Special Programs

Most events are scheduled here at the Reuter Center, and are free and open to everyone • 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 on Thursday, June 21, 2018, 5:30 p.m.  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". 

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 and a printer, click here to access a copy of the ACP Short form.  Please print the form, study it, and bring it to the workshop along with any questions you might have for the panel. 

If you have never been admitted to Mission Hospital, but want your advanced directives added into the Mission Medical Record, click here for an “Advance Directive Permission form” to fill out. Also, if you have existing advance directives, you may mail the “Permission Form” along with a copy of your existing Advance Directive to Mission for addition to the Mission medical record (or you can get help doing this at the next ACP workshop).

This workshop is free and open to everyone, adults of all ages.  For more information, call OLLI, 828.251.6140 or email  olli@unca.eduClick here to view an event flier.   

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Asheville SCORE:  Volunteer Business Mentors Helping Local Entrepreneurs

Do you have a business background and an interest in learning more about Asheville's entrepreneurial ecosphere? Are you interested in sharing your experience and expertise to guide local entrepreneurs as they develop their businesses? Are you creating a new business and curious about how Asheville SCORE can assist you? On Thursday, May 10, 4:30 p.m., come to the information session to learn how Asheville SCORE mentors make a difference in the lives and success stories of Asheville area entrepreneurs. Refreshments will be served!  For more information about Asheville SCORE visit asheville.score.org

Astronomy Club of Asheville

The Astronomy Club of Asheville meets the first Thursday of each month, from 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.   Meetings are scheduled for April 5, and May 3, 2018. For more information on the Astronomy Club of Asheville, visit their website at www.astroasheville.org.

The Autumn Players

The Autumn Players (affiliated with Asheville Community Theatre) is a troupe of seasoned actors dedicated to taking the theatre experience into the community. Their words jump from the page with conviction and emotion, and these actors make their stories come to life. Tickets are $7 at the door.
Sunday, April 1, 2:30 p.m., The Dresser by Ronald Harwood, directed by Marianne Lyon
Sunday, April 29, 2:30 p.m., Broken Glass by Arthur Miller, directed by Anita Chapman

Behind the Scenes at NC Stage

Go behind the scenes of professional theatre with NC Stage Artistic Director and co-founder Charlie Flynn-McIver. Explore the themes of this season’s plays, talk with the actors, directors and designers about design concepts and the rehearsal process and experience a scene or two performed live. Join us for an insider’s view of how theatre happens!

  • Friday, March 30, 1:30 p.m., Other Desert Cities. Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother and her aunt. Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history—a wound they don’t want reopened. In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it.
  • Friday, April 27, 1:30 p.m., Burden. Frequent NC Stage collaborators Ron Bashford (director) and Willie Repoley (actor) began work on a new play in 2014. After four years of creative improvisations, artistic explorations, and grueling writing sessions, NC Stage and Immediate Theatre Project are proud to present the world premiere of Burden, an original play inspired by Robert Penn Warren’s classic American novel All the King’s Men.

For more information on NC Stage, click here to visit their website.

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 association is divided into regions for more close-at- hand activities. 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 monthly meetings, photo outings, seminars, workshops, exhibits, photo contests, and image critiques. The monthly meetings are held at the Reuter Center on the second Sunday of each month from 5:30-8pm,  April 8, May 13, 2018.  For more information please go to: www.cnpa-asheville.org

The Confident Caregiver Series

Offered through the Alzheimer's Association Western Carolina Chapter, the Confident Caregiver is a series of three presentations that provide  answers to the questions that arise in the middle stages of the disease. Hear from those directly affected and learn what you need to know, what you need to plan and what you can do at each point along the way to maintain quality of life for both the caregiver and the person with the disease.. Here are the topics that will be covered in each presentation:

  • Friday, March 23, 2 p.m., Is this Normal Aging? Know the 10 Signs.
  • Friday, April 6, 2 p.m., The Basics: Facts About Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer's.
  • Friday, May 25, 2 p.m., Finding Moments of Joy with Dementia.

