Special Programs

In addition to classes and workshops, OLLI offers community programs, special events, lectures and more.

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, February 7, 2019, 5:30-7:30 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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Art Bazaar

Mark your calendar for Friday, November 9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday, November 10, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for the 5th Annual OLLI Art Bazaar, where you will discover a showcase of members’ talents in painting, photography, jewelry, textiles, and much  more. Member exhibitors will have a wide variety of handcrafted items on display and for sale.  A perfect event to find a one of a kind and to begin holiday shopping! Relax with a cup of coffee and a gourmet cookie from the OLLI member bakers after you finish your shopping. This event is free and open to the public.

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  September 6, October 4, November 1, and December 6, 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. Scheduled at 2:30 p.m., in the Reuter Center Manheimer Room, tickets are $7 at the door; mark your calendar for September 2, God’s Favorite by Neil Simon, directed by Jim Reid; September 30, The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, directed by Wendy Strauss; October 28, Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora and Delia Ephron, directed by Martin May.

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!  Free and open to the public, this series is scheduled in the Manheimer Room as follows:  September 14, 12 p.m., DAR HE: The Story of Emmett Till (note early start time); October 12, 1:30 p.m., Frost/Nixon; (PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE - OCT 12, 1:30-2:30PM) and November 30, 1:30 p.m., It’s a Wonderful Life.  For more information on NC Stage, click here to visit their website.

Book Talk with Chris Highland

On Sunday, October 14, 4 p.m, plan to attend a book talk by Chris Highland, OLLI instructor and author of ten books, who will be reading from his new book, A Freethinker's Gospel:  Essays for a Sacred Secular World. Published by Pisgah Press, the book is a collection of his weekly "Highland Views" columns in the Asheville Citizen-Times. Books will be available to purchase. Refreshments and booksigning to follow. For more information visit chighland.com

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,  September 9, October 14, and November 11, 2018.  For more information please go to: www.cnpa-asheville.org

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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 Fridays, September 21, October 19, November 16, and December 7, 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 mission of the Elisha Mitchell chapter of the National Audubon Society is to protect birds and their habitats and to promote an awareness and appreciation of nature. EMAS schedules educational programs on the third Tuesdays of the month, September 18, and October 16, 7 p.m., at the Reuter Center. Programs are free and open to the public. Find out more about our talks and free bird walks at our website, www.emasnc.org. Find out more at their website, www.emasnc.org, and plan to join them for the walks and talks. 

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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.

