OLLI at BCC Events & Programs

OLLI at BCC offers a wide variety of programs and events that combine fascinating learning opportunities with social interaction. All of our events and programs are organized by our members. Interested in helping? Contact the OLLI Office about joining an OLLI committee.

Upcoming events

    • Wednesday, April 12, 2017
    • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
    • Various locations in Berkshire County.

    This spring OLLI offers over 22 courses in the April 12 to May 23, 2017 period  in Pittsfield, Lenox, Great Barrington, Stockbridge and Williamstown.

    To view the complete Spring 2017  course line up and find links to individual course descriptions click here: Spring 2017 Class Schedule, or peruse the catalog online by clicking here.

    To register for classes, you must first join OLLI, if you are not already a member. You can then register online, by mail, or by phone at 413.236.2190.  

    FLEX passes ($50 each) are available. These entitle the holder to attend up to 6 individual classes across a variety of courses. But please note that FLEX passes will not be honored when a limited-seat class has reached capacity.    

    Spring 2017 classes are to be held at a variety of local venues, including BCC's Conte Center in Pittsfield and South County Center in Gt. Barrington, 

    • Saturday, April 29, 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (EDT)
    • Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pitstfield, Mass. 01201
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    Join us Saturday, April 29th at the Berkshire Museum for a fascinating sneak preview of the future of Jacob's Pillow Dance with Pamela Tatge, the new Director of the Berkshires' legendary international dance festival, professional school, and archives. Tatge is responsible for setting the artistic vision and strategic goals for Festival programming, education, preservation, audience engagement, residency programming and artist support, collaborative programming, fundraising and more.

    For nearly 17 years, Tatge served as the Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, overseeing robust programming and acclaimed artistic initiatives, including the Breaking Ground Dance Series. Initiatives that were launched and developed during her tenure include the Creative Campus Initiative, integrating arts into non-arts areas of the curriculum; the Green Street Center for Teaching and Learning; Feet to the Fire, examining environmental sustainability through an arts lens; and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, the first-ever Master’s degree in Performance Curation.

    • Wednesday, May 24, 2017
    • 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    • The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, Mass. 01230

    OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, is pleased to announce that author and commentator Cokie Roberts will the 2017 Mona Sherman Memorial Speaker this year.

    Ms. Roberts will speak at 6pm, directly following OLLI's 2017 Annual Meeting, which begins at 4:30pm. Both events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. We are grateful to Berkshire Gas for co-sponsoring the lecture.

    Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In addition to her reporting she has written six New York Times bestsellers, most dealing with the roles of women in U.S. history.

    The Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture honors the late Mona Sherman, a former OLLI President who had a transformative effect on the OLLI program. Thanks to the generosity of her family and friends, the annual lecture is free to the Berkshire community that Mona loved.

    The OLLI Annual Meeting features a review of the past year, election of new board members, and updates from Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy.

    Registration can be made directly through the Mahaiwe Box Office at (413) 528-0100 or through their online system at 


    • Wednesday, May 31, 2017
    • 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
    • Berkshire Carousel, 50 Center Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
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    Berkshire Carousel 

    Guided Tour & Lunch

    Built and carved by volunteers over 7 years, the Berkshire Carousel is the largest community art project in western Massachusetts! We will explore the carving studio, splash some paint on new horses, and gain understanding of the detailed work involved in producing the Berkshire Carousel. The beauty and craftsmanship rival those of historic carousels. The figures are modeled after those of the most famous carvers of the Golden Age of Carousels from 1880 to 1930. Three chariots have been constructed, and Berkshire residents have completed the artwork for the Berkshire scenes to be used in the 14 rounding boards in the main frame top.

    Tour the Workshop & the Carousel  Hear the History of the Horses

    + Lunch by OLLI Chefs!

    Refunds only if space filled from a waiting list.  Event Leader: Bonnie Desrosiers  413.442.5490

    Thank you to OLLI's Special Events Committee for organizing this and so many other great OLLI events! 

    • Friday, June 02, 2017
    • Friday, June 30, 2017
    • BCC Pittsfield, BCC Great Barrington, and Kimball Farms in Lenox

    Our summer semester, featuring a baker's dozen classes in international relations, Russian music, visit to artist studios and restaurant kitchens, and more, runs the month of June. Summer 2017 OLLI classes are held at Berkshire Community College campuses in Pittsfield and in Great Barrington, and at Kimball Farms in Lenox.

    No grades, no tests, just learning for the joy of learning is the hallmark of OLLI courses!

    To view the complete Summer 2017  course line up and use links to individual course descriptions click here: Summer 2017 Class Schedule or peruse our Summer Catalog PDF by clicking here.

    To register for classes, you must first join OLLI, if you are not already a member. You can then register online, by mail, or by phone at 413.236.2190.  Our registration fee schedule encourages you to sign up for more than one course: $50 for one course, $95 for two or three; and $125 for as many courses as you would like to take within a semester!

    FLEX passes ($50 each) are available and count as one class. These entitle the holder to attend up to 4 individual class sessions within a semester, as long as the class is not at capacity, or a lottery class. Click here for information on OLLI Flexpasses.

    • Thursday, June 22, 2017
    • 5:15 PM
    • 358 George Carter Rd, Becket, MA 01223
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    An Evening at Jacob's Pillow featuring the Miami City Ballet

    Described as “bold, light, immediate, intensely musical” by The New York Times, the Miami City Ballet makes its first Festival appearance since 1998. Works on the program exhibit the company’s wide range and prowess, including master choreographer George Balanchine’s challenging and technically precise Allegro Brillante set to Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky’s energetic “Third Piano Concerto No. 3”. The program also includes Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s elegant Polyphonia, danced to György Ligeti’s complex and eerily melodious score, and Peter Martin’s elegant Barber Violin Concerto.

