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

    • Monday, August 07, 2017
    • Monday, August 28, 2017
    • 4 sessions
    • Conte Federal Building, 78 Center Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
    • 6

    Writing with Pictures – Telling Your Story
    taught by Thaddeus Kubis
    Mondays in August, 10am-11:30am
    Downtown Pittsfield

    Do you have a story to tell? We all do! Does your family have a story to share, and to pass on to the next generation? Tell your story, a vacation-based story, a business story, or that of your family with photos which provide a visual narrative supported by your own words, feeling and emotions. We'll show you how to convert your words and pictures into an e-book, printed book or slide show.

    Mobile phones, tablets, film-based cameras (will need to convert your images to digital files), as well as DSLR’s are all welcomed.

    Instructor Thaddeus Kubis is trained as both a graphic designer and photographer. He brings elements of geometric imagery and graphic design to every photo he creates, and is an experienced photography instructor who has taught many classes for OLLI and other organizations.

    Four sessions, 1.5 hours each, weekly assignments. Registration is $45 for OLLI members, $60 for non-members. Register online or by phone by calling 413.236.2190.

    • Tuesday, August 29, 2017
    • 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    • Wahconah Park, 105 Wahconah Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
    • 41

    Historic Wahconah Park Behind-the-Scenes Tour & Lunch


    Former Pittsfield Mayor JIM RUBERTO
    a baseball buff & OLLI member

    Wahconah Park, a city-owned baseball park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts nestled in a working-class neighborhood, is one of the last remaining ballparks in United States with a wooden grandstand. On the National Register of Historic Places, it was constructed in 1919 and seats 4,500.

    In the July 23, 1990 issue of Sports Illustrated, author Daniel Okrent raved about the park in his column entitled Just A Little Bit of Heaven – Pittsfield's Wahconah Park is Baseball as it Oughta Be.

    Join us for a picnic lunch and guided tour around this historic ballpark!

    OLLI members with a unique email address on file with us may register for events and classes online.  Click here for instructions

    You may also register by telephoning the OLLI Office at 413 236 2190, or by printing the registration form found here and mailing it in. 

    • Wednesday, August 30, 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield, Mass. 01201

    Sex, Science, Society and Reproduction

    An Illustrated Talk with Dr. Barry Verkauf

    Wednesday, August 30th, 2pm
    Berkshire Museum

    Join us for another fascinating discussion in OLLI's 2017 Distinguished Speakers Series.

    Except for expressing intimacy, the principal reasons for sex are pleasure and the propagation of our species. For centuries, infertility has been a societal and personal problem, but remarkable scientific advances over the last 50 years have made it conceivable that sex will no longer be necessary-at least for reproductive purposes-with potentially significant societal implications.

    Dr. Barry Verkauf, founding faculty of the USF College of Medicine, initiated the program responsible for the first IVF birth in Florida in 1986. He is currently an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at USF.

    Click here for a printable form

    Tickets may be purchased in advance online or by calling 413.236.2190, or at the door on a space available basis.

    • Saturday, September 02, 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Lenox Town Hall

    OLLI Member Art Show Reception & Silent Auction

    Saturday, September 2nd, 2pm-5pm
    Lenox Town Hall
    Free & Open to the Public

    Join us for our annual weekend art show and festive silent auction at historic Lenox Town Hall on Labor Day weekend.

    Great art, great company,and great items to bid on in support of OLLI's educational programs!

    Ice Glen Road
    by OLLI member Larry Frankel

    Bid on dozens of tempting silent auction items in support of OLLI's educational programs, including:

    dinner for two at the Red Lion Inn

    a spa day at Canyon Ranch

    wine and food basket from Spirited

    a rustic garden statue from Campo de' Fiori

    tour & tastings for 10 from Berkshire Mountain Distillers

    cooking class & lunch for 6 at Chez Nous

    a case of Bordeaux from Domaney Wines

    10 movie passes from the Triplex Cinema

    two tickets to any performance at Shakespeare & Company

    plus gift certificates, original art, handcrafted jewelry, and much more!
    • Wednesday, September 06, 2017
    • 8:15 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Bus leaving from Big Y, Lee - 10 Pleasant St, Lee, MA 01238
    • 34


    The Museum of America & the Sea

    Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 

    New! The Thompson Exhibition Building: inspired by the sea

        Join us on a luxury bus trip to Mystic Connecticut for a day of exploration. Round trip travel and admissions to Mystic Seaport included in the price. Maps & self-guided brochures provided so you can explore at your own pace. 

    Lunch is on your own - there are many scrumptious choices! 

    Mystic Seaport is the nation’s largest maritime museum. The Museum’s grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River in Mystic, Connecticut and include a recreated New England coastal village, a working shipyard, formal exhibit halls, and state-of-the-art artifact storage facilities. The Museum is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship still in existence.

    A stroll through the historic village enables visitors to experience firsthand from staff historians, storytellers, musicians, and craftspeople just what life was like to earn one’s living from the sea. In the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, they can watch shipwrights keeping the skills and techniques of traditional shipbuilding alive as they restore and maintain the Museum’s watercraft collection and other vessels.

    Tickets are $60 for OLLI members; $70 for guests, and include roundtrip bus, snacks on the bus, and Mystic Seaport admission.