  • September 21, 2018   The Hitler Years Through the Eyes of a Child  Charlotte Hugues Self was six years old when Hitler came to power in January 1933. She grew up in Schwerin, the capital of the state of Mecklenburg, in Northern Germany.  Her mother, Anne Marie Hugues, a medical doctor, had joined the Social Democratic Party while a university student and, in spite of Hitler’s decree banning all political parties, she retained her membership and joined the underground resistance movement.  Charlotte was twelve years old when the pogrom against the Jews occurred on “Kristallnacht,” November 9, 1938. Charlotte helped her mother in her resistance activities, including being a courier and taking secret underground papers to Vienna.  When Mecklenburg was occupied by the Soviet army in June 1945, her mother stayed on, but Charlotte had to leave -- twice becoming a refugee and twice an immigrant over an eight-year period.  After living in England for four years and in Canada for three years, she moved to California, where she lived for over 50 years. Charlotte came to Hendersonville, with her husband, Sydney Self, in 2005.
  • September 28, 2018   Why are US Prescription Drugs More Expensive than in Other Countries?  Can That be Changed?  In recent years US prescription drug expenditure has increased faster than other sectors of the US health care market and the Consumer Price Index.  In addition, US prescription drug prices are generally higher than in other industrialized countries.  Why are prices higher in the US and can it be changed?  How do other industrialized countries control prescription drug expenditure and prices?  Alternative prescription pricing methods and related questions will be discussed.  Michael Dickson holds the BPharm and PhD degrees in pharmacy and is a professor emeritus.  He has taught and done research in pharmacy outcomes and pharmacoeconomics for 30+ years.  This lecture is a part of the Health Education Series.
  • October 5, 2018  Is There Hope for Palestine and Israel? Charles Itzkovitz, Cindy Osborne and Said Abdallah, members of the Palestinian and Jewish Egalitarian Team (PAJET), will examine the factors underlying the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and consider the prospects for peace.  PAJET has met monthly since 2016 and consists of Palestinians, Jews and supportive, interested others, sharing perspectives, concerns, hopes and dreams to understand, and support each other.  The relationships formed have been deep; the ability to hear the pain and suffering of all was honest and sincere; this presentation is an outgrowth of that experience.
  • October 12, 2018, Your Precious Eyesight: Strategies to Preserve, Protect and Enhance   This presentation will enhance your knowledge of prevention, management and treatments of macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, dry eyes and much more.  We will look at daily lifestyle and nutritional changes that make an impact on many eye conditions and preventative measures that will reduce eye health risks.  New and existing treatments will be discussed and participants will walk away with a better understanding of maintaining eye health, preservation and current management strategies.  Time for questions and answers for any ocular related concerns and inquiries will be addressed at the end of the presentation. Dr. Bryant graduated magna cum laude from optometry school in 2002 and practices at Envision Eyecare in Asheville. He actively participates in volunteer program to provide eye care for the underprivileged at ABCCM and mission trips to Honduras and Costa Rica.  He is an active Rotarian, past Lions Club board member, and founder of a Diabetic eye clinic at New Hope Volunteer Health Center.  This lecture is a part of the Health Education Series.
  • October 19, 2018   Our Connected Future The future of Western North Carolina depends on access to high speed internet (broadband.)   We lag the nation and state, hurting education, health care and public safety.   As a response, the West Next Generation Network (WNGN) initiative was created by six cities and four counties.  Dr. William Sederburg, Chair of WNGN, will provide an overview of current broadband coverage, define future needs, and explain current strategies.   Dr. Mike Dempsey of Lenoir Rhyne University and Hunter Goosmann, Executive Director of ERC Broadband will provide commentary on the area’s future needs, 5G wireless, and respond to member’s questions about  internet services.
  • October 26, 2018  Medicine for Old Age; Staying Healthy While Preparing to Die   Most of us want to live as long as we have a quality of life “worth living for”.  Among the things that influence our odds of achieving this goal are: health habits, medical treatment choices, learning about our diseases, and advance care planning. This lecture will include thought provoking examples and audience response questions. For example, did we come out ahead choosing a life-prolonging treatment we did not consider would make us miserable? Dr Mouw, 76, MD (geriatrician) and (PhD) human physiology, co-chairs the advance care planning workshops of the HES committee and has given 14 previous HES lectures; the past two winter terms he taught a book discussion of Gawande’s “Being Mortal”.  This lecture is a part of the Health Education Series.
  • November 2, 2018  Cherokee Legends and Insights  Noted story-teller Lloyd Arneach is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He was born and reared on the Cherokee Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina where he learned his first legends from two storytelling uncles. Lloyd presents his stories in a style that is humorous, informative and extremely moving. His stories range from the "old stories" of the Cherokee to contemporary stories he has collected. Lloyd has told stories in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center, the National Folklife Festival, and the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian.  He was also on the bill at the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival in Canada, and more than a hundred festivals, schools, universities, Pow-Wows, theaters, and other venues throughout the United States.  Come hear this revered story-teller as he shares his love of Cherokee history and culture, and takes us with him on a journey of the imagination.

Fall Membership Social

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 4:30 p.m., join your OLLI friends for our first Fall Member Social. Take this opportunity to socialize, enjoy great food & drink and celebrate the autumn season.  (This is an OLLI member only event.)

