Special Events

Courses & Events

"Sometimes the road back home takes the journey of a lifetime?" So begins the poignant, heart- warming story of an 88-year-old widow, Dorothy Thorp, who takes a road trip from Wamego, Kan., back to her hometown of Terre Haute, Ind., to visit her oldest and dearest childhood friend. This locally produced film raises questions about aging, independence, assistance and family relationships. Following a screening of "The Tree," a panel will lead a discussion and answer your questions about the issues raised in the film or other issues of interest. We'll finish the evening with an informal reception. Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 p.m. at Riley County Seniors' Service Center 301 N 4th Street Manhattan, KS 66502. $25 fee includes screening of "The Tree," panel discussion and reception. Refunds must be requested by February 26, minus a $15 administrative fee.


Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Riley County Seniors' Service Center (Manhattan, KS)
History and science take center stage at the Museum at Prairiefire. Through a mix of permanent and traveling exhibits, as well as interactive spaces like the Discovery Room, museum visitors explore both regional and worldwide paleontology, geology, astronomy and more. The education begins before you walk through the door with the eye-catching exterior, which has become one of the most photographed places in Overland Park. Inside the museum, the learning continues in thoughtfully designed spaces that teach visitors through immersion and interaction. Join us for a Magical Natural History Tour and discover how ancient Romans helped design the Museum at Prairiefire. Meet the boy from Kansas who discovered Tyrannosaurus Rex and learn how you are related to a Permian monster! We will keep you entertained and in awe as you make your way around the museum during this exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience. Maximum of 30 participants. Register today! Wednesday, April 8th at 6:30 p.m. at Museum at Prairefire 5801 W. 135th Street Overland Park. $30 fee includes talk, animal presentations, exclusive tour and reception. Refund must be requested by April 1, minus a $15 administrative fee.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., boasts a world-class collection of American masterworks on 120 acres of natural Ozark landscape. While there, you may choose among various tours offered during our time at the museum: Bachman-Wilson House - Enjoy this exquisite Frank Lloyd Wright house built originally in New Jersey, but skillfully disassembled and reconstructed on a specially designed site. Docent-led tour. Architecture Tour - This tour introduces the unique features of Moshe Safdie's design (who also designed the Kauffman Center) and provides insights into some of the challenges the site posed. Docent-led tour. Collection Highlights Tour - Visit some of the best-known names in American art, including Gilbert Stuart's George Washington, Asher B. Durand's Kindred Spirits and Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter. Docent-led tour.Art Trail Tour -View the sculptures, waterways, and native plants found along Crystal Bridges' Art Trail-a paved path that includes a steep incline requiring appropriate footwear. Self-guided tour. Infinity Mirrored Room - This artwork by Yayoi Kusama is an enclosed room filled with mirrors and dotted paper lanterns that change color. Not for individuals sensitive to flashing lights. Viewing time is 90 seconds. Admission to the museum is free, but the docent-led tours are $10 each tour. Pay only for the tours you want when you register. On Wednesday, April 29th we'll enjoy an eclectic mix of American and Italian fine cuisine in historic downtown Bentonville at Fiamma, followed by our first tour. That evening we'll have dinner at Fred's Hickory Inn.On Thursday, April 30th more scheduled tours and/or exploring the museum, gift shop and grounds on your own and enjoying an included lunch at your pace and on your schedule. That evening we'll explore downtown Bentonville and dinner on your own in one of the colorful restaurants.On Friday, May 1st after breakfast, we'll board the bus for a visit to the Museum of Native American History, before heading down the road to Lamar, Mo., birthplace of Harry Truman. Then we're on to Fort Scott, where we'll enjoy lunch and a visit to the Gordon Parks Museum on the campus of Fort Scott Community College. Wednesday- April 29th at 7:00 a.m. - Coach departs Lawrence Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., and returns on Friday at approximately 4:00 p.m.Wednesday - April 29th at 8:00 a.m. - Coach departs KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park and returns Friday at 3:00 p.m.$445 fee per person - double occupancy.$545 fee - single occupancy. Fee includes coach transportation, lodging, welcome reception, two breakfasts, three lunches and dinner on Wednesday evening. Dinner on Thursday is not included. Museum tour fees - $10 each. Request for refund will be honored on or before April 22nd minus a $100 administrative fee.


April 29, 2020 to May 1, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Join us for a reception with Dave Tell as he reads from his book, "Remembering Emmett Till." He will discuss how the memorials devoted to the murder of Emmett Till have altered the Mississippi Delta's physical and cultural landscape. Tell gives us five accounts of the commemoration of this infamous crime. In a development no one could have foreseen, Till's murder- one of the darkest moments in the region's history-has become an economic driver for the Delta. Dave Tell is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas and author of Confessional Crises and Cultural Politics in Twentieth Century and Remembering Emmett Till. His work has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Atlantic Monthly, LitHub and The Conversation. Monday, February 10th at 7 p.m. at Osher Institute 1515 St. Andrews Dr. Lawrence. $20 fee includes talk and reception. Refund must be requested by Feb. 3, minus a $10 administrative fee.


