Newport/Derby/Stanstead Lecture Series

Fall 2017

Lectures are scheduled for Wednesdays beginning promptly at 1:00 p.m. Lectures will be in the Conference Room at the Hebard State Office Building 2nd Floor, 100 Main Street in Newport, VT. Site is handicap accessible with ample parking.


Wednesday – September 13, 2017

Travel in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility; or, How Ever Did They Get from Place to Place in Regency England? The Roads! The Carriages! The Highwaymen!

Deborah Barnum, Vermont Region, Jane Austen Society of America

If you think nothing ever happens in Jane Austen, you might be surprised to learn how busy her characters are traveling across all of southern England and into London! Travel in Regency England was an arduous undertaking, and we readers in the 21st century have to puzzle out the details of the road system, the various modes of travel, and the economics of it all. In Sense and Sensibility (1811), Austen gives hints about each character based on how, in what, and where they travel. Join us for a visual journey through the various carriages and a trek through Austen’s London to enhance your appreciation of Sense and Sensibility as well as Austen’s other writings.


Wednesday – September 20, 2017

Community Orchestras of Vermont

Ken Michelli, Music Director and Conductor of the Newport Area Community Orchestra

***Note: this presentation will take place at the United Church of Newport, 63 Third Street in Newport***

Ken will discuss the community orchestras of Vermont and their histories. The presentation will be followed by a musical performance by members of the orchestra.


Wednesday – September 27, 2017

Changing Climate and Changing Forests: How Our Forests Respond to New Stressors

Jared Nunnery, Orleans County Forester

Our climate is changing, and we experience these changes regularly in the form of extreme weather events. This talk will examine recent weather extremes, review the predictions of climatic change in the future, the cause of these changes, and discuss how forests of northern Vermont and southern Quebec are likely to respond.


Wednesday – October 4, 2017

First Lady Grace Coolidge: What was her Influence and Image?

Cyndy Bittinger, Faculty, the Community College of Vermont; Historian and Author

In October of 2013, Cyndy Bittinger was asked to be an on air guest at CSPAN for their series: First Ladies: Influence and Image. Her subject was Vermont’s only first lady, Grace Goodhue Coolidge. Did Grace Coolidge influence her husband, her family, the administration, or the nation? What was her image? As one of the youngest couples to live in the White House, how did they respond to the Roaring Twenties? And when tragedy struck her family, how did she respond? The Grace Coolidge story is moving and uplifting and for the most part unknown.


Wednesday – October 11, 2017

A Brief History of the Wine-Climate Connection

Kendall Lambert, Environmentalist

People have grown grapes and made wine for millennia, but not in the same ways, for the same reasons, or with the same goal. With a focus on the effects of climate on wine production, this talk will explore the history of wine grapes growing from the ancient vines that climbed trees in Mesopotamia, through to Roman trellises, and to the wide diversity of vines and wines we see spread all over the world today. By introducing basic grape growing and wine making techniques, we will examine the profound impact of climate on our current wine production and begin to look at the effects climate change will have on the global wine regions we have come to know and love.


Wednesday – October 18, 2017

The Black Bear: Nature’s Voracious Eater

Kurt J. Valenta, Educator, Naturalist

The smallest of three bear species found in North America, the Black Bear lives in a wide variety of habitats. They move with a lumbering grace and stealth that belies their size. Part of many children’s tales, the fiercely protective female and the belligerent solitary males are anything but cuddly “Teddy Bears”. Join us as we explore this secretive world of the Black Bear.


Wednesday – October 25, 2017

Painting a Nation: American Art at the Shelburne Museum

Mary C. Kirchhoff, Associate Curator, Shelburne Art Museum

American paintings were the last objects assembled by Shelburne Museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb before she died in 1960. The collection is particularly strong in 19th-century portraits, landscapes, and genre paintings, and is distinctive because of the juxtaposition of academic paintings by formally trained artists with folk art paintings by self-taught artists. We will begin with a discussion of the collection and its history, highlighting works by artists such as John Singleton Copley, William Matthew Prior, Albert Bierstadt, Fitz Henry Lane, Andrew Wyeth, and others. Looking closely at selected paintings, we’ll discuss the formal relationships between academic and folk traditions and explore the methods artists used to tell their stories via the brush.


Wednesday – November 1, 2017

Werewolves, Vampires, and Zombies

Bobby Farlice-Rubio, Science Educator, Fairbanks Museum

Although there are no supernatural monsters in this lesson, we will explore the ways in which real parasites have taken over their hosts, and how they may have inspired monster myths! Have you ever wondered what happens to a person who contracts rabies? Could parasites be responsible for some people’s reckless and dangerous behavior? Could toxins and poisons in nature cause people to behave like monsters themselves? Come find out, if you dare! Mwa-hah-hah!


Wednesday – November 8, 2017

Beethoven’s Majestic Twins

William Cotte, Professor, Lyndon State College

In the last decade of Beethoven’s life following a fallow period of seven years, there was an explosion of creativity that gave birth to some of his most profound masterpieces. The majestic “Missa Solemnis” and Symphony no. 9 stand head and shoulders above all his previous symphonic works. They are twins, composed concurrently between 1818 and 1824 for identical orchestral and vocal forces. In sight and sound, we will explore some of the riches of these works which are a culmination of the great master’s legacy to us all!


Wednesday – November 15, 2017

Gaudi, Modernista, Barcelona!

Andrea Fairchild, formerly Professor, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University

The architecture of Antonio Gaudi is a must-see whenever one is in Barcelona. But why is this architect held in such high esteem by the world? Is it the playfulness of his facades or the unusual colours of the walls? We will examine the life of Gaudi and the innovative aspects of his buildings, especially the Sagrada Familia cathedral, to understand his contribution to world architecture.


Membership Information

Membership dues will support the development of the Institute’s future programs, which are shaped by the interests of our members. Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all 10 sessions in Newport as well as at the seven other Osher sites in Vermont during the Spring 2016 semester. Your active membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the new OLLI program on the UVM campus. For membership, complete the form on the site brochure and send with your check for $40 USD (individual) or $70 USD (couple). Any two people who sign up for the semester as a team are considered a couple. Non-members may attend individual sessions for $5 per session.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure or click on this membership form. Mail your payment to (payable to “The University of Vermont”):

UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

CONTACT MEMBERS (for information on the Osher Institute or the upcoming semesters lectures.)

John Logan 819-876-5026
Ann Montgomery 819-876-7837
Marvelene & Keith Richards 802-334-1254
Christine Gautier 819-843-4292
Annemarie Schadinger 802-334-0544
Dorothy Willard 802-754-2366
Suzi Dix 819-838-5131
Page Fairchild 802-843-6335

Become a member today!

Membership in the Newport Osher Lifelong Learning Institute entitles members to attend programs in other Osher Institutes established in seven other locations throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI on UVM campus programs. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

Special thank you to our community contributors:

  • Community National Bank
  • CCV – Newport
  • Goodrich Memorial Library
  • Green Mountain Coffee
  • Newport Natural Market & Cafe
  • NEK-TV
  • Vista

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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