Johnson County

Courses & Events
On Nov. 11, 1918, the United States and its allies signed an armistice with Germany to end fighting on land, sea and air. It was to take effect at 11 a.m. Paris time or "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month," ending The Great War. Join us as we tour the museum and hear Dr. Robert Smith, curator of the Fort Riley Museum and veteran Osher instructor, review the events leading to the armistice and its aftermath.7 a.m. - Coach departs Meadowlark Hills (residents)7:15 a.m. - Depart Town Center lot8:15 a.m. - Depart Red Robbin (Topeka)9 a.m. - Depart Osher Institute10:30 a.m. - WWI Museum tour11:30 a.m. - Lunch in the Over There Café and touring on your own1:30 p.m. - Coach departs2:30 p.m. - Arrive at Osher3 p.m. - Arrive in Topeka3:45 p.m. - Arrive at Town Center4 p.m. - Arrive at Meadowlark Hills$95 fee includes transportation, presentation, tickets, tours and lunch.$70 fee includes presentation, tickets, tours and lunch (no transportation).Refund requests honored on or before Oct. 5, minus a $15 administrative fee.

Friday, October 12, 2018, National WWI Museum
Behind every successful man, there is a woman, and throughout history, America's First Families have embodied this saying. The role of America's First Lady is ever changing with each new occupant of the White House. They are embedded in our memory as activists and leaders of the causes they championed. Women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, Abigail Adams, and Hillary Clinton have advanced discussions on once-taboo subjects and have led as fascinating lives as their husbands. This course will examine the often-secluded lives of these women, their actions behind the scenes and their impact on our nation.

October 16-30, 2018, Claridge Court
Arlington National Cemetery is America's most hallowed shrine. We'll review its colorful history from its pre-Civil War days as Robert E. Lee's home through current U.S. conflicts. We'll recount lives of the famous and not-so-famous buried there, from presidents to privates, officers to enlisted men, Supreme Court justices to unknown slaves. We'll visit its major monuments and memorials, including Tomb of the Unknowns and the September 11th Memorial. We'll look at eligibility for burial, types of military honors, and how this modern cemetery administers 37 burials every weekday.

Please note that the dates for this course have changed from those published in the fall catalog. 

October 19, 2018 to November 16, 2018, Matt Ross Community Center
Of all of the arts, none is more fundamental to the way we live than architecture. It is a mirror of our own time and of times gone by, a diary written in mud and timber, brick and stone, concrete and glass. Our homes and public buildings reflect what we once were - and what we hope to become. Join art historian Ann Wiklund on a journey to visit buildings that truly do astonish, from the ancient pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and so much more.

The Edwards Campus section of this course has been postponed. The new dates for the course are Thursday, Dec. 6, Tuesday, Dec. 11 & Thursday, Dec. 13, 2-4 p.m., Room 165 in Regnier Hall. The Lawrence course will be held as originally scheduled.

September 18, 2018 to October 2, 2018, St Andrews Classroom
December 6-13, 2018, Regnier Hall 165
What better way to enjoy the sounds of the season than with a Canadian Brass Christmas? Now in its 47th year, the Canadian Brass has performed in virtually every major concert hall in the world, been seen by hundreds of millions of people on television and sold 2 million albums worldwide. Renowned for versatility and joyous performances, the award-winning Brass has elevated the art of the brass quintet. Join us for a pre-performance dinner and Canadian Brass preview by Dr. Paul Stevens, associate dean of the KU School of Music and associate professor, horn.

Sunday, December 9, 2018, Lied Center
Join Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg reading from her new novel Miriam's Well about mythology, history and finding our place, people and purpose. In this modern-day retelling of the Exodus, Miriam wanders the political and spiritual desert of a changing America, driven by her sense of purpose but searching for her place and her people. As she seeks the Promised Land, she shows her people, and eventually herself, how to turn the chaos and despair of our times into music, meals and miracles. The reading and discussion will be followed by a reception featuring recipes central to Miriam and other characters included in the novel.

Thursday, November 15, 2018, St Andrews Classroom
This course explores ancient China's most notable engineering achievements, the Terracotta Army of 8,000 life-sized statues buried to protect the first emperor Qin Shi Huan; the Great Wall, which could span the distance from Wichita to Washington, D.C.; and the Grand Canal, the longest man-made waterway in the world. We'll learn what social conditions and technological advances made these feats possible, how they changed Chinese history and culture, and why they were lauded or vilified throughout the ages, as seen in literature and art.

October 2-16, 2018, Aberdeen Village
October 3-17, 2018, Lenexa City Hall at City Center
This course will focus on selectedcreation stories from around theworld. We will explore origin mythsfrom ancient Egypt and Babylonia,and compare them to currentstories in the living religions ofIndia and other parts of Asia, andamong indigenous peoples ofNorth America. And, of course, wewill examine the story of Genesisand its role as the foundation ofJudaism and Christianity. Eachstory will be considered in termsof its view of the world and nature,its understanding of humans andtheir manifold relations, and itsconception of the powerful agent,or force, that gave rise to it all.

October 23, 2018 to November 6, 2018, Mission Square
In its earliest stage, English was regarded as a barbarian's language, suitable for bawdy tavern banter but inappropriate for discourses in finer topics-philosophy or the arts. Over time, German, Latin, French, and ancient tribal languages combined to create what we call English. We will explore how invasions of Britain left their marks on the land and the language, how the invention of the printing press accelerated the adoption and distribution of English, and how kings and commoners contributed to its worldwide dominance. We will feature short readings from classic English texts-Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and a few modern rap songs.

Please note that this course will meet in Regnier Hall, Room 153 on the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. This is a different classroom than was published in the catalog, although it is just down the hall.

September 17, 2018 to October 1, 2018, Regnier Hall 153
Prayer in public schools, the Ten Commandments on courthouse property, and nativity scenes at city hall—should these be permitted in American civic life? We've heard plenty from today's politicians and pundits. What were the views of the founders of our republic? What did they think was the proper role of religion in the nation they created? What do the religion clauses of the Constitution and Bill of Rights say? Are there other documents from this period that reveal how the framers understood the relationship between church and state? What were their religious beliefs and practices? These are just a few of the questions we will discuss as we try to shed light on the faiths of our founders.

We have been notified by Johnson County Park & Recreation District that the new Meadowlark Park Clubhouse in Prairie Village will not be completed in time to host this course. Instead the course will be held in the Antioch Park Administration Building, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam, Kansas.

October 11-25, 2018, Antioch Park Administration Building, Board Room
John C. Tibbetts has published several books and many articles on the Gothic horror tradition in literature and film. In this course, we will focus on four aspects of horror literature and film: Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, Bram Stoker and Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and H.P. Lovecraft and the New Weird. Class presentations will include film, readings and music.

October 10-24, 2018, Regents Center 108
You probably know that the Missouri-Kansas Border Region has a colorful past. Few people, however, know just how often the entire course of American history turned on the events and people here, or that these “hinges of history” come alive at scores of outstanding museums and historic sites in our area. From the Louisiana Purchase to Bleeding Kansas to Brown v. Board of Education, the authors of the Border Region's first heritage travel guide share the best places to discover the history.

We have been notified by Johnson County Park & Recreation District that the new Meadowlark Park Clubhouse in Prairie Village will not be completed in time to host this course. Instead the course will be held in the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas

November 1-15, 2018, Art and Heritage Center
You will never look at an Impressionist painting the same way again, once you are able to "put it in context." We'll begin by briefly reviewing the major periods of European art that led up to the Impressionist movement. Then we'll focus on world events, developments in science and technology, and the social and physical changes in Paris that were occurring in the mid-19th century. We'll conclude by looking together at key Impressionists and identifying how these seemingly disparate things converged, influenced them, and found such beautiful expression in their art.

