Courses, Clubs and Workshops

Here you will find information about our current and upcoming sessions, including how to register. 

students attend an OLLI course

This spring, our ever-changing selection of lifelong learning opportunities includes: Write Your Life: Poems and Memoir that Tell the Story of Your Soul , How America Became Great, NYC in 20th Century Photography, Narco-Terrorism, and Russia’s War on Ukraine (to name but a few). 

Register Online 

Summer 2023 Course Descriptions

*Please note: Recorded courses are available only to OLLI members enrolled in a specific course. Access to the recorded content will be available through August 31, 2023.

Tuesdays | June 27 – July 25 | 10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

Newly available audio-visual artifacts and fresh research depict the forgotten stories of a half-dozen brilliant mid-century American Jazz, Blues and Swing musicians. Vivid portraits emerge from the deep South (Gertrude “Ma” Rainey), the Swing era (Lyle “Spud” Murphy), 1930s Paris (Frank “Big Boy” Goudie) and World War II (the International Sweethearts of Rhythm). These remarkable artists are celebrated by about fifteen video clips in each class, many generated expressly for this course.

Wednesdays | June 28 – July 26 | 10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

This is a course on the complex relationship between art and politics, and the role of art in the creation of political discourse. How does art use its various media to influence politics? How does politics in turn try to control or influence the production of art? Through an examination of specific artists and specific works, we will explore the when, why, and how of political expression through the arts. This is not so much a course on artistic technique but rather a course that examines why art turns to politics, why politics turns to art, and what is gained, lost, or transformed in the process.

Wednesdays | June 28 – July 20 | 4 – 5:40 p.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

This is a study group limited to 24 people with an interest in interaction, strategies, and issues of countries around the world. We’ll create our own “think tank” and develop a deeper understanding of global problems and world issues. Participants will pick and lead discussions on topics of interest to the group. Classes will respectfully tolerate a wide range of opinions.

Thursdays | June 29 – July 21 | 10 – 11:40 a.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

Howard Hawks did it all: screwball comedies, film noir, westerns, dramas, science fiction, war, gangster,  and just about anything else in between. One of the most prolific directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, he seamlessly worked across genres, creating classics along the way. This class will examine four films by Hawks: His Girl Friday (1940); To Have and Have Not (1944); The Big Sleep (1946); and Red River (1948).

Fridays | June 30 – July 22 | 10 – 11:40 a.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

If asked, most of us could come up with 5-10 Impressionist artists without difficulty but how many of us could come up with 5-10 black artists? In this course, we will look at some of the first images of Black Americans, and look at the first known works of Black American Artists. We will then explore the effect of the Great Migration on the formation of the Harlem Renaissance, the first great Black American art movement. We'll see how the philosopher Alain Locke convinced Black artists to explore their African roots for inspiration. We will also look at contemporary artists and see how they are changing the art landscape. Most of all, we'll have a lot of fun looking at great works of art together!

One-0ff Lectures

The US Supreme Court and Abortion: Dobbs, Roe v Wade, and The Texas Case to Ban the Abortion pill; Conflicts of Abortion Laws between Texas and Red States v California and Blue States:Federal and State Law Conflicts, including the role of the FDA;Illegal Abortion History; The Jane Collective of Chicago; California Abortions, including Inez Burns, California abortionist of the ‘20s, 30s and ‘40s.

Composer Jerry Bock, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, director/choreographer Jerome Robbins and book (script) writer Joseph Stein were the acclaimed team that brought “Fiddler on the Roof” to life on Broadway. This presentation will focus on the essential contribution of these artists and will include rarely seen recorded interviews, captivating performances, and three fascinating songs cut from the show before opening night. This course will not only highlight their gifts as creative artists, but their humanity, as well.

Well known San Francisco political commentator John Rothmann presents his thoughts on the current state of politics in the US. John’s thought-provoking talk will last around an hour, followed by a long question and answer session.

Matthew Shilvock, Director of San Francisco Opera, will tell us all about the upcoming season at the opera. Don’t miss it.

Contact Us