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Death Cafe'

“Death Café” is an engaging gathering a storytelling experience holding as conversation. A conversation that too often alienates one in our death phobic culture. A new movement, a shift, is at play in recovering the ritual of being with death through personal storytelling of fears, loss and death; a deepening ritual emerges and we build a culture of dying wisely. Join us at our next Death Cafe, the new holy ground or common ground and the wonders of being with dying, presented on Friday, May 18, 2018, 5-6:30 p.m. facilitated  by Thirdmessenger’s Karen Sanders, Greg Lathrop and Sa’id Osio. You can learn more about death cafe at http://deathcafe.com/   thirdmessenger.com and https://www.facebook.com/deathcafeasheville

Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society

The Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society (EMAS) promotes birding and an appreciation of all nature and helps to preserve wildlife and natural ecosystems. EMAS offers free educational programs starting in spring on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Reuter Center and leads free bird walks at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary on the first Saturday of every month. Find out more at their website, www.emasnc.org, and plan to join them for the walks and talks. 
Tuesdays, March 20, April 17 and May 15, 2018, 7 p.m., Speakers and topics TBA
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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 Wednesdays, April 11, 2018; all meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.

Fab Fridays Lunch & Learn Lectures

On  Fridays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. during the term, this series of lunch and learn lectures continues to delight and inform. Held in the Manheimer Room, Fab Fridays are free and open to everyone. Purchase lunch in our Reuter Café or bring your own brown bag. End your week and start your weekend with Fab Fridays. Don’t miss these great programs. 

March 30, Perioperative Risks of Surgery and How to Modify these Risks by Dr. Glen Gettinger
Dr Gettinger went to medical school at Emory University and graduated summa cum laude, did his internship, residency and fellowship in internal medicine at Duke University and did a fellowship in anesthesia at University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Va before moving to Asheville where he has practiced as an anesthesiologist for the last 30 years at Mission Health. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

April 6, Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi: When Vision Met Science
In 1481, Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to create an altarpiece for the Augustinian monks of San Donato a Scopeto in Florence, Italy. In mid-1482, the artist left the piece unfinished when he traveled to Milan to accept an offer of steady income and joined the Sforza court. The Adoration’s journey became the material of legend. After laying unattended in a cellar for decades, it was heavily modified by an unknown, untalented artist who damaged the work, which was ultimately acquired by the Medici Grand Dukes in the late 16th century. During a recently completed five-and-a-half-year restoration led by renowned art experts Roberto Bellucci and Patrizia Riitano, numerous new details of Leonardo’s original sketches were discovered. Mark Gordon Smith will share how the story of this painting reveals how the mind of a Renaissance prodigy was further solidified by the balanced application of both expertise and science. Smith has traveled across Italy for over 40 years and has a passion for Renaissance art. He has been an instructor at OLLI since 2012.

April 13, Type 2 Diabetes: What It Is, How It Harms, How You Can Take Control to Prevent, Reverse or Manage It
Type 2 diabetes is a significant threat to health and well being in an older population, often reducing length of life and quality of life. In this lecture you will learn about the causes, consequences and proven ways to prevent, reverse or manage Type 2 diabetes. You will learn about The YMCA of Western Carolina’s proven program that enables participants to take control of their Type 2 diabetes. Michael Hanlon, Diabetes Director of the YMCA of Western North Carolina, helped develop the YMCA diabetes control program and has conducted over 2000 hours of diabetes and lifestyle change education.This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

April 27, In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone is America’s pioneer hero. He was a market hunter, frontier guide, wilderness scout, master woodsman, expert marksman, Indian fighter, militia leader, surveyor, land speculator, judge, sheriff, coroner, elected legislator, merchant, tavern keeper, prisoner of war, Spanish government agent, husband, father and more. Daniel Boone led one of the most eventful lives in American history, living 21 of his remarkable 86 years in North Carolina. His life is commemorated across a landscape which today spreads over 11 states including Pennsylvania and Missouri, Michigan and Florida (yes, Florida!) and everywhere in between. Come hear award-winning author and storyteller Randell Jones recount the episodes of Daniel Boone’s life which have endeared this American frontier icon to generations of Americans.

