“Cuba: Past and Present” is next OLLI program

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Elayne Clift will present the next OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program Tuesday, Sept. 18. “Cuba: Past and Present” will be presented at 2 p.m. at the Nolin Murray Center next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Pleasant Street in Springfield, Vt.

Street dancers and musicians on stilts in Old Havana. Photo by Elayne Clift.

Clift, a writer, journalist, and inveterate traveler, will show pictures and relate her visit to Cuba in 2017. She talked with people from all walks of life, took copious photographs, and witnessed Castro’s funeral procession as she traveled from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, site of the Revolution, and Castro’s final resting place. Her talk will explore the history, economics, politics, culture, and atmosphere of a fascinating Caribbean country still finding its way as it once again faces an uncertain future.

Cuba is a difficult country to understand. History, politics, and economic reality come together in the island country once dominated by Spain and America, then ruled by the late Fidel Castro, challenging visitors to make sense of it all. One thing is clear, however. Cubans are a warm and friendly people who love life, laughter, music, rum, and la vida bueno.

Clift’s columns appear in the Brattleboro Commons, the Keene Sentinel, VTDigger, and on various blogs. She also writes regularly for Vermont Woman, Artscope Magazine, and other publications.

OLLI, affiliated with the University of Vermont, is a local membership program geared towards seniors 50 years and older who want to engage in meaningful learning, “just for the fun of it!” People of all ages are welcome to attend.

The OLLI series programs are selected with input from the local members and carry varied themes from semester to semester including history, art, music, literature, health, nature, science and current events. Programs are held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons and last about an hour and a half.

Membership includes nine programs. Nonmembers are encouraged and welcome to attend individual lectures for a single program fee. Memberships, as well as single program fees, may be paid at the program.

The following OLLI program will be two weeks later Oct. 2, and will be “Calvin Coolidge: Vermont is a State I Love.” Tracy Messer, through his first-person portrayal of Coolidge, will present the 1928 speech that let the world come to know his home state as the “brave little state of Vermont.”

Brochures have been distributed throughout the area towns at businesses, the local libraries, town halls, and Chamber of Commerce offices. The complete Springfield and statewide program list is available online at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli. Choose Statewide programs from the menu, and then scroll to Springfield.

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