On behalf the Board of Directors and our Executive Director, I am asking for your financial support for an important structural improvement at our Tallwood campus. At present the only access between the upper and lower levels of the campus is a stairway which can be difficult to traverse for those with limited mobility. In order to ensure easier access for all OLLI members, the Board of Directors has approved the construction of a ramp to replace the stairway.Due to the steepness of the terrain at the point of installation, construction of the ramp will cost in excess of $40,000. The Board expects to pay for this with a combination of operational and donated funds. For that reason, we have established the Tallwood Ramp Campaign to help defray the cost of the ramp and are asking for YOUR SUPPORT for this worthy cause. We need your help to make this important improvement a reality.
If you wish to contribute to the Tallwood Ramp Campaign, you must designate your contribution by writing “Tallwood Ramp Campaign” in the memo line of your check payable to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, or, if paying online, select “Tallwood Ramp Campaign” in the Type field on the donation page. Please contact Karen Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
A recent OLLI Trip took 24 members to the Special Collections and Research Center at the Finley Library on the George Mason University campus, where we were treated to a display of representative objects from their extensive collections. There was a deed of land from England dated in the fourteenth century in an indecipherable Old English font; a set of C-Span papers from a collection spanning 30 years donated to the library for digitization; a copy of Madame Bovary in a first edition; the complete set of bobbleheads of the Mason basketball starting five from the 2006 team that went to the NCAA Final Four; and a bound book of musical selections from a collection originally belonging to Julia Ward Howe, the composer of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” And all this and more was available for us to view and touch in the first fifteen minutes of our tour. It got better from there.
The Special Collection librarians explained how the collection began in 1972, how it has grown through donations and selective purchases, how it is slowly being digitized, and the methods available to the general public to access and research the holdings. We were treated to a tour of the facility, including the reading room, the work areas, the holding area, and closed stacks (brrr, the latter are held at 61 degrees).
The Special Collections has a massive collection of (1) theater memorabilia: from the Federal Theater Project, from a donor’s extensive Gilbert and Sullivan collection, and from Arena Stage; (2) Items and letters from the Civil War and from the Vietnam War era; (3) Aerial maps of Prince William County taken at 10 year intervals. The variety of objects is remarkable. We also visited the current SCRC exhibition space, which consists of eight display cases, each one filled with the personal special picks from a member of the staff.
Thanks to Lynn Eaton of the SCRC and her staff and to our own OLLI program planners who arranged the tour. (Photos by Ed Marion)
The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, August 17, at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for socializing in the Annex. Program activities begin at 1:00 in TA‑1.
Digital Literacy: TV and Beyond - Presented by Douglas Povich
Digital Literacy is the set of skills needed to survive in the Information Age. It requires understanding the vast and ever-changing array of information sources, how to manage or cope with technology delivering the information, and how to make sense of the huge amount of information that we are subjected to each day (e.g., television, radio, newspapers, magazines, social media and the internet) – all increasingly important and necessary sources of information. This presentation discusses how to evaluate the information sources and delivery technologies available today with a goal of helping you to effectively use technology to find, identify, critically analyze, and use information in the digital age.
Douglas Povich is a management analyst in the Communications Policy and Regulation Division of Fairfax County’s Department of Cable and Consumer Services. Before joining the county in 2017, Doug practiced telecommunications and technology law for over 30 years.
Learn in 30: More Power To You – Presented by John Krout
This is a sequel to John's February 2019 presentation on Power Banks, which are portable hand‑held batteries with USB sockets for charging devices such as smart phones and tablets. This presentation addresses charging laptop computers and USB devices while in cars, airports, and even airplanes. You will learn about and see a variety of inexpensive solutions for both AC power and USB power in cars, abundant AC and USB power from a single AC socket in airports, and even the beginnings of a portable AC solution for laptop recharging on airplanes.
See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2019 will be collected at this meeting.