    NORTON OWEN, Preservation Director, will give a talk in Blake’s Barn - 5:15 pm


    Talk at 5:15 – Supper at 6:00 – Dessert at 6:30 – Performance at 8pm

    Please reserve as soon as possible so we can order the correct number of tickets. Click here for a printable form to mail in with a check. Seating in the order received. Refunds only if space filled from a waiting list.

    Event Leaders: Lesley Oransky 914.261.6037
    Ellen Tabs 413.274.3434

    Special Event Chair: Arline Breskin 413.243.3640

    Thank you to OLLI's Special Events Committee for organizing this and so many other great OLLI events! 

    • Tuesday, July 18, 2017
    • 7:45 AM
    • Bus departs from Big Y - 10 Pleasant St, Lee, MA 01238
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    OLLI bus trip to John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the Edward Kennedy Institute for US Senate.

    Play the role of a US SENATOR with a hand held electronic tablet as you debate, compromise, pass laws and come away with a deeper understanding of our democracy



    Afternoon visit to the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

    Special Exhibit: See 8 of 47 endings Ernest Hemmingway penned to “A FAREWELL TO ARMS”

    JFK Library houses the world’s largest collections of documents, photographs, and personal mementos belonging to the literary icon. “Ernest Hemingway Between Two Wars” includes material rarely publicly seen.

    Day includes all admissions, lunch, bus, tip, tours, snacks & good company! 

    • Tuesday, July 25, 2017
    • 105 Wahconah St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

    Picnic Dinner and Ball Game at Pittsfield's Historic Wahconah Park

    A family friendly night out! your ticket includes reserved seats behind home plate and dinner.  Great views of every pitch! Bring glove, camera and binoculars.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2017 (must RSVP by July 18)
    Picnic Dinner:  6 PM  Game Time: 7 PM
     Pittsfield Suns vs. Nashua Silver Knights

    Rain date to be arranged if needed.  
    Event leader:  Bonnie Desrosiers  413 442 5490

    • Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    • 501 US-20, New Lebanon, NY 12125

    BEHOLD! New Lebanon 

    guided tour

    Details to follow!

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

    • Wednesday, September 06, 2017
    • Bus leaving from Big Y, Lee - 10 Pleasant St, Lee, MA 01238

    Mystic Aquarium bus tour and lunch

    Details to follow!

    Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

    • Sunday, October 15, 2017
    • Berkshire Community College and Barrington Stage Co.

    Join us for OLLI's most popular event of the year!

    Enjoy a scrumptious buffet brunch prepared by OLLI volunteer chefs at Berkshire Community College, while an OLLI instructor extraordinaire gives a behind the scenes descriptive talk to accompany the play.

    Afterwards, we'll reconvene for the 3pm matinee  at Barrington Stage Company's MainStage, located in downtown Pittsfield.

    Already have theatre tickets? Not a problem! You can pay for just the brunch and talk.

    OLLI's Annual Theatre Brunch is organized by the OLLI Special Events Committee, chaired by Arline Breskin.

Past events

Saturday, April 22, 2017 Up From Stardom Staged Reading & Reception
Saturday, April 15, 2017 Landscapes of the Clark with Director Olivier Meslay
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 OLLI Spring Open House
Wednesday, March 08, 2017 Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium Tour & Lunch
Friday, February 24, 2017 Smartphone Photography Workshop/Great Barrington
Thursday, February 23, 2017 Williamstown Theatre Festival Community Workshop
Monday, February 06, 2017 Smartphone Photography Workshop/Pittsfield
Saturday, January 28, 2017 Winter Bookbinding Workshop
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 OLLI Winter Open House
Friday, December 09, 2016 One Month Later: Making Sense of the 2016 Election
Thursday, November 03, 2016 Free Workshop with Williamstown Theatre Festival
Sunday, October 16, 2016 OLLI's Annual Theatre Brunch
Saturday, October 01, 2016 Trends in Philanthropy: Here, Nationally, Worldwide
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Introduction to Western Square Dancing
Monday, September 12, 2016 OLLI 2016 Fall Course Registration
Tuesday, September 06, 2016 OLLI Bus Trip to the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT
Sunday, September 04, 2016 Seventh Annual OLLI Art Show
Saturday, September 03, 2016 OLLI Art Show Reception & Silent Auction
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Confronting Climate Change: A Talk by Williams College Professor Ralph Bradburd
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 OLLI Fall Open House
Saturday, August 20, 2016 A Taste of Korea
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 OLLI University Day
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Play Ball! - Pittsfield Suns Baseball Game.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 The 2008 Financial Crisis: The Federal Reserve's Resolve
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 Some Fascinating Stories Behind Windsor Mountain School
Saturday, July 02, 2016 Haydn Behind Beethoven
Saturday, June 25, 2016 Situating Stigma: Mental Health in News and Social Media
Thursday, June 23, 2016 Jacob's Pillow featuring ASPEN SANTA FE BALLET
Wednesday, June 01, 2016 From Hard Rock to Hospitality
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 A Day at the Pittsfield Airport
Saturday, May 07, 2016 Mum Bett and her Quest

OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 | olli@berkshirecc.edu

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