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.

AARP High Cost of Rx: A Forum Discussion

If you are worried about affording the medications your doctors prescribe, you are not alone. The price of brand-named drugs continues to skyrocket, outpacing inflation by around 400 percent in recent years.  That is why AARP in the Mountain Region and community partners are hosting a forum to help you reign in soaring prescription drug prices. On Thursday, Aug 29, 10 a.m. to noon, learn about strategies to lower your prices and ways we, as voters, can fight for more affordable medications. AARP will be joined by representatives of the NC General Assembly, the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, and pharmacist at the Mountain Area Health Education Center.

Advance Care Planning

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville will hold an advance care planning (ACP) workshop on Thursday, October 17, 2019, 7-9 p.m.  The workshop will feature a panel whose members are experienced in addressing end-of-life issues. The 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. 

Here’s how to have your Advanced Directive (AD) added to the Mission Medical Record. Click here for a permission form; if you have not been a patient at Mission, fill it out. Get a copy of the notarized AD and a completed permission form (if needed) to Advance Care Planning at Mission by one of the following options: either ask a Mission representative at a workshop to do it, or, use the information at the bottom of the permission form to transmit the forms, by mail, fax, or email attachments.

The workshop will take place in the Reuter Center on the UNCA campus, at the north end of the campus map (Click Here to see map). This workshop is free and open to everyone, adults of all ages. Co-sponsored by OLLI and Mission Health Partners. For more information, call OLLI, 828.251.6140 or email  olli@unca.eduClick here to view an event flier.   

  • Thursday, October 17, 2019, 7-9 p.m.

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Astronomy Club of Asheville

The Astronomy Club of Asheville meets the first Thursday of each month, from 7- 9 p.m., (except for January and July), with an interesting lineup of speakers and topics. OLLI members may attend the club meetings and stargazes, 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 August 1, September 5, and October 3, and December 5, 2019 (please note November 7th meeting will be held at an alternative location on UNC Asheville Campus). 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 $8 at the door; mark your calendar for:

  • Sunday, September 1 at 2:30 PM - Arms And The Man by George Bernard Shaw. Directed by Jim Reid.
  • Sunday, September 29 at 2:30 PM - Einstein And The Polar Bear by Tom Griffin. Directed by Ellen Pappas.

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 13, October 25, and December 6, 1:30 p.m.  For more information on NC Stage, click here to visit their website.

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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 8, October 13, and November 10, 2019.  For more information please visit: 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 27*, October 18, November 15, and December 20, 2019, 5-6:30 p.m. facilitated by Thirdmessenger’s Karen Sanders, Greg Lathrop, and Sa’id Osio. You can learn more about Death Café by visiting: deathcafe.com/thirdmessenger.com and facebook.com/deathcafeasheville

*please note the date change for September 27

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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, will resume again on September 17, 2019, 7 p.m., at the Reuter Center. Programs are free and open to the public.  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 20: The Opioid Crisis in Older Adults, with Blake Fagan
    This presentation includes an overview of the opioid crisis on both a national and local level, paying special attention to why and how the crisis has had an impact on older adults. We will also address how to safely treat acute and chronic pain and substance use disorders. Blake Fagan is the chief education officer and a family physician at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville. He is also a clinical consultant for the opioid crisis at the CDC Foundation in North Carolina. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

  • September 27: Shelton House - A Look Into WNC History, Heritage, and Crafts

The Shelton House, in Waynesville, NC, has a rich and vibrant history.  In 1979, it became the first property in Haywood County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Charleston-style farmhouse was constructed beginning in 1875. Today, the Shelton House is a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Site, home to collections showcasing Appalachian agricultural living, Native American crafts, and North Carolina handicrafts; the site also provides insights to Western North Carolina’s Revolutionary War and Civil War history. For this presentation, a representative from the Shelton House will be discussing the Shelton family history and the heritage crafts displayed throughout the museum, barn, and grounds. Join us for a look into the fascinating world of traditional Western North Carolina artistry and craftwork and hear how the house has developed through the years. 

  • October 4: Eat Well, Move Well, and Be Well After 50, with Christine Rosenbloom

Most people want to remain independent as they age, and this presentation will help you understand the latest science on how to be functionally fit and vibrant in our 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. Topics include food choices and eating styles, how much protein to eat to build and protect muscle, key vitamins and minerals for optimal aging, and the types and amounts of exercise to do to beat the Grim Reaper. The speaker, Christine Rosenbloom, is a nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University. Her book, Food & Fitness After 50, with co-author Dr. Bob Murray, empowers aging adults to eat and move well. She consults with food and nutrition companies and disseminates her message on healthy aging through presentations, webinars, and podcasts. Her weekly blog, “Fit to Eat,” features inspiring stories of older adults on their path to optimal aging. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

  • October 11:  Tribute to American Steam Locomotive History with Original Songs, with Carol Gibson

Join Carol Gibson, author, songwriter, educator and railroad historian, for an entertaining and informative ride through American railroad history. Relive the history of steam locomotives through music, lyrics, and relevant historic photographs. Carol is a renowned songwriter and historian who has written and recorded songs in styles ranging from blues, country/bluegrass, folk, barbershop, gospel and jazz, all sung and played by local professional talent. Get a vivid feel for the locomotive era and a renewed appreciation for the railroad in American history.

