The regular meeting of the OLLI Board of Directors was held Friday July 17. The meeting was opened by President Paul Howard reviewing the discounted $300 annual-membership fee being offered as an incentive for new members and people returning to membership after a year or more absence. The expectation is that OLLI will gain new members in our community who will add to both the revenue stream and committee volunteers. Paul appointed Peter Ansoff as Parliamentary Advisor.
Executive Director Jennifer Disano reported a current total membership of 1,049 with 1,037 full memberships and 12 trial members. She also reported that one person has already taken advantage of the discounted membership fee. The staff will be completing safe-return training given by Mason in preparation for an eventual return to the campus. There will shortly be a survey sent to members about their experience with Zoom and the summer session.
Three resolutions were approved by the Board:
Resolution 200717-01—The OLLI Board of Directors approves the 2021 Budget Guidelines and Assumptions.
Resolution 200717-02—The Board resolves, access to electronically-presented classes shall be restricted to dues-paid members, paid promotional opportunities, limited trial sessions of the sort covered by current on-site policies, or limited “open to the public” sessions. Access to class and other recordings shall be similarly restricted.
Resolution 200717-03—The OLLI Board will establish an ad hoc committee to research alternatives to our current course catalog. The ad hoc committee will report their recommendations to the Board for further action.
One of the realities of living in northern Virginia is that traffic sometimes dictates what we do and more importantly what we do not do. How often do we think: I’d really like to go to that program or event, but it would mean getting stuck in traffic? I know it is a factor for many OLLI members. With three campuses in Fairfax and Loudoun County, OLLI offers a wide variety of exciting and interesting courses. The problem is that one sometimes finds an interesting course at the Loudoun campus but that’s a long way from Fairfax. Or I recommend OLLI to a friend who lives in Arlington and they reply, “I’m interested, but the Mason campus is a long way to go in heavy traffic.”
It’s hard to imagine that anything positive could come out of the COVID‑19 social distancing and shutdowns, but for OLLI this has been a challenge that has turned into an opportunity. Thanks to the Internet, we have discovered that it is still possible to be engaged in the stimulating and informative programs that OLLI offers from our computers and other devices. While we all miss the social aspects and look forward to the time when it is safe to meet in person, many of us have found OLLI’s on-line courses meet an important need in our lives, particularly during this period of social isolation.
For the foreseeable future, OLLI will be holding all of its classes on-line. This means that traffic won’t matter, and that distance won’t be a factor. What better time to spread the word about OLLI membership with friends and family far and wide? OLLI offers a wide range of courses in the arts and music, including on-line concerts by the talented faculty and students of Mason’s School of Music or a virtual tour of the National Portrait Gallery. Or you can find out more about practical matters like selling your home as a mature person, estate planning, or protecting yourself from identity theft. Is history your passion? Do you love literature? Do you want to learn or brush up on a foreign language? OLLI has a range of courses to suit your interests.
To view the OLLI fall-term catalog, visit the OLLI website at: olli.gmu.edu. Registration begins on August 18.
By Doris Bloch and Janet Porter, Group Coordinators
The Craft and Conversation Group, fondly known as C&C, meets every Friday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 in a Zoom session. We intend to continue meeting throughout the early August OLLI time-out and beyond, and we love having new members drop in. You don’t need to register for the group right now—no commitments required—just look for the link in the OLLI weekly calendar and logon. Introduce yourself or not; chime in or not; it is your choice.
What do we do on Friday mornings? Obviously, we create and chat—sometimes. Some of us are into needle arts of all types while still others are involved in more artistic endeavors. We admire and encourage each other’s progress—or if no progress or project is visible, we still can chat! Welcome to our group.
Theater Tidbits By Norma Jean Reck, Theater Lovers’ Group CoordinatorJust in case you haven’t heard the “official” song of quarantine, click here for Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys performing I Ain’t Been Nowhere. Get ready to smile and sing along. I’m sure we can all relate to the lyrics and maybe even add a few of our own.
On Saturday, July 25, The Contemporary American Theater Festival’s CATFUNMUTED will present its last two episodes at 12:00 and 5:00. At noon, CATF founder Ed Herendeen and Artistic Director Peg McKowen will discuss the making of The House of the Negro Insane. You will discover the scenery design and sketches that take you back to Oklahoma in 1935, watch a scene from the play, and participate in a live chat with Terence Anthony, the playwright.
At 5:00, Herendeen and McGowen will discuss playwright Victor Lesniewski’s The Fifth Domain, which asks, “Just how secure is our country’s cybersecurity?” After a peek into this very timely show, you will be able to chat live with the playwright.