Can't make the meeting in person? Dues-paid club members may attend via Zoom's cloud meeting service, beginning at 12:45. Send a message to email@example.com if you plan to attend in this way. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android: https://zoom.us/j/519103813 (meeting ID 519 103 813).
Literature, Theater, and Writing/Languages Program Planning Group Meeting
By Rala Stone, Literature, Theater, and Writing/Languages Co-chair
To all our OLLI literature/theater/writing/languages enthusiasts: Please join us.
Literature, Theater, and Writing/Languages Program Planning Group meeting.
Thursday, September 5, 10:30 - 12:00.
We value your feedback and need your talents and input.
To ensure that our program continues to grow and improve, we need your help. Come join us as we look back on the spring and summer classes, preview what's on deck for the fall, and most important, plan for the winter and spring terms. Part of the fun of belonging to a volunteer organization is getting involved with people with whom you share common interests and feeling pride in a program that you have helped to build. We are looking for ideas for new classes and/or any contacts that you may have who might be willing to teach a class. We encourage you to bring an OLLI friend who you know has an interest in these areas.
If you cannot be present at the meeting but have suggestions or new ideas, please contact any member of the committee. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
The thirty-two OLLI members and guests who attended our first annual trip to the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, on Sunday, July 28, were not disappointed. Some of the group is shown in the accompanying photo (by Linda Harber). We were busy planning our second annual trip to CATF in 2020 even before we left for home.
The first play we attended, My Lord, What a Night by Debra Brevoort, was the most attended show ever in the Festival’s 29-year history; we were fortunate enough to have been part of that history-making event. Ed Herendeen, CATF founder, had the extreme privilege to visit Albert Einstein’s home (closed to visitors) as part of his preparation for directing the show. Sitting in Einstein’s study enabled him to create a near replica as the setting for the play. The story tells of the friendship Einstein forged with Marian Anderson in the 1930s. The themes of racial injustice and civil rights prevalent in the show are as timely today as they were then.
Our second play, Support Group for Men, is a comedy, set in Chicago, about men – men in crisis – written by a woman, playwright Ellen Fairey. In an interview, she describes the play thusly: “The word that best describes the men in the play is ‘tender,’ a word not often associated with men. These characters care enough about each other to create a support group that they call their 'sacred space of safety. We are brothers … we are only here to bear witness … it’s what we do.’”
Our thanks to Jeanne Muir of CATF staff who worked with us and the college cafeteria to set up a first (maybe not the last) sandwich bar ever just for OLLI.
By Rosemary Lubinski, Board Member and Outreach Committee Chair
To maintain our vibrant and stimulating programming and audience, we need to attract more members to OLLI. One way to do this is through the Outreach Committee. If you have ideas on how to attract more members or want to participate in outreach programming activities, please join us for our first Outreach Committee meeting of the fall term on Tuesday, September 10, at 10:00 in TA‑1. Former and new members are sincerely welcome.
Remember that each time you tell a friend or acquaintance about OLLI, you are doing outreach. You are an OLLI ambassador. This summer tell a friend about OLLI’s eclectic, thought-provoking programs and the socialization opportunities they provide. Tell friends your story of what you do at OLLI and what it has meant to you. Your enthusiasm is the single best-selling point about OLLI. Help spread the news that OLLI is a treasure to our community. You may also earn an incentive for engaging new members this fall.
If you have questions or suggestions or would like to join the committee, please contact Rosemary Lubinski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every ambassador is helpful, and every suggestion is welcome.
By Camille Hodges, Humanities and Social Sciences Program Planning Group Co-chair
You have no doubt heard of the Harlem Renaissance, but have you heard of the “Pittsburgh Renaissance?” Otherwise known as “The Other Great Black Renaissance,” this period in American history will be thoroughly covered in the fall OLLI course based on the book The Untold Story of Smoketown by Mark Whitaker. Mason professors will discuss the philosophies of W.E.B. DuBois and Alain Locke. Other presenters will share black cultural contributions in the fields of music, baseball, news media, and the arts including works of the playwright August Wilson.