  • October 18: Urinary Incontinence Is Not a Normal Part of Aging - with Dr. Brian Cohen

This talk will provide a discussion of common bladder and urinary issues encountered by men and women as aging occurs and treatment options for these issues. Dr. Brian Cohen is a board certified urologist in Asheville’s Mission Hospital Urology Department with a subspecialty in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive urology. He has been in practice for 11 years and treats both men and women with a variety of urologic issues. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

  • October 25: Exxon Valdese & Gulf Oil Spills Environmental Impact, Can Oil Spills Have a Silver Lining? – with Roger Helm

Roger Helm holds a master’s degree in biology from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and a doctorate in biological ecology from the University of California Davis and has 30 years of experience studying and writing about marine vertebrate ecology and human impacts on these animals. In this talk he will discuss how federal, state, and tribal governments worked in unison to hold accountable those companies responsible for the release of oil and toxic chemicals into the environment. Spanning the period from the 1988 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska to the 2010 British Petroleum oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, Helm will explain how scientists, attorneys, and economists from the government collaborated to secure the needed funding from polluters to restore injured plants, animals, and habitat.  This is a good news story describing a period when governments functioned effectively in ensuring the public was fairly compensated by polluting companies and injured public natural resources were restored.

  • November 1: Strategies and Tips on How to be Your Own Best Advocate in Health Care Situations, with Karen Sanders

Fragmentation in our healthcare system requires a very active role for individuals to advocate for themselves and/or family members to ensure that key information, goals, and wishes are communicated consistently across providers. Building on several decades of experience in healthcare systems in North Carolina, speaker Karen Sanders identifies principles and strategies she has used for her clients, as well as those she has taught in her OLLI classes, for helping you get the care you need and deserve to help you be your own best advocate. Sanders has 40 years of nursing experience in multiple clinical and leadership positions. She is an RN Patient Advocate, owner/founder of RN Patient Advocacy NC LLC and holistic nurse coach. This lecture is part of the Health Education Series.

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Fall Member Social

Join your OLLI friends for the Fall Member Social. Take this opportunity to socialize, enjoy delicious food, drinks and a few other surprises as part of our Appalachian theme term. 

  • Monday, October 28 at 4 p.m.

Midday Music with Pan Harmonia

Now in its 20th 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. To learn more, visit: www.panharmonia.org

 • Friday, November 1, 2019, 2 p.m.  • Midday Music, Open rehearsal and interactive audience discussion: In celebration of its upcoming 20th season, Pan Harmonia has commissioned composer Dosia McKay to write a 13-15 minute three-movement work for voice, flute, bassoon, and guitar. This piece, composed and performed by women artists, sets to music words by women writers from North Carolina on themes of timely significance, specifically focusing on inclusivity and exclusivity regarding cultural, economic, and gender issues. This innovative work for the chamber music repertoire and for the citizens of North Carolina has been funded by an NCAC Program Support grant and private donors.

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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, September 13, 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.

  • Friday, September 13, 2-4 p.m.

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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 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.”

Friday, September 13, 10 a.m.

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 Thursday, October 17, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.  OLLI Members 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.

  • October 17, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.  Kay Duncan and Paul “Schepp” Scheberle will be the featured writers, reading from their works.

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Safe Driving Program

Do you know the three most dangerous driving concerns for drivers over 50? What is the # 1 cause of accidents in North Carolina? Are roundabouts safer or just a confusing mess?

The AARP Smart Driver course is the first, research based refresher course designed specifically for  drivers 50+. It addresses these and other questions and covers the basics of “What’s Changing”, which is everything from cars, roads, and traffic patterns to, of course, all of us! There is no “behind the wheel” time to worry about, no one is assessing your abilities, and there are no tests to take. This is a one day, four hour offering. Cost is $15 to AARP members, $20 non-members (It is not necessary to be an OLLI member to sign up for this course). To register for the session, contact instructor Celeste Selwyn, 828-708-7404 or email at: csel@mindspring.com

  • November 12, 12:30 pm - 5 pm

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. The theme for the 2019-20 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer and Math) Lecture Series is “Science vs. Science Denial.”  This series of lectures is especially important in light of the current climate of science denial. It is more important than ever to emphasize the benefits we receive from science and technology, and to expose the detrimental effects of denying science.

Monday, September 23, 4:30 p.m.  Howard Jaslow, OLLI, "Science vs. Science Denial"
Monday, October 7, 4:30 p.m. Don Martin, OLLI, "Value and Importance of Science"
Tuesday, October 22, 4:30 p.m. Michael Wang, OLLI, "Basic Science and Medicine"
Wednesday, November 6, 4:30 p.m. Hermann Gucinski, OLLI, "Climate Change vs. Climate Deniers"

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Symphony Talk

Symphony Talks are an entertaining and educational way to hear about the music to be performed at the 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, October 18, 3 p.m. “Fright Night”: Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Anna Clyne’s Masquerade, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and Michael Daughterty’s Dead with bassoon soloist Michael Burns.
  • Friday, November 15, 3 p.m. “From Russia with Love”: Glinka’s overture from Ruslan and Lyudmila, Lalo’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, with cello soloist Zlatomir Fung.

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Reuter Center Singers Holiday Concert

The Reuter Center Singers, OLLI's in-house choral group directed by Chuck Taft, study and perform classical, popular and show tunes.  In this very special Holiday Concert, enjoy and sing along with traditional carols.  Light refreshments follow.  The performance is free, but donations are welcome.
• Monday, December 9, 7 p.m.

WNC History Association Lecture

The mission of the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) is the preservation and promotion of the history of Western North Carolina through the care, interpretation, and presentation of the Smith-McDowell House, the education of the public through lectures, exhibitions, publications, and related events and the facilitation of cooperation among regional historical organizations.  A $5 donation is requested at the door (WNCHA members are free).

 (Stay tuned for more information!)

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 10
  • October 1
  • November 5
  • December 3

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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