Rutland Lecture Series

Spring 2015

The Rutland Area Osher Lifelong Learning Institute exists to promote continuing education for area residents aged fifty and over. Started in 2003 as an affiliate of the University of Vermont with a startup grant from the Osher Foundation, we are an all–volunteer, nonprofit organization.

We are grateful to the Rutland Recreation and Parks Department and to the volunteers who make this program possible.

Time and Place

Each of the twelve lectures in this Spring 2015 term will be from 1:30 to 3:00 PM on a Friday afternoon at the Godnick Adult Center, 1 Deer Street (off Woodstock Avenue) in Rutland. For directions to the Godnick Center or for program information call 446-2041 or 492-2300.

Canada, Our Neighbor to the North

April 10
Does Canada Matter? 
Professor David Massell has taught Canadian and Canadian-American History at the University of Vermont since 1997.  His lecture will cover Canada in the American imagination, then will provide an overview of the importance of Canada in trade (focus on Vermont), immigration, and the possibilities for comparative understanding, as well as in Americans’ ability to better know themselves.

April 17
Prohibition in Vermont: the 13-Year National Experiment
Prohibition became law in 1920.  It banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol in the United States.  But Canada had no such law.  Scott Wheeler, publisher of “Vermont’s Northland Journal” and author of “Rumrunners and Revenuers”, will discuss the smuggling across the border, the danger, and the enforcement challenges this questionable law presented in 1920-1933.

April 24
The Group of Seven
Founded in 1920, this group of Canada’s unique modern artists sought to inspire appreciation of the beauty of Canada’s diverse landscapes through their work.  Dr. William Tortolano, widely-acclaimed organist and Professor Emeritus of St. Michael’s College, will present slides and commentary on this artistic mosaic of Canada’s regions – the Maritimes, Rockies, Plains, Old Quebec, First Nations, and more.

May 1
The Canary in the Coal Mine: The Canadian Arctic in the 21st Century
UVM Geography Professor Shelly Rayback will address why we should be paying attention to the Canadian Arctic.  Driven by rising air and ocean temperatures, recent dramatic and rapid changes in glaciers, snow cover and Arctic ice are altering the planet’s energy balance.  She will explain how these changes may be causing some recent unusual and extreme climate events.

A Musical Sampler

May 8
Jazz Around the World
Julian Gerstein teaches music at Keene State College and the Vermont Jazz Center and is a writer about musical traditions. This lecture will look at how jazz, strongly associated with African American culture, travelled across the planet with surprising results in such places as India, Iraq, Peru, Europe and the Caribbean. Highlights will feature unusual and exciting sounds from contemporary artists.

May 15
A Vermont Music Sampler
Dr. William Tortolano was for over 50 years a professor of Fine Arts and Music at St. Michael’s College. He will explore Vermont’s musical traditions from the Abenaki Nation, folksongs and ballads from the past, even how electronic music was “discovered” at Bennington College. The slide presentation will include listening to music on tape and commentary from his perspective as a musician and scholar.

May 22
Woody Guthrie: American Balladeer
Mark Greenberg teaches American vernacular music history at the University of Vermont. He is also a writer, musician and producer of documentaries for NPR. His presentation explores the life and work of “Dustbowl Balladeer” Woody Guthrie using prose writings, recorded and live examples of his music. Additionally there will be photographs documenting his complex life and times.

May 29
Scandinavian Songfest
Nordic Harmoni, a Scandinavian American chorus that was started in 2001, will present a musical program of spring and “Midsommar” songs. Under Director Ken Olsson, the Londonderry-based group will sing seasonal songs in their half-English, half-Swedish repertoire. The popular group has performed in concert halls, churches, country fairs and other venues including our OSHER group once before.


Membership Information

Purchase of a $30 membership card entitles you to attend the eight sessions during the Spring 2015 term.

Members also may attend (at no additional charge) Elder Education Enrichment programs in South Burlington; Osher programs in any of seven other Vermont towns: Brattleboro, Central Vermont (Montpelier/Barre), Lamoille Valley (Stowe), Newport/Derby/Stanstead, Springfield, St. Albans, and St. Johnsbury; and (at a discounted price) the new programs on the UVM campus.

Non-members may attend each session for $5 at the door.
Reservations are NOT required.

To download the membership form click here.

Mail the membership form and with your $30 check made out to “The University of Vermont” to:

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

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





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