April 14, 2015


Important Class Information 

Free Flick: Green Fire

Limited Spaces Left in Popular Study Groups

Cinema Committee Special Presentation: A League of Their Own

Register for Cinema Conversations

Volunteer at Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

Last Call for These Learning Trips!

Keep Up with OLLI 

Important Class Information


Tomorrow will be Day 3 of classes!  Please take note of the following information.

Room Change
During the 10:30 a.m. class, two classes have switched locations:
Class 31, Rare But Well-Done: Opera Version, is in Ballroom A instead of Ballroom C.
Class 32, Russia and Ukraine, is in Ballroom C instead of Ballroom A.


Thank you for your patience as we make adjustments to meet class needs.

Spring 2015 Wrapup Meeting  
Wednesday, April 29
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Michel Student Center Ballrooms A, B, & C

Summer 2015 Registration Open House
Wednesday, April 29
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Michel Student Cetner Ballrooms A, B, & C
*Please note: online registration will open at 2:00 p.m.

Please utilize our park-and-shuttle service on the day of the wrapup and open house.  Parking will be available at Westminster Church, 1420 W Moss Avenue.  OLLI shuttles will be running between the church parking lot and the Michel Student Center on campus starting at 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  If you need a ride and don't see an OLLI shuttle, please call the OLLI Cell Phone at 309-258-4142.

Free Flick: Green Fire
Moderator: Lee Maki, Master Naturalist
Issue: Conservation/Environmental Stewardship
Date: Wednesday, April 29
Time: Doors open at 6:00 p.m., film begins at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Marty Theatre, Michel Student Center, Bradley University

Aldo Leopold is considered the most important conservationist of the 20th century because his ideas are so relevant to the environmental issues of our time.  Green Fire explores Leopold's personal journey of observation and understanding.  It reveals how his ideas resonate with people across the entire American landscape, from inner cities to the most remote wild lands.  The film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land.  Green Fire is the first feature documentary about Aldo Leopold's life and contemporary legacy.  It features commentary from conservation leaders including scientists, ranchers, scholars, and three of Aldo Leopold's children -- Nina, Carl, and Estella.  Curt Meine, Leopold's biographer, serves as the on-camera guide, making connections between Leopold's ideas and their expression in the conservation movement today.  Peter Coyote gives voice to Leopold's brilliant writing.  

This event is FREE to attend, but we ask that you register by calling 309-677-3900 or clicking here.

Limited Spaces Left in Popular Study Groups


Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor: A Look at the Three Roosevelts with Ken Burns
Thursdays, May 7 - June 18 
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Peoria NEXT Innovation Center

Last Fall, demand for Carol May's Study Group, A Look at The Three Roosevelts with Ken Burns, was such that she hosted two sessions back-to-back.  If you missed out on this group before, now is your chance to see what all the buzz is about!

Here is what a few previous participants had to say about the group:

"Great subject... Looking forward to more programs in the future."


"Great subject-- wealth of information."

"Great teacher-- well-informed and interesting.  Carol is such a skillful discussion leader and poses challenging questions."

"I thought about so many things that I know but had 'forgotten.'  We really now live with respect to actions undertaken by the Roosevelts.  What would our lives be like if they had not existed?"

Spaces are limited, so be sure to register today!

$45- Facilitated by Carol May, OLLI Cinema Committee Chair

Click here to register online for this Study Group.



Women War Correspondents

Wednesdays, April 29 - June 3

2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Methodist North

Eva Peretz recently wrote in Vanity Fair, "The handful of female war correspondents whose beat is whatever hellhole leads the news ... are as tough as any of the guys.  But there's a difference in how they work, the way they love and the risks they run."  We'll look at some of those women, from the very first more than a century ago to those who cover today's Middle East wars under circumstances that pose special challenges for women.  

Participants will be asked to read one book of their choice from the following list:Battling for News (Sebba), On Their Own - Women Journalists and the American Experience in Vietnam (Hoffman), The Face of War (Gelhorn), The Women Who Wrote the War (Sorel) and Where the Action Was - Women Correspondents in World War II (Colman).  These books are available in both paperback and e-book formats from local and online booksellers or local libraries.   Group members will also be asked to learn and share the story of a female reporter from a list of notables.

$45 - facilitated by Barb Drake, retired editorial page editor of the Peoria Journal Star, reporter, feature writer, columnist, news editor, magazine writer, speech writer, journalism teacher, and editorial writer - but never a war correspondent.  (And she wouldn't want to be!)


Click here to register online for this Study Group. 


OLLI Cinema Committee Special Presentation:
A League of Their Own
Join in a special screening of A League of Their Own, starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and Rosie O'Donnell, which tells the story of the Rockford Peaches, a women's professional baseball team, and the other Girls of Summer, including the Peoria Red Wings, who played the sport during the 1940s and 1950s.  

When America entered World War II in 1941 and millions of men had to leave their jobs behind to serve in the military, women were urged to enter the labor force to fill the gap.  By 1943 six million females had responded to the call to go to work outside the home.  When the likes of Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio and hundreds of major league baseball players switched uniforms, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was established so sports fans could continue to enjoy our National Pastime. 

Our special discussion leader for the film will be Tim Wiles, former Director or Research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York, who aided in the production of the film.  Tim is a native of Peoria, a graduate of Bergan High School, Illinois Central College, and the University of Iowa.  Tim currently is the Director of the Guilderland Public Library in Guilderland, New York, and the co-author of two books on baseball.

