The Center for Life and Learning:
   Special-Topic Classes

Center for Life and Learning (CLL) special-topic classes bring in experts from the Chicago area to enrich our annual curriculum and provide a flexible avenue of participation. One need not be a CLL member to register. The special-topic classes cover a broad range of topics from politics to bridge to the humanities; come and check us out!

For information about our special-topic classes, contact Sue Hakes at 312.981.3389.

Good Memories Choir - Gold Coast

Sounds Good! Choir

Beginner T'ai Chi

The Broadway Musical and American Popular Music

India 3D: Objects of Art and Devotion

Autumn Film Series

Lunch and Learn: Russian Ark (2002)- CANCELED

"Give Us a Word": Desert Mothers and Fathers


Good Memories - Gold Coast

  Tuesdays, starting September 3
   10:00–11:30 a.m.

Good Memories is a fun, upbeat community where people with early-stage memory loss and their care partners sing together, enjoying familiar music that they love.

We look forward to welcoming you and your loved ones to the growing family of singers, volunteers, and supporters who make Good Memories together.

Tell your friends about our work! Find out more and register online.

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Sounds Good! Choir - Gold Coast

The Gold Coast Sounds Good! Choir and the Good Memories Choir are cosponsored by the CLL, the Clare, and Skyline Village Chicago

   Rehearsals: Mondays, starting September 9
   12:00 noon–1:30 p.m. at the Clare (55 E. Pearson)

See below for registration info

Come sing with Sounds Good! on the Gold Coast this fall! The 15-week session starts Monday, September 9 and runs until December. We will conclude with a December concert at the Clare. Registration also includes the opportunity to sing in several other Sounds Good! performances, including the all-Sounds Good! performance on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Registration is $175 for the fifteen-week session and includes a practice CD, online practice tracks, and sheet music to keep. Find out more and register online.

When you order you’ll receive e-mail confirmation, and you’ll also receive a reminder e-mail before the first rehearsal. Sheet music (to keep) and practice CD will be distributed at the first rehearsal.

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Beginner T'ai Chi

   Tuesdays, September 17–December 3
   2:00–2:45 p.m. Led by Hau Kum Kneip

$90 for CLL members / $105 for guest registrants

Register online here

T'ai Chi Chuan is an effective exercise for anyone seeking to enhance balance, strength, and coordination. It is made up of a fluid series of postures joined with deep breathing exercises.

In this class, beginning students will learn the history and fundamentals of T'ai Chi Chuan and will be prepared to join the intermediate class upon completion of the beginner series.

Hau Kum Kneip studied with Chinese T'ai Chi masters in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, and Hawaii beginning in 1978. She has taught T'ai Chi Chuan at the CLL since 1995 and focuses on increasing balance, strength, and focus in her students.

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The Broadway Musical and American Popular Music

   Thursdays: October 31–December 5 (no class on November 14 or 28)
   11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Led by John Clum

$40 for CLL members / $50 for guest registrants

Register online here

For much of its history, there was a symbiotic connection between Broadway musicals and American popular music. The sound of Broadway was the sound of our music and the great Broadway composers—Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, Frank Loesser—were our great pop composers. This changed with the advent of rock and roll. Composers wanted to own and perform their own music. The arena and the stadium, not 1500 seat theatres, became the venues for popular song. “Show music,” created by Stephen Sondheim and his followers, became a separate genre from current popular trends. Now with phenomena like Hamilton, Broadway is once again connected with our popular music.

John Clum is Professor Emeritus of Theater Studies and English at Duke University. He is the author of eleven books and numerous essays on modern and contemporary theatre and film, as well as a director of theater and opera and produced playwright and librettist. He is currently Board President of the Raven Theatre in Chicago.


India 3D: Art and Devotion

   Thursdays, October 31–November 21
   2:30–4:00 p.m. Led by Betty Seid

$45 for CLL members / $60 for guest registrants

Register online here

The gods and goddesses that we see sculpturally represented in museum galleries are still actively worshipped in India. We will explore the context of viewing these works—in situ in India as devotional objects and in museums as art objects. The course will culminate with a visit to the galleries of South Asian Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Betty Seid is an independent curator, writer, and lecturer living in Chicago and Santa Monica. From 1995 to 2005, she was Research Associate and Exhibition Coordinator for South Asian Art in the Department of Asian Art of The Art Institute of Chicago. During her ten-year tenure, she curated and oversaw the installation of several important South Asian exhibitions. Her exhibition (and catalog) New Narratives: Contemporary Art from India was the first to show 21st-century Indian art in the United States.

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Autumn Film Series

   Wednesdays, November 6–December 18 (no film on November 27)
   1:45–4:00 p.m.

Free, open to all 60 and older, no RSVP necessary

Wednesday, November 20
What They Had (2018)

The film centers on a family in crisis. Bridget (Hilary Swank) returns home to Chicago at her brother's (Michael Shannon) urging to deal with her dementia-afflicted mother (Blythe Danner) and her father's (Robert Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together. (1 hour, 41 min)

Wednesday, December 4
Hampstead (2019)

Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson star in what the New York Times called a “low key and lively look at an unlikely romance,” set in London. The review continues “Diane Keaton plays a widow living beyond her means in a tiny London neighborhood overlooking the picturesque Hampstead Heath. One day, she spies with her binoculars a hermit (Brendan Gleeson) who lives in a handmade shack in a remote corner of the park, and a somewhat unlikely romance ensues after they meet in person at the grave of Karl Marx in nearby Highgate Cemetery.” A New York Times Critic’s Pick. (1 hour, 42 min)

Wednesday, December 11
Colette (2018)

Keira Knightly stars in this biography of the French writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (most famous for Gigi). After marrying a successful Parisian writer, Colette moves from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, she writes a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, she becomes the talk of Paris and her adventures inspire additional novels. Colette's fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion, and sexual expression. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. (1 hour, 51 min)

Wednesday, December 18
Late Night (2019)

Written by Mindy Kaling and starring Ms. Kaling and Emma Thompson, Late Night follows the host of a late-night talk show who teams up with one of her new staff writers in an attempt to save the show. The New York Times says: “Mindy Kaling wrote and co-stars in a sharp and sincere comedy about sexism in broadcasting in the era of #MeToo and social media.” A New York Times Critic’s Pick. (1 hour, 42 min)

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Lunch and Learn: Russian Ark (2002)
(CANCELED)

   Thursday, November 21 (Canceled)
   12:00–2:45 p.m.

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"Give Us a Word": Desert Mothers and Fathers

   Mondays, December 2–16
   11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Led by Susan Quaintance

$25 for CLL members / $40 for guest registrants

Register online here

“Give us a word.” This was the request third century pilgrims made when they traveled from turbulent cities out to the Egyptian desert to seek the wisdom and counsel of the desert mothers and fathers. Known for their asceticism and rigor, these holy women and men left the world a privileged source of insight in their thousands of “sayings,” the Apophthegmata. Eventually small groups of disciples gathered around the hermits’ cells; these were the beginnings of Christian monasticism.

This course will explore both the historical phenomenon along with what these sayings might offer twenty-first century people trying to make sense of their own perplexing lives and times.

Susan Quaintance holds an M.A. in theology from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. She taught high school theology and English for more than twenty years and has facilitated many adult days of recollection and retreats.

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For more information about the Center for Life and Learning, contact Susan Quaintance (312.981.3386), Director of the Center for Life and Learning.