This “not to be missed” OLLI course will be held at the Stacy Sherwood Community Center located on Old Lee Highway in Fairfax. A full description is found in the Other Topics section (F906) of the fall 2019 catalog. The course is titled “The Pittsburgh Renaissance: An Interdisciplinary Approach” and will run from September 26 through November 14.
Dance Leaders Share Insights into Dance from Classic to Contemporary
By Norma Jean Reck and Lea Edwards, Dance Class Coordinators
A panel composed of three outstanding Northern Virginia dance leaders shared their passion for and extensive knowledge about dance from classic ballet to jazz to contemporary, at OLLI on July 24. Marilyn York of Dancin’ Unlimited Jazz Dance Company teamed up with Tish Cordova of Virginia Ballet School and Stephanie Dorrycott of MotionXDanceDC (middle, left, and right, respectively, in the photo, by Lea Edwards) to present an exciting program enlivened with videos to illustrate a point.
Each panelist focused on three questions: How have classic dance styles evolved toward today’s contemporary styles? What’s the process for creating choreography? How do we push the boundaries, yet meet challenges of preserving the classics, whether it’s ballet, jazz, or modern dance?They all agreed that, for a dancer, having taken ballet as a foundation is a must. Cordova gave a thumbnail sketch of the beginnings of ballet in the 1600s to its introduction to the U.S. in the early 1900s. One of her video clips showed Anna Pavlova in TheDying Swan, first performed in 1905, to a contemporary Adagio duet performed to a Mozart composition.
Dorrycott highlighted the growth of modern dance from Martha Graham to contemporary fusions of fluid yet athletic movements, followed by a video of her company’s contemporary choreography.
York explained jazz dance as a concert dance style in addition to its Broadway, Hollywood, and TV choreography. Her video featured clips from her annual production of Dancin’ on Broadway.
A fascinating moment came when a film prepared especially for our OLLI class showed how each dancer – jazz, ballet, and modern – choreographed her interpretation of the same 32 counts of music.
Upcoming performance opportunities for dance aficionados include:
- Dancin’ on Broadway by Dancin’ Unlimited, November 9-10;
- Nutcracker by Virginia Ballet in December;
- Annual holiday by Encore Theatrical Arts Project in December;
- DanceFest by Virginia Dance Coalition members in January;
- MotionXDanceDC production in February;
- Annual jazz and tap dance festival by Dancin’ Unlimited and collaborating companies in March.
Noontime, downtown D.C.
Alto sax notes floating, flying
At the corner of Tenth and E
Croon to, soothe downtown D.C.
Serenading Tenth and E
Hearts and minds in knots unwinding
Noontime in downtown D.C.
Hearts with sax notes floating, flying
Triolet: an eight-line poem whose first two lines reappear as the sense and sound of the last two lines, while the first line reappears in the fourth.
For tickets for either Center for the Arts Concert Hall (CFA) or Hylton Center, call 1-888-945-2468, buy tickets online through the event calendar (see links below), or visit the venue's box office. For more information, see the CFA ticket pageor the Hylton Centerticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues
The Singing Sergeants
Fri, Aug 2, 8:00
OLLI Players: Anthony and Cleopatra in Space!
Sat, Aug 3 and Sun, Aug 4, 3:30
Festival de Niños 2019
Sun, Aug 4, 4:30
Concert Hall Admission: $20 Adults; $10 children under 12.
Washington Concert Society: A Summer Night's Dream Sun, Aug 11, 5:00 Harris Theatre Admission: $20.
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, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc..
Sat Aug 3 – Fri Aug 16 OLLI Closed for Summer Break
Fri Aug 9
Craft & Conversation–City of Fairfax Regional Library Room 103
Fri Aug 16
Craft & Conversation–City of Fairfax Regional Library Room 103
Sat Aug 17
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Personal Computer User Group–TA-1
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.