We have opened another session of this course at Regnier Hall on the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Click the link below to register.

October 11-25, 2018, Regnier Hall 153
November 1-15, 2018, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community
In celebration of the Lied Center's 25th Anniversary, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO) will premiere a new work commissioned by the Lied Center. Each of the 15 members of the JLCO will compose one movement to capture the spirit of a beloved KU basketball legend. This project represents the first time the JLCO has been commissioned to create a new work as a collective. The combination of the world's greatest jazz orchestra with the tradition of basketball that runs so deep at the University of Kansas will result in an unforgettable performance.The JLCO, comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis, the JLCO performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works, including compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus and many others. Wynton Marsalis (music director, trumpet) is the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis made his recording debut as a leader in 1982 and has since recorded more than 70 jazz and classical albums, which have garnered him nine Grammy Awards. In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in music.Through the generosity of private donors, each movement of the 25th Anniversary Commission is sponsored. Net proceeds of this project will help fund the Lied Center's Performing Arts Access Endowment, which will enable every student in Lawrence Public Schools to attend a world-class, age-specific performance on an annual basis.

Thursday, October 11, 2018, Lied Center
Kansas is often thought of as a vast collection of wheat fields and Dorothy references, but there is a deceptively interesting hidden history beneath the surface. The state's past is steeped in fascinating stories and places long forgotten. Dive into a collection of remarkable true stories such as the first woman mayor in the United States, the boy that survived a scalping, Wild West shootouts, ancient camels that once roamed the land, Bonnie & Clyde's misadventures, Denver's founding as a Kansas town and even a very lucky man that hanged his own would-be executioner.

October 29, 2018 to November 12, 2018, Regnier Hall 165
In the 1930s, graduating college athletes found the best basketball in the AAU Industrial Leagues, with the best teams found in Kansas. Learn how businesses sponsored basketball to market their products during the Great Depression. We'll highlight the McPherson Globe Refiners, a town team that introduced the dunk shot, originated the zone press, and won the first Gold Medal in basketball in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The course covers the first 50 years of basketball, focusing on Dr. James Naismith, the game's inventor, who mentored legendary coaches Phog Allen and John McLendon.

October 10-24, 2018, Roeland Park Community Center
"Rethink: I Am a Veteran" is a performance and storytelling project centered on the lives of women veterans, their families, and friends. This project, which is designed and led by women artists, focuses on veterans who are women, sharing their first person experiences and delving into topics such as toxic masculinity, abuse, military glass ceilings, family life and sexuality.

Friday, November 9, 2018, Lawrence Arts Center
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was one of the most significant American musicians of the 20th-century. His contributions took place in a variety of venues-conductor, musical commentator on television and composer of both concert works and Broadway musicals, most famously "West Side Story." In the year that marks the centenary of his birth, this course will take a step back and review Bernstein's contributions in each of these areas. We will also consider the man's full life and celebrity, including many famous collaborators and friends and the strong political beliefs that helped guide his artistic choices.

September 11-25, 2018, Regnier Hall 163
This exhibition explores the artistic, political and ideological significance of Napoleon's imperial court. It aims to re-create the ambiance and capture the spirit that prevailed in the French court during the Empire. A selection of works, many never before exhibited in North America, will reveal the power and splendor of the Imperial Household and its role in fashioning a monarchic identity for the new emperor, his family and loyal entourage.9 a.m. - Coach departs Osher Institute10:15 a.m. - Docent-led Napoleon tour11:30 a.m. - Rozzelle Court lunch and touring on your own1:30 p.m. - Coach departs2:30 p.m. - Coach arrives at Osher$95 fee includes transportation, tickets, tours and lunch.$70 fee includes, tickets, tours and lunch (no transportation).Requests for refund will be honored on or before Nov. 9, minus a $15 administrative fee.?