DATE: Monday, May 4
TIME: Presentation at 1:00 p.m., followed by the film
LOCATION: Peoria Public Library North Branch, 3001 West Grand Parkway
COST: FREE!  But advance registration is required.

Please click here to utilize the online registration system.

Cinema Conversations

Ordinary People

Tuesdays, May 5, 12, and 19
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
May 5:  film viewing at Bradley University Visitor's Center 
May 12 and 19:  discussions at Peoria NEXT Innovation Center

Judith Guest's brilliant first novel, Ordinary People, was published in 1976 to critical and reader acclaim. The story deals with the pain and devastation experienced by a seeming picture- perfect family, the Jarretts, after the death of their older son in a boating accident. The three family members, shattered by the tragedy, struggle to find meaning and love, facing guilt, and questioning their own and one another's motives. In 1980, director Robert Redford, who purchased the rights to the novel before it was published, brought the story to movie audiences, again to rave reviews from critics and viewers alike. The film won four Academy Awards and five Golden Globes. 

Participants in this Cinema Conversations group are encouraged to read the book, available in both paperback and e-book formats from local and online booksellers or local libraries. During our first session we will view the film. In our second session, Jane Hense will lead discussion of the book and movie. In our third session, a professional from the local mental health community will lead discussion of the stigmas, behaviors and psychiatric issues brought forth in the story. 

$29 - Discussions led by Jane Hense, OLLI member, retired teacher, school administrator, and foundation director


Please click here to utilize the online registration system.


Volunteer at Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum



This June, the Peoria Park District will be opening a children's museum in the Glen Oak Park Pavilion building.  The Peoria PlayHouse will be a hands-on, interactive children's museum where children, along with their families, will dream, explore, and learn through play.

As they prepare to open their doors in June, 2015, they need a solid group of wonderful volunteers to help the PlayHouse be a huge success!

Here are just a few of the volunteer positions that are available:

Carpentry Facilitator: Assist children in the Real Tools exhibit as they use hammers, saws, drills, and other tools. Must be comfortable with basic carpentry tools and interested in working with children.

Greeter: Welcome museum visitors with a warm smile, direct visitors, answer questions, assist with checking strollers, engage children and families waiting to enter museum.

Play Specialist: Facilitate exceptional guest experiences by engaging visitors with exhibitions.  Organize and tidy exhibits and props.  An outgoing personality and approachability are highly desirable for this position.

For more information and a complete list of volunteer positions, click here.

If you have any questions or would like to apply, you may contact Kristin Vannatta, Operations Manager, at 309-232-6900 or

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Last Call for These Learning Trips!

We have just a few seats left on the popular Learning Trips listed below.  Snag a seat while they are still available!


Behind-the-Curtain at Peoria Players

Monday, April 27

11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.


Did you know that Peoria is home to the nation's fourth longest consecutively running community theatre?  Peoria Players Theatre has been entertaining audiences for 97 years and currently runs approximately 10 productions each year. On this trip, we'll will learn about the logistics of operating a non-profit theatre, meet directors for the 2015-2016 season, and watch as local performers preview scenes from the upcoming musical production of Damn Yankees.  Join OLLI as we get this rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of how theatre "plays in Peoria."

$25 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, and shuttle transportation 



Peoria Riverfront Museum

Wednesday, May 6

12:00 - 4:00 p.m.


In late 2012, the Peoria Riverfront Museum opened its doors to provide interdisciplinary learning opportunities for people of all ages and to create a diverse, cultural campus in the heart of Peoria.  During our behind-the-scenes look at the new facility, we'll see the current exhibits and planetarium, including "The Street," a dramatic exhibit designed with a sense of grandeur, with a large media display to immerse visitors in more than 300 years of Peoria's rich history.  In addition, we'll learn about the features of the building and practices that make it an environmentally sustainable museum, including the use of primarily local resources and labor during construction that reduced fuel usage for travel and shipping, a design that makes as much use of natural light as possible, and a roof that features photovoltaic panels capable of providing as much as three percent of the building's electricity.
$35 - includes admission fees, lunch, gratuities, tour, and shuttle transportation


Wheel Art Pottery #2

Wednesday, May 5

8:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Our first trip to Wheel Art was such a success, we've partnered with the artists to offer it twice this season!  Born and raised in Central Illinois, Bradley University alum Jacob Grant co-owns Wheel Art Pottery Studios, which emphasizes instruction, and Jacob Grant Ceramics, a studio through which he sells his artwork.  His pottery has been on display at Disney World and The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.  On this trip, we will visit with Jacob and his co-owners to see first-hand how he draws inspiration from the human form and nature for much of his design and colors, as well as learn about the amount of chemistry involved in the firing and glazing process. 
$37 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, materials and firing fees, and shuttle transportation


Please click here to register for any of these Learning Trips.


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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)
 is an organization at Bradley University whose members share a common goal:  to remain vital and active in their late career and post-career lives.

Consisting of more than 1,000 nearly 1,100 people ages 50+, OLLI members come from all backgrounds and educational levels.  Together they enjoy a diverse collection of year-round programs including non-credit classes, educational travel, study groups, cinema, and lectures.

To learn more about OLLI, please visit