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St. Petersburg


Pop-up lectures are extra - not part of regular programming.   Annual and Lifetime discounts do not apply.

The Armchair Traveler Goes to St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city, its cultural heart, and my hometown. For almost two thirds of its 300-year-long history, Saint Petersburg served as Russia’s capital. From the reforms of Peter the Great to the Decembrist revolt of 1825, and again from the Bolshevik Revolution to the 900-day-long siege during World War II, the most important dramas of Russia’s history played out on the city’s stage. Saint Petersburg has also served as a gateway to and from Europe: Italian architects, Dutch shipbuilders, French restaurateurs, German artisans all contributed to the image of the city, depicted by Russian literary greats such as Pushkin and Dostoyevsky. Splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace, the Peter-and-Paul Fortress, and the Church of the Savior-on-Blood make Saint Petersburg a veritable open-air museum. Indoor museums such as the Hermitage and the Russian Museum boast some of the world’s best collections of Western and Russian art, respectively. The city’s numerous rivers and canals with their gorgeous bridges earned it the nickname of “Venice of the North”—but Venice lacks Saint Petersburg’s “White nights” when the sun barely sets, turning bridges, statues, and wrought-iron latticework into magical silhouettes. Yet the city’s physical geography presents a challenge too: built on a marshy, flood-prone delta of the Neva River, Saint Petersburg is a marvel of urban engineering. Its location at 60°N makes it the world’s largest northern city: its population is greater than that of Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, and Anchorage combined—by a margin of nearly two million people! Join me for an exploration of this magnificent city and its historical significance.

Thursday, Dec. 10
10am -12pm
Asya Pereltsvaig

 This lecture is brought to you in  partnership with the Colony in Murrieta.  The community is allowing open enrollments to attend their program.  Cost is $15 with a paid membership. Colony residents may attend free of charge and will automatically be sent the Zoom link via email.







Pop-up lectures are extra  - not part of regular programming.   Annual and Lifetime discounts do not apply.

Only Hope: My Mother and the Holocaust Brought to Light

Before she passed away in 1974, Felicia Bornstein Lubliner wrote about her internment in Polish ghettos and two Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen.  Her powerful stories have recently been published by her son, Irv Lubliner, an emeritus Southern Oregon University professor and OLLI instructor.  He will share excerpts from Only Hope: A Survivor’s Stories of the Holocaust, shedding light on his mother’s experiences and indomitable spirit, as well as his experience as a child of Holocaust survivors and his process in bringing the book to fruition.  This is followed by a Q & A session.

Wednesday, Jan. 27
1:00pm -3:00pm
Irv Lubliner
Register for Only Hope



Join Richard Bell, author of Stolen, for a talk about five boys who were abducted in 1825 as part of the Reverse Underground Railroad that fueled slavery's rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War. Their courage forever changed the fight against slavery in America.

Friday, Jan. 29, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 pm
Richard Bell
Free to members
Register for Stolen Lecture
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This 5-week course has been revised to a single one-day lecture. 

How Music Reflects Culture

Is music more than a pleasing combination of sounds? Can it mean more? In this two-hour lecture we’ll range wide: looking at politics in the music of Shostakovich and others; considering how K-Pop promotes its host country (South Korea) internationally; and examining how Indigenous song (such as Australian Aboriginal chant as well as Native American dance) reflects a unique way of looking at the world. Are words necessary? We’ll ask if there’s a secret meaning to a classical (purely instrumental) symphony and gain a new appreciation of the importance of any music to its host culture.

Thursday, Feb. 4
1 - 3 pm
Gordon Williams