Legacies of Engagement: Civil Rights Movements and Angela Davis

On October 17, 2018, 7 p.m., Dr. Sharon Lynette Jones, Professor, Department of English Language and Literatures, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, will offer a presentation that will explore the life of Angela Davis in connection with social movements in the twentieth century and the twenty-first century in the United States and abroad. The time period covered will include 1940s -2018.  Topics explored will include the childhood/adolescence of Angela Davis, Angela Davis’s years as an undergraduate and graduate student, Angela Davis’s role as a participant in civil rights organizations, the “Free Angela Davis” movements,  and Angela Davis’s  influence as a scholar/professor. The presentation will draw upon a variety of source materials and research relevant to the past and to the present to provide a context for understanding  the legacies of Angela Davis. This  presentation will include  an interdisciplinary approach to evaluating and assessing the life of Angela Davis and the connections between Angela Davis and civil rights movements from earlier and more recent times.  Scheduled in the Reuter Center's Manheimer Room, this event is free and open to everyone.

Navigating a Dementia Diagnosis

Sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association of WNC (www.alz.org/northcarolina), this series of lectures will offer insight into this illness. Denise Young, regional manager of the Alzheimer’s Association of Western Carolina chapter will present along with area experts.  Scheduled Mondays, October 15, 22, and 29, 2-4pm in Reuter Center’s Room 206, the series is free and open to the public.

Midday Music with Pan Harmonia

Now in its 19th season, Asheville’s Pan Harmonia enjoys taking its music out of the concert hall and into unlikely spaces all around our community. Learn about the music and meet the musicians in informal conversation. Feel free to bring friends and your lunch. www.panharmonia.org

Friday, September 7, 2018, 1:30 p.m. Midday Music: It doesn’t fit in a box!   Discover Pan Harmonia’s 19th Season of captivating chamber concerts of contemporary, Celtic and Baroque music.  Flutist Kate Steinbeck, Baroque Master Barbara Weiss and Celtic bagpiper and bassoonist Rosalind Buda discuss how their music crosses boundaries and genres, both sonically and socially.

Friday, November 2, 2018, 1:30 p.m. • Midday Music: Music In the Middle (of Europe)  Discover the visual artists who inspired Johannes Brahms and his influence on Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů with flutist Kate Steinbeck.

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, October 26, 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.

OLLI Authors

OLLI Authors is a book talk series designed to recognize the many very talented poetry and prose writers among OLLI members.  OLLI Authors features readings by two published authors. On October 25, 5 p.m.  Joan Weiner and Ann Karson will be the featured writers, reading from their works. This series is free and open to the public. Click here to view the OLLI Authors List that reflects books written by OLLI members while members of the OLLI community.

Reuter Center Singers Holiday Concert

On Monday, December 10, 7 p.m., the Reuter Center Singers, OLLI's in-house choral group directed by Chuck Taft, will perform classical and popular holiday songs.  During this popular annual holiday concert you will enjoy and sing along with traditional carols.  Light refreshments will follow; donations to support the group are welcome.

Safe Driving Program

On Tuesdays, October 30, 11:45 a.m. - 4 p.m., OLLI, in partnership with AARP, will offer a Driver Safety refresher course designed to help mature drivers remain safely on today's faster highways with a myriad of challenges. The four-hour AARP Driver Safety course teaches valuable defensive driving techniques, highlights hazards particular to seniors, and provides a refresher about the rules of the road and tips for avoiding crashes.  The course is offered as a nationwide effort to keep drivers behind the wheel safely.  The cost of the course is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. To register, contact instructor Celeste Selwyn, 828-708-7404 or email csel@mindspring.com

 STEM Lectures

The theme for the upcoming STEM lectures is "STEM Activities on Campus."  These lectures will cover research both performed and in progress by UNC Asheville faculty and OLLI members.  In addition, it will cover faculty's research with students and outreach to the community.  Scheduled at 4:30 p.m. in the Reuter Center, this series is free and open to everyone.