The sessions are free. To register, log on to www.catf.org, go to CATFUNMUTED, click on UNMUTED and follow directions to register, or phone 304-876-3473. You will be sent a Zoom address about 15 minutes before the session starts.
What’s summer without a picnic in the park! Enjoy a pre-packaged picnic prepared by Wolf Trap’s executive chef and catering team. You can sit at a table on the Ovations deck or at your favorite spot around the park. Wolf Trap has a wide variety of summer offerings, including Park Pop-Ups series, Opera Untrapped online, virtual happy hours, drive-in musical movies, and much more. Go to www.wolftrap.org to view the calendar of events or phone 703-255-4030.
Ever optimistic, Arena Stage has announced its 2020-21 season, which begins in January 2021 with the world premiere of Celia and Fidel by Eduardo Machado. Next is Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond, which is followed by a musical, August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. They will round out the season with American Prophet Frederick Douglass: In His Own Words, by Charles Randolph Wright and Marcus Hummon, and a musical Life After, by Britta Johnson. Go to arena.org for more information.
Join us for our next Photography Club meeting, starting at noon on Friday July 24.
Lou Mazzatenta will present “Madrid–the Change in Spain.”
He will take the group on an assignment to Madrid, Spain, that he photographed for National Geographic 35 years ago. Life there was going through an explosion of creativity after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco and the beginning of a democracy.
We will also be reviewing this month’s field trip images as well as new additions to the “one photo per week” gallery. Reminder: it is not too late to upload (up to five) recently taken field trip photos from either Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, sunflowers, or from another closer in garden, or even from your own backyard.
Reminder to rename your photos:
LastnameFirstInitial – [Seq No.] – [Title] – [YYYYMMDD] – [Photo ID].
Here is the link to the OLLI Photography Club upload page: OPC Upload Page;
Password – D52U.
At this time we also encourage everyone to give some thought to any photography questions or topics that you are particularly interested in hearing or learning about at a future meeting. Send your ideas to either of the following:
Some say it’s all over,
Three months of quarantine,
Has successfully defeated,
The evil COVID-19.
Now like drowsy bears in spring,
We emerge from hibernation,
To leave behind the unpleasantness,
Of our COVID isolation.
But life is not that easy,
For we the huddled masses.
Seems like such unpleasantness,
Is a lot like death and taxes.
Yes, when you go shopping,
You still must cover your face,
And maintain all around you,
Six feet of private space.
And if you shop in some stores,
Management says be sure,
To walk within the foot prints,
Stenciled neatly on the floor.
True, ladies can get their hair done,
Stylings most flamboyant,
But only if a month before,
They’ve made a prior appointment.
And through it all we must maintain,
Social distance quite unvaried,
(Just like my wife declared to me,
Before we two got married.)
Yes, COVID has played havoc,
Made our lives an awful plight,
Work at home, school online,
And no movies Friday night.
Such changes can be wrenching,
Yet challenges we must meet,
Lest COVID wreak its fatal ways,
Upon the aged and the weak.
I heartily applaud such action,
It’s courage good and true,
And I hope that it continues,
Because I’m 82!
Although Mason’s campus is shut down, online entertainment continues for us to access and enjoy. Dr. Linda Apple Monson produces a periodic “Notes from the Director.” This email is full of interesting online performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music. If you would like to receive these bulletins, just send an email to Brianna Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the Center for the Arts has a website Mason Arts at Home which has a calendar of online events.
Please note: Physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled until further notice in accordance with Mason’s guidelines. OLLI is conducting its classes and activities online. Refer to the university’s coronavirus website for official university updates and check the OLLI Calendar for revised information.
The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office, with direct web links added when available. The list is accurate as of mid-week but for the most up-to-date information, please view the latest forecast of coming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend (online), meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc.
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Chief Editor: Paul Van Hemel
Associate Editor: David Gundry
Weekly Editor Team: David Gundry, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel Proofreaders: Rebecca Jann, Susan Van Hemel, Linda Randall, Tom Appich, Roz Stark,
Backup Chief Editor: Alice Slayton Clark
Submissions: Members are encouraged to submit letters to the editor, letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (on etiquette matters), OLLI-related news items, articles, and photos. Submit material to: email@example.com. Deadline: Tuesday, 6:00, for that week’s issue (Monday, 6:00, for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words. Note: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News on the DocStore. To search the content of issues, use Search Our Site or put your search term in Google followed by “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes.