OLLI Café Presentations

Register For the OLLI Café Lecture Series Now



Bring your lunch and we will provide coffee and tea! OLLI Cafe presentations are open to all OLLI members. These are not courses, and cost no additional charge – OLLI Cafe is one of the benefits of your annual membership. Pre-registration IS required. The weekly event features a guest speaker followed by a short Q&A session.






OLLI Cafe Spring 2019 Descriptions


February 22-Confessions of an Urban Archaeologist with Greg Van Antwerp

If you have seen an episode of The Antiques Roadshow or American Pickers, it’s clear we have an obsession with the value of the items we collect and keep.  This is where Greg Van Antwerp, “The Urban Archaeologist”, is different. He sets aside the interest of monetary value to highlight the story behind each discovery. He will describe his fascination with journeying through the towns of Connecticut and New York for the opportunity to dig for items from the past at estate and tag sales. From the rare to the hilarious and the poignant to the pointless Greg enjoys connecting with the audience as he moves from item to item and adds his own brand of humor to each description. This is a fun, insightful and educational tour of American history through the eyes of a curious and successful digger.


March 1-Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps: History, Memories, and Legacy with Martin Podskoch

Martin Podskoch will discuss his book, Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: Their History, Memories and Legacy. The CCC was a public works program that operated from 1933-1942 as part of FDR’s new Deal. Podskoch’s book describes the history and projects of the twenty-two CC camps located in CT. Interviews and photos of camp life capture the vitality of the young men who worked to improve forests, which had been ravaged by fires, lumbering, and storms. Their labors created the woodlands and state parks that we continue to enjoy today.


March 8-How Can the Akashic Record Help You Move Forward in Life with Jiayuh Chyan

This presentation is a condensed introduction to the Akashic Records. Akashic Records contain our soul’s journey and the true essence of who we are. It is a powerful self-transformation resource connecting with out hearts and inner wisdom. Come join us and find out how the Akashic records can help you reach inner peace and joy even in the most dificult situation and how to become the best person you can be with the support of your own soul. Jiayuh Chyan ins an Akashic Records Teacher, Energy Medicine practitioner and the founder of Jiayuh Chyan. She is an award winning author of the international bestseller, Your Key to the Akashic Records: A Step by Step Guidebook to Access the Akashic Records.


March 15-MATT on the Go with Heather Whitehouse

Enjoy a lively discussion about “What is Art” with Heather Whitehouse. Paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from the Mattatuck Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions will be examined and discussed. Is it a landscape? Is it a portrait? How did they create these one of a kind pieces? What were the functions of these odd looking artifacts? Do you look at art and sometimes think, “Why my grand kids could do that!” Heather will demystify all your curiosities about art today.


March 22-The Museum That Would Not Quit with John Ellsworth

Can you imagine the world without radio, television. or computers? Our world would be completely different than it is today. Join us in learning about the history and development of the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut from its beginning in 1990 to the present. It’s a fascination story of how volunteerism and persistence resulted in a world-class attraction.


March 29-Russia: Partner or Adversary? With Dr. Sergei Kambalov

Dr. Sergei Kambalov was employed at the United Nations from 1989 to 2010. Prior to joining the UN, he was a First Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. Prior to that, he worked in academic research on international economic relations. Dr. Kambalov will focus his presentation on understanding Putin’s policies and actions. He will provide a historical background and set the record straight on certain myths.


April 5-Aging Happy: How to Make These the Best Years of Your Life with Raeleen Mautner. PH.D

Aging Happy is a presentation based on Dr. Mautner’s latest book Aging Happy: How to Knock out the Nonsense and Make These the Best Years of Your Life (Linden Publishing). The presentation will cover ten research-based principles that older adults could apply to their everyday lives to defy stereotypes and experience more satisfaction and joy. Topics include: body image, health and fitness, friendship, money, leisure, activities, and love.


April 12-Tort Law, Trial by Jury with Attorney Richard Newman

Richard L. Newman, Executive Director of the American Museum of Tort Law, will discuss the importance of trial by jury-its roots in the Constitution, and role as a check on tyranny and corporate power. His presentation will also discuss tort law and its social benefits. Attorney Newman will provide information on the American Museum of Tort law, a nationally acclaimed museum of law located in Winsted, Connecticut.


April 26-United Nations: Past, Present and Future with Joseph Baxter

Dr. Baxter will explore the creation of the United Nations after World War II, its present make up, and the issues surrounding its future development and relevance. As the one international institution where 193 nations gather, its strengths, weaknesses, and vision will be illuminated. Joseph Baxter is President of the United Nations Associated of Connecticut and Executive Director of the Intercultural Institute of Connecticut. He has worked to sustain cultural diversity and mediate cross-cultural conflicts. He has participated in international peace missions to Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nicaragua.


May 3-OLLI Appreciation Day: A Celebration of YOU!

Join us for an afternoon celebration honoring our outstanding OLLI instructors, volunteers, and students on the last Friday of the Spring 2019 session.