May 4, Lifestyle Medicine for Seniors
Your health isn’t everything, but without your health, everything is nothing. Recent data suggests that 80% of elders have one or more chronic conditions. As you age, chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, can have a major impact on quality of life. Lifestyle medicine, the evidence-based practice of helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors such as eating smarter, moving more and more effectively managing stress, can add both life to years and years to life. Brian Asbill MD, of Asheville Cardiology played a key role in bringing CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) to Asheville. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

May 11, Jewish Humor 
Steve Allen, a talented, scholarly, intelligent analyst (and he wasn’t even Jewish) once said that in spite of their single digit representation in the general population Jewish people make up eighty percent of the well-known comedians. We will discuss how and why this happened. We will look at the ways all sorts of humor, from slapstick to subtle innuendo, will be covered. How comedy reflects history and culture will be analyzed. We will review the impact of the Yiddish theater and the Catskills resorts as they contributed to Jewish humor. Rubin Feldstein was born in Poland and lived there the first six years of his life in a shtetl called Zamosc. He cherishes his heritage, enjoys sharing it, and teaching. He was an educator for thirty-four years., including time as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and adjunct professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

May 18, Back Pain
Back pain is an all too common occurrence in our society, and there are many potential causes. We will review the anatomy of the back (bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves) that can give rise to back pain and will discuss effective treatments that can be used to relieve pain and also build strength and get you back moving with ease. Attendees will learn common causes of lower back pain, what to avoid and how to get better quickly if back pain does occur. Chris Taylor is the founder of Physio Physical Therapy and Wellness. He and his team determine the source of their client’s pain or problem in order to provide the proper treatment for them to minimize their pain and maximize their function. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

Manheimer Book Talk

Novelists, playwrights, and philosophers of the existential tradition continue to attract a worldwide audience, young and old alike.  Their creative expressions and ideas have made a major impact on Americans from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Betty Friedan.  In his new book, Growing Up Existentially: From Absurdity to Consciousness (Jorvik Press, 2018), Dr. Ron Manheimer explores what continues to make existentialism so intriguing, while he shares some of his own "existential moments." On Sunday, April 8, 2018, at 3 p.m., come hear about his new book and enjoy a cup of coffee and a cookie.  Free and open to everyone.

Midday Music with Pan Harmonia

Pan Harmonia, Asheville’s own chamber music company, enjoys bringing its signature mix of masterpieces and new works to as many listeners as possible with its adventurous and informal events. Peek behind-the-scenes into the experience of music-making. Meet the musicians and learn about their process, inspiration, favorite music and more!   This session of Midday Music with Pan Harmonia will be an open rehearsal as professional players join flutist and director Kate Steinbeck to shape the music for an upcoming performance. Feel free to bring friends and your lunch on Saturday, April 28, noon-3 p.m. and enjoy the music!

More Than a Month Events

OLLI’s Inclusion Committee promotes inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds in all OLLI programs and partners with people from diverse backgrounds to offer culturally rich programs, activities and events. The committee has planned “More Than a Month” programs to address issues of race and inclusion locally and nationally, with the understanding that we want to address these issues more than once a month. These programs are designed to provide meaningful ways to understand and respond to the issues of race that continue to divide us and to define our civic and political discourse. Please watch the OLLI newsletter for more details about individual programs that include

  • Friday, February 16, 2-5 p.m. Bruce Mulkey, “I Am a Recovering Racist”
  • Friday, March 16, 1-2:30 p.m. Michael Carter, “Beyond Privilege” workshop (registration is required)
  • Friday, April 6, 4:30–6 p.m. Rosenwald Schools
  • Friday, May 4, 2-5pm: Tranzmission Presentation

The More Than A Month series created by members of OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville, who have come together to promote and celebrate inclusivity at OLLI, develop partnerships with people of all backgrounds, and raise awareness among fellow OLLI members and the greater Asheville community of issues of concern to minority communities.

New to Medicare Class

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, March 30, 2018, 2-4 p.m.  in the Reuter Center. The class will provide important information to assist you in understanding how Medicare works and what you need to do to obtain benefits and save money.  Spaces are limited so reserve your space by registering online at www.coabc.org.   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 at www.socialsecurity.gov.

New Member Welcome

Are you new to OLLI at UNC Asheville and the Reuter Center? Are you returning after being gone awhile? Come to the New Member Welcome on Friday, March 23, 2018, 10 a.m., to learn about all that OLLI has to offer and about ways to get involved. Meet other members and learn what it means to “grow through life.”

OLLI Authors Reading

OLLI Authors is a quarterly reading featuring two poets or prose authors and providing a forum for OLLI members and community writers to showcase their creative efforts. It’s also an opportunity for OLLI and community members to hear, appreciate and purchase readers’ published work.  Readings are usually in January, April, June and October.   The next in the series is scheduled for  Thursday, April 5, 5 p.m.Click here to view the OLLI Authors List that reflects books written by OLLI members while members of the OLLI community.

