SEASON SUBSCRIPTION: Lifelong Learning Institute Fall 2023

Wednesdays (*Some on Mondays); 1:00pm-3:00pm
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FEE: $50 for all lectures listed below.

Lectures take place from 1:00pm-3:00pm on the dates listed below.

Week 1 (Wednesday, September 13)

Van Young- American History Facts and Trivia – Part 1

An entertaining and educational presentation on various facts (both historical and unique) as well as trivia about our nation’s history. Covers everything from the founding fathers, entertainment, sports, and culture. Audience members are asked questions and there is lots of interaction. A fun time for all while learning about our great country.

Week 2 (Wednesday, September 20)

Gregg Montgomery- Apple iPhone/iPad

These classes will focus on Apple mobile devices, including iPhone and iPad. We will discuss basic topics for these devices including apps that come installed on the device such as the App Store, Safari, Messages, Camera, Photos, and more.

Week 3 ( Monday, September 25)

AJ Vanderelli- Vanderelli’s Room

For this session, I will discuss my work as a visual artist and curator. We will explore the connection between curation and facilitation and how they have influenced my artistic journey.

Week 3 (Wednesday, September 27)

Dave Cohen- World War II Combat Veterans

Experience the harrowing and heroic stories of eight World War II Combat Veterans who fought valiantly to keep our country free from tyranny.

Week 4 (Monday, October 2)

Alexis Wilson- Not So Black and White

At the age of 11, Alexis Wilson is abandoned by her biological mother and about to enter a journey with her father and his male lover that would reveal to her the true power of love. In this remarkable memoir, Alexis reveals her mother’s secret, growing up with same sex parents, her bi-racial heritage, and her life growing up in and around the Broadway and Ballet world. Her memoir, Not So Black and White, crescendos to a powerful close as she’s left with the prospect of two “parents” stricken with AIDS. She confronts the challenge with courage and leaves the reader filled with the infinite possibilities of the human spirit. In this class, Wilson will discuss her memoir, followed by a question and answer session.

Week 4 (Wednesday, October 4)

Jenny Merkowitz- The Life of a Composer

How does a composer go about deciding what kind of music to write and how to write it? This class will walk through the compositional process of Dr. Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz, professor of music at Otterbein University. She will tell the stories of three works from her catalog and play excerpts from them: The Cardiac Dance – The Spirals of Life, electronic music for a one-act ballet; Kate and the Beanstalk, for chamber orchestra to accompany a storybook for the Westerville Symphony’s Tunes and Tales program; and Phyllotaxis for flute and electronics. The presentation will culminate in a live performance of Phyllotaxis by Dr. Kimberlee Goodman, who commissioned the work.

Week 5 (Wednesday, October 11)

Eric Gnezda- A Behind the Scenes Look at Worthington’s National TV Show

When Eric Gnezda sat in what is now the Brownynn Theatre during high school, “listening” to his behavioral sciences teacher lecture, the last thing on his mind was that he would someday host a national TV show in that very room. Forty-eight years later, Eric would sit on that stage with Janis Ian as she sang her classic songs, “At Seventeen,” and “Jesse,” for a sold-out McConnell Center taping of his national PBS TV series, Songs at the Center. Other artists who have joined Eric on the show include John Oates, Rodney Crowell, Ray Stevens, Suzy Bogguss, Bruce Cockburn, Jim Brickman, and Delbert McClinton. “It’s an incredible story about dreams, persistence, faith…and a good business plan,” according to Jack FitzGerald, Eric’s long-time friend and Executive Producer of the series. “We’re very grateful that, against all odds in the TV business, the show continues to grow–in both the number of TV stations carrying it, and its enthusiastic national audience.” Now in its ninth season, the series has broadcast on 475 Public TV stations and channels in 47 states.

Week 6 (Wednesday, October 18)

Isaya Oleporuo- Growing Up Maasai

Isaya Oleporuo, a Maasai Warrior from a remote village in northern Tanzania, loves to share his culture with others.  In his interactive “Growing up Maasai” program you will learn about this peaceful, kind and sharing people who live in extended-family homes (bomas).  Maasai life has remained largely unchanged for the past several centuries.  The arts and its symbolism is very rich in Maasai culture.  Isaya will show and demonstrate their traditions, dress, beautiful jewelry (available for purchase to help the Maasai women), dance and song.  He will tell about the roles of elders, young men and women in their culture.  Boys learn from fathers about becoming warriors who are guardians of their cows and servant-leaders for their people.  In the past, girls have become wives and mothers at a very young age.  You will also learn about Isaya’s work to rescue young girls from forced childhood marriage and finding sponsors to help them further their education.

Week 7 (Wednesday, October 25)

Jeri Diehl-Cusack- Mona Lisa in Camelot

Soon after his inauguration, John Fitzgerald Kennedy made a state visit to France with his wife, Jackie. A decade earlier, Jaqueline Bouvier had spent her junior year of college studying in Paris and Grenoble, thus she both spoke fluent French and had an appreciation of French literature and culture. The Kennedys’ May 1961 trip was such a huge success that they soon reciprocated with an invitation for French diplomats to visit them at the White House in Washington, D.C. Over the next year, Jackie Kennedy used her considerable charm plus her skill as a hostess to entertain, cajole and ultimately persuade the government of France to allow Leonardo da Vinci’s 450+ year old masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, to be loaned to the President of the United States. The priceless painting arrived by ship on December 19, 1962, and in early 1963, “Mona Mania” and “Lisa Fever” gripped our nation. Nearly two million Americans viewed the Mona Lisa over 52 days of exhibition, first at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. and, later, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. JFK’s tragically abbreviated presidency was often likened to the tale of “Camelot”, especially by Jackie Kennedy. This enchanting story, inspired by Margaret Leslie Davis’ book with the same title, contributes to that legend.

Week 8 (Wednesday, November 1)

Rabbi Rick Kellner- Illuminated Prayerbooks

Jewish tradition has a history of publishing a siddur (prayerbook) and the Haggadah (the service for the Passover Seder) containing artwork. Such a book is called an Illuminated Siddur or Illuminated Haggadah. We will look at samples from Jewish history and discover how this tradition has been adapted into modern times through the creation of Visual T’filah (visual prayer).