All courses will meet at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Preservation Area, primarily in the Moss Building and occasionally in the Hillcrest Community Center unless otherwise indicated.

Contact Osher@Mizzou

Email or call 573-882-8189.

To register for classes, call 573-882-8189.

Friday courses

Spring 2018 Semester

Potpourri of the Arts [8 SESSIONS]

9:30–11:00 a.m., Moss A 
Fridays: March 16, 23; April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11

Each semester, Osher invites the movers and shakers of mid-Missouri’s arts scene to discuss, display, perform and showcase their work. Join us for this grab bag of arts topics.

Coordinator: Carolyn Dye

March 16: Theatre for Social Change and Understanding

Join Ruth Ann Burke and Gail Humphries Mardirosian as they discuss Stephens College’s upcoming production of Sarah Treem’s When We Were Young and Unafraid, including a live excerpt featuring performers from the cast. Set against the 1972 backdrop of the Women’s Rights Movement and so many other influential national changes of the time, this powerful play demonstrates how theater is a lens to provide insight on a compelling time in our history. The play will be performed March 16-18, 2018, at the Warehouse Theatre at Stephens College.

Instructor: From the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Stephens College, Ruth Ann Burke is the business manager and serves as the executive director for the Okoboji Summer Theatre summer stock company, owned and operated by Stephens College.

March 23: Exploring the Foundations of Nineteenth- Century Literature

The nineteenth century saw the greatest flowering of literature the world has ever seen. Austen, the Brontës, Dickens, Poe, Dumas, Thackeray, Collins, Hardy, Tolstoy, Eliot, Stevenson, Chekov, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Flaubert, Zola, Hawthorne and many, many more. But the literary geniuses of the nineteenth century would be unknown to us if it were not for concurrent changes in technology (fast, moveable type, printing presses), sociology (middle-class wealth, leisure and literacy and the changing place of women in society) and religious/political atmosphere (the need to appeal to the public for support of causes). This session explores the interdependency of technological and social change with great literature.

Instructors: Mike Trial worked as a civil engineer with the Corps of Engineers for 30 years at various locations in the U.S. and around the world. He is now retired, living on the family farm near Columbia, and spends his time writing novels. Yolanda Ciolli started Compass Flower Press in 2013 as the premier imprint of her independent publishing house, AKA-Publishing, which opened in Columbia, Mo., in 2008. The two imprints publish a range of mainstream and genre fiction and nonfiction. In her previous careers, she owned 50 Minute Photo, a photofinishing, professional photography and graphics business for 24 years. She is a ceramic artist and painter and stays involved in the arts.

April 6: Writing and Performing a Play about a Homeless Camp

This session focuses on the writing and performing of Chuck’s Jungle: A Night the Campsite, which depicts a campsite of three homeless men, and three visitors who pass through. They share tents, food, alcohol, cigarettes, clothing and stories while trying to figure out how to get along. The play will be performed April 12-15, 2018, at the Broadway Christian Church.

Instructors: David Webber, a retired MU political science professor, has written three plays — two about homelessness. He is a long-time volunteer at local homeless services. Caryl Bryan is a veteran of local community theatre and homeless services. She has previously directed two plays about homelessness.

April 13: An Introduction to the Unbound Book Festival 2018

The Unbound Book Festival will return to Columbia for its third annual event on April 19-21, 2018. The festival more than doubled attendance between its first and second years, and it continues to grow in interesting and exciting ways. More than 40 nationally acclaimed writers and poets will come to mid-Missouri from across the country to talk about their writing. With programs for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s literature, there is something for everyone. Come and learn about the authors and poets who will be attending this year’s festival, and the excellent panels and conversations we have planned. You’ll learn about some of the new events for this year, one of which involves both pie and whiskey, and another of which features a renowned jazz musician playing music to accompany the poems of Carl Sandburg. Get hints and suggestions about how to plan your day in order to make the most of the event.

Instructor: Alex George is the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival. He is the author of six novels, including A Good American, which was a national and international bestseller, and most recently Setting Free the Kites, both of which were published by Penguin. He also has his own law firm in Columbia.

April 20: A Visit with Author Gary Scharnhorst

Gary Scharnhorst will discuss his most recent book, The Life of Mark Twain: The Early Years, 1835-1871. This book begins the first multi-volume biography of Samuel Clemens to appear in over a century, and covers Clemens’s childhood in Missouri to his work in print shops and as a Mississippi River pilot, to his writing stint in Nevada and his trip to Europe and the Holy Land, and ends with his move east to Buffalo, New York. Scharnhorst also will talk a bit about his writing process, including the discovery of documents relevant to Clemens’s life in Missouri, along the Mississippi River, and in the West, some of which have been presumed lost.

Instructor: Gary Scharnhorst is distinguished professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. He is the author or editor of fifty books, including Mark Twain on Potholes and Politics: Letters to the Editor. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

April 27: The Role of an Art Director – Sager Braudis Gallery

Join Hannah Reeves of Sager Braudis Gallery for a description of a “day in the life” as she directs a local, for-profit art gallery. Hannah will also give a preview of Sager Braudis’ May show – an opening reception is scheduled for Friday, May 4, 6 to 9 p.m., as part of ‘First Fridays’ in Columbia’s North Village Arts District.

Instructor: Hannah Reeves serves as director for the Sager Braudis Gallery in Columbia. Prior to her current role, Hannah was director at the Bingham Gallery in MU’s Department of Art. She holds a B.F.A. in drawing and sculpture and an M.F.A. in fibers, both from MU. Hannah says that Sager Braudis “is more than a retail business – it’s a fixture in the art community. It’s important to me that the gallery serve this community… and I want to further connect Sager Braudis to art-centered MU events and projects.”

May 4: A Visit with MU’s Chiyedza Mbira Ensemble

Join Dr. Megan E. Arns and her students to learn about African instruments of Zimbabwe and experience the amazing sounds they produce. According to a recent article in the Columbia Missourian, the mbira “is a type of thumb piano from Zimbabwe created by the Shona people – a Bantu ethnic group native to the country. Traditionally, the instrument is made up of metal keys attached to a wooden soundboard. Bottle caps and other items attached to board vibrate to make sound when the keys are plucked. The sounds are believed to attract spirits.”

Instructor: Megan E. Arns is a percussionist, ethnomusicologist and educator with a diverse set of skills and a driven passion for her craft. She is a member of the music faculty at the University of Missouri as an assistant teaching professor of percussion, and also serves on percussion faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp and Valencia International Performance Academy during the summer.

May 11: Music and Humor in Science and Mathematics

Music and humor help people have fun and enjoy what they are doing. A lot of folks dread science and mathematics because they think those subjects will be dull (and uninteresting). This session will show participants that humor can be found in science and math, and that a song can be generated by many otherwise obtuse subjects. Both music and humor are doorways into the memory and learning.

Instructor: Jeff Moran has written nearly 200 songs about a wide range of subjects. Most are about various scientific topics, but some delve into other areas, and he has written a few songs for his church choir to sing. He has performed everywhere from Cooper’s Landing to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Currently he lives with his wife (formerly a wildlife biologist) on 20 acres in Callaway County that they have restored to native prairie.