Ready to spring into great ideas and inspired learning? Registration is now open for the spring semester at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College), which runs March 14–May 27, 2022. The semester features dozens of classes and programs covering a wide variety of topics. Classes are offered in-person on the Ringling College Museum Campus and online via the Zoom platform, covering a rich diversity of topics including art and music appreciation, health and well-being, global issues, ecology, philosophy, religion, culture and travel, and science. Course highlights include “The Secret Sauce of Personal Creativity,” “20th-Century Operas Everyone Should Know,” “Great Books of Inspiration,” and “The Spirituality of Nature.”
The Ringling College Museum Campus is at 1001 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Masks and physical distancing are required. To register for classes and lectures, visit OLLIatRinglingCollege.org, or call 941-309-5111.
Other highlights of the spring semester include:
Celebrating Florida’s Wild Wonders This all-day event inspired by the book The Wilder Heart of Florida features eight celebrated writers, poets, educators, environmentalists, architects, and artists. This in-person event is Friday, March 11, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. at the Ringling College Museum Campus. General admission is $125, which includes lunch and a complimentary reception.
Taste of OLLI Culinary expert John Dangaran offers a broad overview of wine and beer. Students will sample beers and wines paired with light bites prepared by Chef Kaytlin Dangaran at the Sarasota Art Museum’s Bistro. These in-person sessions take place on the Ringling College Museum Campus, Monday, June 6, 5–6 p.m. (featuring a brief history of beer, an overview on different methods and styles, and tastings of some historical beers that are still brewed and enjoyed today); and Wednesday, June 8, 5–6 p.m. (featuring a brief overview on the wine-making process, Old World versus New World, wine laws, terroir, and proper tasting techniques). General admission is $49 per lecture.
Connections This documentary film series, moderated by Julie Cotton, will feature films that explore the theme of “identity” and how it informs our sense of self and shapes how we present ourselves to the world. The spring semester film is: Found, a film that follows three adopted girls, born in China, who discover they are blood-related cousins through a DNA testing service. Monday, March 21, 2:30–4:30 p.m. Screened live at the Ringling College Museum Campus. Following the film, participants can engage in a discussion with the moderator and with one another about the film’s content and impact. Masks are required. General admission is $15.
Mary McLeod Bethune in the Sunshine State At the turn of the 20th century, Mary McLeod Bethune arrived in Daytona Beach with $1.50, looking to start a school. She overcame institutionalized racism, Ku Klux Klan threats, and the ills of segregation to establish what is now Bethune-Cookman University, changing the course of Florida history with relentless faith and dedication to equality. With Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston, an assistant professor of history at Howard University and the author of Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State. This online lecture is Thursday, March 17, 3–4 p.m. General admission is $15.
Can I See the Horns? Roots of Antisemitism: Why the Longest Hatred? Using degenerate artworks, this lecture demonstrates the historical background of antisemitism—the virus that mutates with every generation—and the insidious power of imagery in communicating the agenda of hatred, including Christian roots, the modern world, and contemporary racist images from Florida culture since the Civil War covering the Klan, Nazism, and restrictive covenants. With Marcia Jo Zerivitz, LHD, the founding executive director of the Jewish Museum of Florida–Florida International University. This online lecture is Wednesday, March 23, 3–4 p.m. General admission is $15.
The Restless Genius of Benjamin Franklin This talk will examine many of Benjamin Franklin's ideas to make life simpler, cheaper, and easier for himself and everyone else. It turns out that those ideas encompassed not only natural science and engineering, but also public works, civic improvements, political trail-blazing, and new business ideas. With Dr. Richard “Rick” Bell, professor of history at the University of Maryland and author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. This online lecture is Tuesday, April 5, 2:30–3:30 p.m. General admission is $15.
Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories Florida has the third-largest population in the nation and hosts the third-largest Jewish community. This presentation highlights stories with about 100 photos from the book Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories. Meet contemporary Floridian Jews who contribute much to the quality of life of Floridians and beyond—names that are recognized globally and pioneers who impacted history. With Marcia Jo Zerivitz, LHD, the founding executive director of the Jewish Museum of Florida–Florida International University. This online lecture is Monday, May 16, 3–4 p.m. General admission is $15.
Juneteenth: The Destruction of Slavery in the Civil War Over the course of four years, enslaved people worked to turn the Civil War into a freedom war. Slowly but surely, they pushed President Abraham Lincoln and his commanders in the field toward embracing emancipation as a war aim and compelled them to take the giant steps forward needed to abolish slavery once and for all. On June 19, 1865, the federal government finally met that objective, declaring slavery dead across the country. This momentous event marked a new birth of freedom—an occasion we now commemorate as Juneteenth. With Dr. Richard “Rick” Bell, professor of history at the University of Maryland and author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home. This online lecture is Thursday, May 19, 2:30–3:30 p.m. General admission is $15.
Presidents in Crisis: Their Response, Their Resolve, Their Leadership America has faced many crises, from its very beginning as a new nation, to the Civil War and the Great Depression, to World War II and the Cold War. The presidents during these crisis events met the challenge in different ways, but each one exhibited the qualities, the vision, and the leadership needed to persevere. This presentation examines the most notable presidents, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and more. With Dr. Michael Scheibach, an independent scholar who specializes in the history of the early Cold War and the author of five books on the impact of the atomic bomb on American society in the 1950s, including Alert America! — The Atomic Bomb and the Show That May Save Your Life. This online lecture is Wednesday, May 25, 3–4:30 p.m. General admission is $15.