participants can expect to review the rules of the road, tips on dealing with aggressive drivers and general safety tips such as how to make left turns into heavy traffic. The course, offered nationwide, is designed to help participants avoid crashes and remain safely behind the wheel. Scheduled at the Reuter Center on the following two dates, the cost is the $20 or $15 for AARP members. 

  • Friday, April 1, noon-4 p.m., Contact instructor Judy Domer, 828.505.1992, domerje@charter.net to register
  • Friday, April 29, noon-4 p.m., Contact instructor Jan Stephanides, 828-443-1051 to register.

STEM Series Lecture

The theme of the STEM lecture series for the academic year 2015-2016 is “Multidisciplinary Programs.”  Each lecture will highlight how different STEM disciplines interact in a unified program to achieve mutually beneficial success.

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 4:30 p.m.: Michael Ruiz, UNC Asheville physics professor, “The Science of Harmony” RESCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 27, 2016, 4:30PM

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 4:30 p.m.: Howard Jaslow, “Spatial Disorientation and Aviation Safety"

Sundays with Brevard Music Center

The Brevard Music Center presents Brevard Music Center Sunday Concerts on Sundays, December 6, 3 p.m. will feature artist faculty members Joseph Evans, tenor, and Douglas Joseph Evans Weeks, piano; and on Sunday, January 31, 2016, 3 p.m. will feature trombonist David Jackson, pianist Amy I-Lin Cheng, and baritone soloist Daniel Washington.

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. 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. On Friday at 3 p.m., come early to get a seat; this popular series is very well attended. For more information about the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, or to find out how to purchase tickets for performances at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, visit ashevillesymphony.org

  • Friday, February 12, 2016, 3 p.m.: Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Strauss’s Metaphorphosen and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto
    with violin soloist Stefan Jackiw

World Affairs Council

Come to the Reuter Center for these fascinating lectures and 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.  The World Affairs Council meetings offer a lively line up of topics and compelling presenters.  Scheduled in the Reuter Center's Manheimer Room on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., here is the Spring Great Decisions Lecture series  line up:

  • February 2, 2016,  "Middle East Alliances"  By  Samer Traboulsi of the UNCA History department who will be returning from an end-of-the-year visit to Beirut opens our series addressing the complex issues of Middle East Alliances.
  • February 9, 2016, "ISIS (Daesh)" By Major General Rick Devereaux, Director Operational Planning, Policy and Strategy of the Air Force, will address the military, diplomatic, and strategic steps that are being taken to confront ISIS.
  • February 16, 2016, "Climate Change" by Tom Peterson, a widely published climate scientist, Current President of the Commission for Climatology Structure at the World Meteorological Organization, and recently retired NOAA climatologist.
  • February 23, 2016, "Korean Choices" by Marc Mullinax of the MHU Philosophy and Religion Dept. who has taught at Ewha Women’s University in South Korea, speaks and reads Korean, and blogs about Korea at: http://allkoreaconsidered.blogspot.com.
  • March 1, 2016, "Global Migration" by Natalie Teague, a multi-lingual attorney who has been specializing in immigration law, litigating in state and federal courts while practicing in Asheville the last several years.
  • March 8, 2016, "Cuba" by Stan Dotson, Founder of InOurElements, a leadership and curriculum development resource for churches and community organizations, who has spent the better parts of the last two years teaching at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, and will be just returning from the island to the US prior to his lecture

For more information visit the World Affairs Council website at http://www.main.nc.us/wac/

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