Humanities and the Arts


Explore the little known and uplifting stories of brave men, women and even children who risked their lives to defy the Nazis and save Jews during the Holocaust. Through films and discussion, learn about true examples of human kindness by Christians, Muslims, groups, villages and virtually all of Denmark. Celebrate these inspiring tales of the Holocaust and then ask: "If people did such amazing good during the darkest time in human history, what can we do to treat each other more kindly today?"
Peek behind the scenes as The Florida Orchestra rehearses Brahm's Symphony No. 1 and other masterworks before weekend performances. Meet at the side stage door of the Straz Center for a brief backstage tour and pre-rehearsal talk in the lobby. Participants will have the opportunity to speak with guest conductor Gemma New in a Q & A format during the break or immediately following the rehearsal.
Go behind the scenes of a Florida Orchestra rehearsal at the Straz. See and hear how symphonic masterworks -- Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, Sibelius's Symphony No. 1 and Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain -- come together in advance of weekend performances. The morning will include a backstage tour, interactive presentation and a surprise guest presenter, followed by the rehearsal.
The island nation of Cuba has had an influence on music out of proportion to its size. With west African and Spanish roots, Cuban music is rich in rhythm, emotion and religion. Savor the musical flavors of the island. Sample the traditional music of Cuba with live and recorded performances, introduce yourself to renowned Cuban composers and see some of the percussive instruments that help give this music its unique rhythms. You'll be dancing in your seat!
The Middle East, located at the crossroads of continents, is home to the world's earliest civilizations, the birthplace of major world religions and contains critical natural resources. All this makes it ripe for exploitation, colonization and a clash of cultures that has endured for millennia. It also helps explain our fascination with the region. Explore the diversity of cultures that characterizes the Middle East as you consider its attractions, cultures, food and languages.
What is DNA? How is DNA-based life first created? Could there be DNA-based life elsewhere in the universe? Why does life evolve? What does DNA have to do with spirituality? This course explains DNA's place in "Big History" and will help prepare you to think about how DNA has made you become who you are. The 40-page illustrated text, Big History's DNA, forms the basis of this course and will be provided.
If you ever played the flute and have any type of flute (recorder, piccolo, kena, native American flute, etc.) in the back of your closet, grab it and start those lungs, fingers and brains working, just for fun. The instructor will provide music or you can bring your own: she requires only that you be able to read musical notation. No matter how long it's been since up picked up your instrument, or if you prefer just to listen and appreciate the music, you are welcome!
Continue to learn practical vocabulary and just enough grammar to have conversations without getting bogged down. If you didn't take Conversational Italian I, but have a background in foreign languages, join us. We'll continue with the same book Learn Italian the Fast and Fun Way by Marcel Danesi, Ph.D., Fourth Edition. Book includes an MP3 CD with 4 hours of audio. ($29.99)

This course contains no sessions

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Treat yourself to Johann Strauss II's sparkling Die Fledermaus this holiday season. The Waltz King's second most celebrated and popular work (after The Blue Danube Waltz), Fledermaus is an intoxicating, melodious and exuberant romp, laced with mistaken identities, flirtation at a masked ball, elegant frivolities, confusions of all kinds and of course, captivating music. The overture is one of the most popular ever written, with five of the operetta's best tunes woven into the framework. Performance is preceded by an insightful lecture by our own Beryl Byles.

This course contains no sessions

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The OLLI Singers! is a community chorus with two rules: have fun and learn to sing well. When in doubt, see rule number one. This chorus is open to any level of singer. If you are an experienced chorister, we can use gentle mentors. We will perform several pieces for various audiences in the community during some class meetings. New singers may either borrow music from the instructor or purchase it (approximately $20).
Celebrate the magic and poetry of classical piano music in this combination lecture and recital. Explore the evolving art of piano music as composers seek to express more moods and experiences on the instrument. Hear something familiar in the new and something new in the familiar. Ask questions and make comments during the half-hour lecture, then enjoy the recital by the instructor, a classically trained pianist.

This course contains no sessions

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Shakespeare's plays and poems have inspired a wide variety of classic and symphonic music, from operas by Verdi and Gounod to concert overtures by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. During this conversation, we will explore some of the best-known pieces inspired by Shakespeare, as well as a few lesser-known but amazing masterworks.
Explore the process of creating colorful art using tiny, tiny beads. The instructor, a self-taught working artist, embroiders on felt using traditional and non-traditional stitches to create a unique sculpture effect. Try it for yourself in a hands-on session! Discuss techniques in bead embroidery and hear ideas for mixed media. Consider turning art into a business.
How does a dream become a reality? Just do it! Through photos, stories, maps and other documents, join me in reliving my rich experience of walking the last 100 kilometers of the Camino, the Way of St. James. My destination: the city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Camino has been a pilgrimage route since the ninth century.
There's more to the Irish than wearing green and marching on St. Patrick's Day. Examine the origins of Irish migration, the history of Irish people, their American descendants and the interactions between the Irish at home and abroad. The principal themes we'll explore include migration and settlement, race and gender, politics, nationalism and, encompassing all of these, the evolution of ethnic identity. Join us to find out just who the Irish are.
Learn basic watercolor techniques in this hands-on course. We will discuss tools, brushes and paper as we experience the properties of paint, color and composition to help you create your own work. Beginner through intermediate water colorists welcome. Initial cost of materials and supplies is approximately $125; a list of required supplies will be provided upon registration.

This course contains no sessions

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Patricia Hampl has described memoir as the "tango between memory and imagination." Into this dance, we invite the reader to become our partner in discovering the "hidden narrative" of our past. During this highly interactive workshop, we act as both writers and readers, identifying techniques to engage the reader's interest and trust. Specifically, we will explore the relationship of plot, conflict, character, and arresting detail to find ways to move your life into story. Expect surprises.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.