Love to learn?

You’re in luck! The fall semester at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College) is September 30-November 22 and features more than 100 classes, workshops, lectures, and other programs covering a rich diversity of subjects, including art appreciation, culture and travel, health and well-being, global issues, science, philosophy, religion, digital art, studio arts, photography, sculpture, painting, and more. To register, click here or call 941-309-5111 for more information.

Janna Overstreet is the executive director of OLLI at Ringling College. Lifelong learning is both her passion and profession. She’s experienced the transformation it can bring to adult learners. According to Overstreet, OLLI’s upcoming move to the new Ringling College Museum Campus will take that transformation to a deeper level.

“The new, state-of-the-art campus is perfect, the central location is perfect, and the timing is perfect,” she says. “We’ll be opening an exciting, new chapter in what OLLI and Ringling College Continuing Studies can do for our community. Our entire team is thrilled to be a part of it.”

Overstreet explains that OLLI’s motto is “Stay Curious. Stay Connected.” “Curiosity, creativity, and learning are lifelong endeavors and, for the past 20 years, we have provided these types of opportunities to area residents,” she says. “The tremendous vision that the College and area donors had in supporting the rehabilitation of this iconic Sarasota building has resulted in a magnificent space where members of the community and visitors can explore learning in both the Museum and OLLI spaces.”

Overstreet adds that she doesn’t see lifelong learning as the abstract mastery of facts for their own sake.

“It’s a healthy mental exercise, yes, but that’s only part of it. The social aspect of lifelong learning is equally important,” says Overstreet. “That’s precisely what we’ll offer at the Ringling College Museum Campus. Our students and faculty will explore new worlds of intellectual investigations and creative possibilities. It’s a true community of learning—and that makes all the difference.”

Exclusive to this semester is the third annual Boomer Conference, featuring speakers and networking sessions that offer useful strategies on retirement’s social, financial, and practical implications. Keynote speaker Marianne Oehser, a certified retirement coach and author of Your Happiness Portfolio for Retirement: It’s Not About the Money, will challenge audiences to rethink their retirement expectations. Presenters and panelists include Robert Fulton, whose presentation “What’s Next,” will touch on letting go and refocusing; Judith Levine, whose presentation, “Retirement: Adolescence 2.0 (Without the Acne!),” will examine the pitfalls and pluses of finding a new identity; and Sandra Moulin, whose presentation, “Stage Fright,” explores confronting the unknown. Registration information can be found here.

This semester also includes the Reinvention Convention, a provocative series of discussions around aging, designed to encourage thought leadership, change minds, and instigate action by providing a platform for discourse on compelling age-related issues. Sponsored by the Friendship Centers, OLLI at Ringling College, and the Jewish Family and Children’s Services, the event features speakers Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design, and Hank Hine, the executive director of The Dalí Museum. (Friday, November 15, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on the Ringing College Museum Campus. Fee is $75 per person. For more information, call 941-556-3269.)

New this season is Science Wednesdays, a series of lectures exploring a broad range of sciences, including physics, biology, health, and medicine. The lectures are every Wednesday, October 30 to November 20, 1-2:30 p.m., on the Ringing College Museum Campus.  October 30: “What is the Universe Made Of?”  with Alex Beavers; November 6: “The Aging Brain—Realities and Opportunities” with Alan Grindal; November 13: “Separating Facts from Fiction Using Data” with Arnold Well; and November 20: “The Science of Fast Boats” with Steve Sandler.

Alex Beavers

A highlight of the fall semester is “Old Florida Captured in Oil: The Art of The Florida Highwaymen.” In this lecture, John McCarthy, the executive director of Gulf Coast Heritage Association and Historic Spanish Point, will speak about a group of African-American landscape artists in Florida, who created a body of work of more than 200,000 paintings, despite facing racial and cultural barriers. These outsider artists, unable to see their work in local galleries, sold paintings to roadside motels, real estate agents, and bankers. Using images from his personal collection, McCarthy will share the origins of this purely Florida genre of art, the techniques used by the artists, and what the art means to modern-day Floridians. To register, click here.

John McCarthy

The two Einstein’s Circles in fall include “What’s News? Says Who?” with moderator Mary Braxton-Joseph, an Emmy Award-winning TV journalist, who will speak about how news stories are developed, the importance of being first and accurate, the effects of political bias, and the dangers of social media becoming a primary source of information.

The second Einstein Circle is “Is Florida’s Criminal Justice System Broken?” with moderator Derek Byrd, a criminal defense attorney. Byrd will speak about Florida’s tough-on-crime laws and the need to reform Florida’s criminal justice system. For more information, click here.

OLLI at Ringling College’s fall documentary film series, “CONNECTIONS: Exploring Today’s Global Issues,” is an opportunity for students to connect to many of today’s pressing global issues via the penetrating perspectives of contemporary documentary films. The moderator of the series is Julie Cotton, a member of the Advisory Council’s Strategic Program Committee, executive coach, and aficionado of documentary films. The fall term features three films. Students may register for the entire series or for individual films. The films are shown on Tuesdays, 2:30-4:30 p.m., October 8 (“The Eagle Huntress”), October 29 (This is Home”), and November 19 (Living the Future’s Past”), on the Ringing College Museum Campus. Get your tickets here.

Classes, lectures, Einstein’s Circle discussions, the CONNECTIONS documentary film series, and other special events are held at the following locations: The Ringling College Museum Campus (1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota); The Center of Anna Maria Island (407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria); OLLI East (State College of Florida, Lakewood Ranch, 7131 Professional Parkway E.); Westminster Point Pleasant (1533 4th Ave. W., Bradenton); and Ringling College’s main campus (2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota). 

About Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College, or OLLI at Ringling College (formerly Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy), offers noncredit educational opportunities for adults to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons and enrich their lives. Courses cover a wide range of stimulating topics and are taught by scholars, retired faculty members, and professional practitioners in an engaging, collaborative manner. Visit www.olliatringlingcollege.org. 

About Ringling College of Art and Design
Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 12 disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. www.ringling.edu