    OLLI members with a unique email address on file with us may register for events and classes online.  Click here for instructions.  You may also register by telephoning the OLLI Office at 413 236 2190, or by printing the registration form and mailing it in. Refunds only available if space filled from a waiting list.  

    Thank you to OLLI's Special Events Committee for organizing this and so many other great OLLI events! Questions? Contact Special Event Committee Chair Arline Breskin at 413.243.3640 or 413.446.4102

    • Thursday, September 07, 2017
    • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    • General Bartlett Room, Susan B. Anthony Student Center, Berkshire Community College, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, Mass.

    For OLLI members interested in becoming a mentor for BCC students. Free & open to all.  Please RSVP so we know how many to expect. Click here for the mentoring application. Copies will also be available at the open house.

    • Thursday, September 14, 2017
    • Monday, October 30, 2017
    • Various locations in Berkshire County.

    Click the catalog image to read it online!

    This fall OLLI offers over 20 courses in Pittsfield, Lenox, Great Barrington, North Adams and Williamstown on topics ranging from Nixon to pasta, Beowulf to climate change!

    Our fall semester runs from September 14th to October 30th, with weekly classes ranging from 4 to 6 sessions each.

    To view the complete Fall 2017 course line up and find links to individual course descriptions click here: Fall 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 class sessions within a semester, perfect if you will be out of town for part of the semester, or if you are just omnivorous! (Note that FLEX passes are not valid for lottery courses or courses that have reached capacity.) 

    Questions? You can always give the OLLI office a call at 413.236.2190 and we will be happy to help!

    • Tuesday, September 19, 2017
    • Tuesday, October 10, 2017
    • 4 sessions
    • South Congregational Church, Pittsfield

    Introduction to Western Square Dancing

    Map to the Social Hall at the South Congregational Church, Pittsfield

    As invigorating as a brisk walk and as mentally stimulating as a crossword puzzle!

    An introduction to the basic elements of the western square dance.  Learn and practice dance maneuvers or calls under the direction of an expert dance caller, Cliff Brodeur, and the helpful “angels” of the Pittsfield Square Dance Club. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. No prior experience necessary. Activity level is moderate. Singles and couples welcomed.

    Click here for a printable Square Dancing form

    Why Square Dancing?

    It's Fun: The exhilaration of eight people dancing together in quick time for a common purpose is unparalleled.

    It's sociable: Square dancing, just holding hands and changing partners involves a social component that independent fitness endeavors do not.  Participants are given the opportunity to develop strong social ties the contribute to their self esteem and a positive outlook.

    It's mentally stimulating: People who start Square Dancing soon realize that it's a "thinking person's activity". The interaction with the caller and the other dancers to complete a movement successfully keeps the mind sharp, focused and challenged.

    It's good moderate exercise: In one evening of square dancing a person can walk three to five miles, providing the right amount of movement for many people.

    It's non-competitive: Square dancers dance for the excitement of working through the sequences successfully. There are no "winners /losers/champions", just people having fun!

    • Sunday, October 08, 2017
    • 12:30 PM
    • Cranwell Resort, Lenox
    Celebrating Arthur Sherman

    A luncheon & fundraiser to support an endowment for The Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture series

    Sunday, October 8, 2017 12:30pm–3pm
    The Mansion Ballroom
    Cranwell Resort and Spa
    55 Lee Road, Lenox, MA 01240

    Click here for the online registration website


    Click here for a printable donor ticket form.

    • 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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 Seven: A Staged Reading
Tuesday, August 22, 2017 OLLI Theater Party at Berkshire Theatre Group, Zoo Story
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Economic Myths, Realities, and Opportunities
Wednesday, August 09, 2017 OLLI University Day
Thursday, August 03, 2017 OLLI Theater Party at Shakespeare & Company, Intimate Apparel
Friday, July 21, 2017 OLLI Theater Party at Chester Theatre Company, Skeleton Crew
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 OLLI Bus Trip to JFK Library & Edward Kennedy Center for the Senate
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Drones: The Sky Isn't the Limit!
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 OLLI Theater Party at Barrington Stage, Ragtime
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 An Afternoon with the Berkshire Opera Festival
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Faculty Appreciation Cocktail Party
Thursday, June 22, 2017 An Evening at Jacob's Pillow with the Miami City Ballet
Saturday, June 17, 2017 The Beatles & Classical Music: A Talk with Professor Jeremy Yudkin
Saturday, June 03, 2017 Patient Safety: How to Avoid Being Harmed by Healthcare
Friday, June 02, 2017 OLLI Summer 2017 Classes
Thursday, June 01, 2017 Free Behind-the-Scenes Tanglewood Tour
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Berkshire Carousel Guided Tour & Lunch
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 OLLI Annual Meeting & Cokie Roberts Talk
Saturday, April 29, 2017 New Directions for Jacob's Pillow with Director Pamela Tatge
Saturday, April 22, 2017 Up From Stardom Staged Reading & Reception
Saturday, April 15, 2017 Landscapes of the Clark with Director Olivier Meslay
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 OLLI Spring 2017 Semester
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
Sunday, February 21, 2016 OLLI 2016 Spring Course Registration

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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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