Friday, November 16, 2018, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald are notorious for their assassinations, but who were Charles Guiteau and Leon Czolgosz, and why did they murder Presidents Garfield and McKinley? There have been 28 documented assassination attempts on 22 sitting or former presidents or presidents-elect. In Milwaukee, Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the chest, but finished his campaign speech. In Miami, Guiseppe Zangara fired five shots at FDR, but killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. And there have been four known plots to kill President Obama. We'll uncover them all and closely examine the men...and women...who killed (or tried to kill) the president of the United States.

September 10-24, 2018, Lenexa City Hall at City Center
Based in part on A History of The World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage, we'll travel the world in search of the hearths of tea, coffee, beer, wine, spirits and sodas, and then explore how, why and where they diffused. Taught in two parts, the course emphasizes aspects of globalization from the Stone Age beer makers to the cola giants of the modern era. Historic themes include tea and the Opium Wars; sugar, rum and the slave trade; and wine, Christianity and Islam. Part I: spirits, beer and wine.

September 12-26, 2018, Brewster Place
October 11-25, 2018, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community
This adaptation of Robert James Waller's bestselling novel earned a Tony Award for Best Original Score. It's 1965 in Winterset, Iowa, where Italian war bride Francesca Johnson has been living a largely unfulfilling farm life when her husband, son and daughter leave to attend a 4-H show. Francesca's quiet weekend is upended when photographer Robert Kincaid appears asking directions to one of the county's famed covered bridges. Her well-intended hospitality to a stranger turns both their lives upside down.

Thursday, September 27, 2018, Theatre Lawrence
Geography is much more than place locations and this course will prove it! We begin with the Kansas natural environment, specifically the land including aspects of geology and the state's physiographic regions, ranging from the Ozark Plateau in the southeast corner to the High Plains in the far west. Historical economic geography of Kansas regions involving resource extraction in the form of coal, oil and natural gas production; and agriculture, particularly the role of irrigation and its impact on water-today the state's most important resource-will follow.

The Roeland Park session of this course has been cancelled. However, the session at Pioneer Ridge in Lawrence will proceed as scheduled.

September 13-27, 2018, Roeland Park Community Center
October 31, 2018 to November 14, 2018, Pioneer Ridge Retirement Community
Want to understand the common spiritual bonds shared by the three great religions that claim Abraham as their patriarch? Throughout time the adherents of these three faith groups have tended to their souls through the same spiritual disciplines: fixed-hour prayer, sacred day, sacred meal, fasting, giving, pilgrimage, and the observance of sacred seasons. Each faith group believes that through these disciplines they become the persons God called them to be. Class sessions will focus on specific spiritual disciplines and how they are understood and practiced in each faith group.

September 13-27, 2018, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
Today's news is dominated by stories on immigration. In all regions and across political ideologies, disagreements about who should be permitted to live here raise questions about democracy and justice. A century ago, Willa Cather published My Antonia, a novel that explores timely and timeless ideas: What does it mean to be "American"? Why uproot your families and travel long distances, only to face poverty and discrimination in an alien landscape? Why is immigration controversial in American history? In My Antonia, immigrants build homes, establish communities, triumph over adversity, and embody the "American Dream."We'll also review The Bohemian Girl, a Cather short story that also addresses immigration issues.

November 5-19, 2018, Regnier Hall 165
Winston Churchill had such a penchant for espionage that he might have been to model for James Bond's secretive superior, "M." Churchill had a war to win on many fronts, and just how he did it remained largely secret for 70 years. At last we can examine the tactics used by Churchill and his team to confound and defeat the enemy whoever and wherever they were. We'll review the alleged treasonous actions of the Windsors, the secret British peace negotiations that started in 1942, and the British code-breaking operation. Finally, we'll watch a commando raid first from the public point of view and then with inside information. Why James Bond? That's a secret.

November 1-15, 2018, Brandon Woods Smith Center
November 6-20, 2018, Claridge Court