Monday, September 10, Britt Lundgren, UNCA Physics Department, "Using Distant Quasars to Shed Light on the Invisible Properties of Galaxies"
Wednesday, September 26, Kevin Sanft, UNCA Computer Science Department, "Data, Science and Simulation"
Wednesday, October 10, Stan Schmidt, OLLI College for Seniors faculty, "The Fermi Plague"
Wednesday, October 24, Sam Kaplan, UNCA Mathematics Department, "Math Partnership with Asheville Public Housing"
Wednesday, November 14, Steve Rinsler, OLLI College for Seniors faculty, "Searching fo Plastic Man: From the 'Vis Medicatrix Naturae' to Regenerative Medicine"

Storytelling by Adam Booth

On Friday, October 26, 7-8:30 p.m., OLLI is delighted to partner with Friends of the Weaverville Library to offer a festive storytelling event featuring well-known storyteller Adam Booth.  Adam Booth’s original stories blend traditional mountain folklore, music, and awareness of contemporary Appalachia. He has been features at the International storytelling Center, the National Storytelling Conference, the National Storytelling Festival, the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, the National Academy of Medicine and has been a Spoken Word Resident at Banff Center (Alberta). He is a member of the Recording Academy and his recordings have received two Parents’ Choice Silver Honors and four Storytelling World Awards. He is a four time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest. He will present a program from his Appalachian 20th Century Series, a cycle of original neo-traditional stories about “our people and their situations.” Scheduled in the Reuter Center’s Manheimer Room, this event is free and open to everyone.

Symphony Talk

Symphony Talks are an entertaining and educational way to hear about the music to be performed at upcoming Asheville Symphony Orchestra (ASO) Masterworks Concerts.  The program begins with a presentation by Chip Kaufmann, who talks about the life and times of the featured composers.  ASO has just selected Darko Butorac as music director, and he will appear with the soloist for upcoming concerts to talk about how the orchestra prepares and to offer ways to listen to the performance. 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, September 14, 3 p.m. Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Prelude and “Liebestod,” Liszt’s Piano Concert No. 1, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, with George Li, piano soloist
  • Friday, October 12, 3 p.m. Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, “Turkish” and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 with Adele Anthony, violin soloist
  • Friday, November 16, 3 p.m. Bates’ Mothership, Ellington’s New World A-Comin’, Gershwin’s Variations on “I Go Rhythm,” Ellington’s Harlem and Gershwin’s An American in Paris, with Aaron Diehl, piano soloist

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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. All events are scheduled in the Manheimer Room, 7:30 p.m. - doors opening at 7 p.m.

September 11 - “Crisis in Venezuela.”Russell Crandall, a Davidson College Latin American specialist, who has published several books on the politics of the region, has served as principal director for the western hemisphere at the Defense Department, director for Andean affairs & security aide at the NSC. He’s been a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and has consulted for the World Bank, where he’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

October 2 - “Mexico and the US: A view of their Economic Intertwining.”Remedios Gomez Arnau, Consul General of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh.  Gómez Arnau previously headed Consulates in Atlanta and San Diego.  Prior to her consular service, she was the Academic Secretary and Associate Researcher at the Center for Research on North America from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.  Her research focused on U.S. foreign policy and the Mexico-U.S. relationship.

November 6 - “The New Silk Road: China’s Influence & Expansion into Africa.”with Lina Benabdallah, assistant professor of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University.  Her research and observations have been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times, Atlantic, New Republic, as well as in academic journals.  She recently joined the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China network as an executive board member.   At Wake Forest she teaches courses in international relations and African Studies.

December 4 - “Report from 90 miles south: Continuity & Change in a Post-Castro Cuba.”  Stan Dotson & Kim Christman.  Pastors, musicians, faith-based social justice advocates, and WNC natives Dotson and Christman have a two-decade history with Cuba. They are now in the middle of a 2-year stay on the island.  Presently based in Matanzas serving as leaders and chaplains of two churches, they are additionally engaged with secular local community groups focused on housing, leadership training, and the arts.

WAC members and UNCA students admitted without charge.  Single admission, $10.00. Co sponsored by WAC-WNC, OLLI, & the UNCA Political Science Department. For more details about programs, consult the WAC website.

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