Monday, February 10, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
It's time to revisit the all-new 25,000 square feet of museum exhibit space at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan., and see Ike again for the first time. The most recent innovations in technological components and interactive exhibits are guaranteed to engage audiences of all ages and learning styles. Enjoy a tour of the newly renovated facility with interactive displays that bring Ike and Mamie to life. Visitors will explore Eisenhower's pre-WWII career assignments and examine the impacts of the Cold War during the Eisenhower Administration. In addition to seeing historically significant artifacts and hearing stories from the archives, visitors will come away with a better understanding of Ike and Mamie's life stories. Using newly digitized and never-before-seen footage from the National Archives, new minitheaters offer visitors the opportunity to hear Ike's words firsthand on a variety of events and issues from D-Day to world peace. There will be time to visit the Eisenhower boyhood home, Place of Meditation (where the Eisenhowers are buried) and gift shop. For lunch, we'll enjoy the famous family-style dinner and elegant ambiance of the celebrated Brookville Hotel. Before heading home, we'll be treated to a guided bus tour of historic Abilene. 7:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence. 8:50 a.m. - Coach picks up travelers at the Manhattan Junction (I-70 & KS-177). 3:35 p.m. - Arrive Manhattan Junction (I-70 & KS-177)5:00 p.m. - Arrive Osher Institute. $130 fee includes coach transportation, museum admission, guided bus tour of historic Abilene and lunch. Refund must be requested by Mar. 6, minus a $20 administrative fee.


Friday, March 13, 2020
Join us for a visit to Nicodemus, the historic town site of the 1877 westward migration of African Americans looking to enjoy their newfound freedom on land they owned and farmed. Nicodemus isthe oldest and only remaining Black settlement west of the Mississippi River. We will be treated to a historic review of Nicodemus and then enjoy a guided bus tour around town visiting five historic buildings, which represent the spirit of Nicodemus and illustrate the individual and collective strength of character and desire for freedom of these early pioneers. We will also stop by the Sternberg Museum at Fort Hays State University for a docent-guided tour to learn about the Earth's natural history and the evolutionary forces that impact it, focusing on the Great Plains. Exhibits will transport us to an age when dinosaurs roamed the land and reptiles flew overhead. We'll also see the famous Fish-in-a-Fish Fossil, a 14-foot Xiphactinus with its final meal, a 6-foot Gillicus, preserved within its ribcage. Enjoy two delicious meals including lunch at Gella's Diner, the international award-winning microbrewery and restaurant in Hays and a wonderful boxed dinner for your return trip home. 7:00 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence. 8:20 a.m. - Coach picks up travelers at the Manhattan Junction (I-70 & KS-177). 7:10 p.m. - Arrive Manhattan Junction. 8:30 p.m. - Arrive Osher Institute. $160 fee includes coach transportation, program, museum admission, guided historic tour around Nicodemus, lunch at Gella's and a boxed dinner. Refund must be requested by Mar. 27, minus a $20 administrative fee.


Friday, April 3, 2020
Long before the coming of Euro-Americans, native inhabitants of what is now Kansas left their mark on the land: carvings in the soft orange and red sandstone of the state's Smoky Hills. Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills features photographs from 14 sites in Russell, Ellsworth and Rice counties and offers viewers a chance to read the storiesthat these carvings tell of the region's first people. Join us as the authors discuss their new book and provide a rare glimpse into a compelling part of Kansas history.Rex C. Buchanan, a native of central Kansas, is the director emeritus of the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas and editor of Kansas Geology. Joshua L. Svaty is the fifth generation of his family to farm in Ellsworth County and has worked on natural resource issues with nonprofits and state and federal governments. He was the fourteenth Kansas secretary of agriculture. Burke W. Griggs, associate professor of law at Washburn University, is a fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and an affiliated scholar at the Bill Lane Center for the American West.Wednesday, February 26, 7 p.m. at the Osher Institute 1515 St. Andrews Dr. Lawrence. $20 fee includes talk and reception. Refund must be requested by Feb. 19, minus a $10 administrative fee


Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Rita Blitt is an international award- winning painter, sculptor and filmmaker, whose words "Kindness is contagious. Catch it!" have inspired people all over the world. Join Rita Blitt as she reviews her life and work in conversation with Connie Gibbons, the chief curator of the Rita Blitt collection at the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University in Topeka.We'll discuss the new book, "Rita Blitt: Around and Round" scheduled to be released in spring 2020 which explores the joyful work of the internationally renowned, contemporary American artist. "Rita Blitt: Around and Round" presents a selection of colorful plates and reproductions from several decades of the artist's career, accompanied by insightful essays by curators, art historians, and others. We'll spend time in the Rita Blitt Gallery and enjoy a reception following the event.Monday, April 13th at 6:30 p.m. at the Mulvane Art Museum Washburn University 1700 SW Jewell Ave. Topeka, KS 66621. $25 fee includes talk, tour and reception. Refund must be requested by April 6, minus a $15 administrative fee.


Monday, April 13, 2020, Mulvane Art Museum (Topeka, KS)
In this exclusive Osher experience, explore the development of the Watkins Museum's core exhibits and tour the newly completed installation on the third floor, which chronicles Lawrence's transformation from a frontier town to a Midwestern city-including exhibits on the changing role of agriculture in Douglas County and the development of Massachusetts Street as a retail district. Get a look back in time from Kathryn Tuttle who will share highlights of the life of early Lawrence resident, Elizabeth Henley. See the museum's newest changing exhibit, "Electrifying Lawrence," recounting the growth and development of electrical power in the city starting with hydroelectric power generated from the Kansas River in the 1870s. Enjoy a presentation on the Chautauqua phenomenon by Dr. Sarah Bell. Get a sneak preview of the upcoming exhibits funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Science, led by Museum Director, Steve Nowak. Friday, March 6th at the Watkins Museum of History 1047 Massachusetts St. 10 a.m. - Presentation and exhibition tour; Noon - Lunch; 1-2 p.m. - Chautauqua presentation and upcoming exhibits. $25 fee includes presentations, tour and lunch. Refund must be requested by February 28, minus a $15 administrative fee.


Friday, March 6, 2020, Watkins Museum of History (Lawrence, KS)