OLLI Member Ice Cream Social

On April 11, at 4:30pm, plan to attend the OLLI member ice cream social.  Share an afternoon of fellowship at our OLLI Member Ice Cream Social.  It's a casual affair featuring delicious treats from The Hop.  Share sweet treats and toppings while spending time with the most delightful folks in Western North Carolina. (OLLI member only event)

OLLI Town Hall Meeting 

On Tuesday, March 27, 4:30pm, during our annual Town Hall meeting we'll review the highlights of the past year, including member survey results and accomplishments from our OLLI programs and activities. The Nominating Committee will introduce the 2017-2018 slate of candidates. Our focus, however, will be on your questions for our staff and Steering Council members. Watch the OLLI Observer for your opportunity to submit questions.

Reuter Center Singers Spring Concerts

The Reuter Center Singers, OLLI’s in-house choral group directed by Chuck Taft, study and perform classical, popular, show tunes and other favorites.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend their popular Spring Concerts on Friday, March 16, 7 p.m. or Sunday, March 18, 3 p.m.   These concerts are free and open to everyone. A reception with light refreshments will follow each concert. Donations at the door are welcome.

Smart Driver Class

The four-hour AARP Smart Driver Class scheduled for Tuesday, May 15, 1:45-5:45 p.m., 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, learn tips to respond to aggressive drivers and gather 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. The cost is the $20 or $15 for AARP members. Contact instructor Celeste Selwyn csel@mindspring.com to register.

 STEM Lectures

The STEM series of lectures is an interdisciplinary program that covers a wide range of  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.  Each lecture provides the lecturer with the opportunity to share his/her work, present new ideas for feedback, learn new ideas that participants can use, and introduce students to exciting areas to explore.   Dates and speakers for Winter 2018 continue with  "Women in STEM", highlighting the scientific achievements and barriers to success for women in the STEM disciplines on Wednesday, March 21, 4:30 p.m.

Symphony Talk

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 folks will speak about the performance for the next evening’s concert and local music aficionado Chip Kaufmann will speak about the composers. The Symphony Talks during OLLI’s Spring term are scheduled:

  • Friday, March 16, 3 p.m. Candidate Nicholas Hersch, violinist Itamar Zorman. Composers Beethoven, Leshnoff, Rachmaninoff and Queen/Hersh
  • Friday, April 13, 3 p.m. Candidate Jayce Ogren, pianist Joyce Yang. Composers John Adams, Falla and Sibelius.
  • Friday, May 11, 3 p.m. Candidate Jacomo Bairos, violinist Jennifer Frautschi. Composers Bernstein, Hyken/Vivaldi and Brahms.

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

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WNC History Association Lecture "The Role of African-Americans in the History of WNC: Building the 1870s Swannanoa Train Tunnel and The South Asheville Cemetery Project"

On April 14, 2 p.m., join Warren Wilson College professors Jeff Keith and Kevin Kehrberg as they present public memories about slavery and the Jim Crow South through the story of the Swannanoa Tunnel and efforts to maintain the South Asheville Cemetery. While often associated with southern Appalachia, the "myth of racial innocence" is lost in the exclusive use of African American convict labor to build the Swannanoa Train Tunnel that connected the mountains of Western North Carolina to the NC Piedmont in the late 1870s. This tragic construction story is highlighted through the conversations as well as the music of the laborers. In addition, an overview of the current community work to cultivate and protect the oldest public African American cemetery in WNC, the South Asheville Cemetery, will be developed. The South Asheville Cemetery is the final resting place for nearly two thousand people-many of them slaves. 

Scheduled in the Reuter Center's Manheimer Room, tickets sold at the door: $5.00 donation, WNCHA members free. Program sponsored by the Western North Carolina Historical Association.  For more information www.wnchistory.org

World Affairs Council

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.  The Great Decision Lecture series is scheduled for the winter and spring terms on Tuesdays, February 27, March 6, 13, April 3, and May 1, 2018, 7:30 p.m. For more details about programs, consult the WAC website, www.main.nc.us/wac  All lectures are scheduled in the Reuter Center's Manheimer Room, free to WAC members and students, all others $10 at the door. For more details about programs, consult the WAC website.

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