Theater, Kurdish history and Woody Allen are just a few of the topics local residents can learn about thanks to a lifelong-learning program celebrating 25 years in January.
The Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute, a partnership between Brenau and community leaders, provides daytime classes to community members of any age.
To kick off the fall term, the group is getting together at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 at Left Nut Brewing Co. to talk about and register for classes while eating tacos, enjoying drinks and touring the Gainesville brewery.
“The people that come to our classes are people of all ages,” said Kathy Amos, executive director of BULLI. “A lot of people think it’s only for seniors, but it’s not. It’s available for anyone who can take daytime classes.”
Amos said she expects about 50-60 people at the event, ready to sign up for one of the program’s 12 upcoming classes.
BULLI is a year-round program with four terms lasting six weeks. Classes usually last about an hour-and-a-half.
The group is supported by its membership fees, which are $135 for 2018-19. On top of the membership fee, each course is $40. Registration ends Aug. 30.
Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute
What: Registration and get-together
When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23
Where: Left Nut Brewing Co., 2100 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville
How much: $135 membership fee, $40 per course
More info: 770-538-4705, www.brenau.edu/lifetimestudy
Amos said there are a lot of interesting classes on the schedule this term. Two classes she’s most excited about are “The Kurdish Cause: Historical Context and the Modern Crisis” and “Woody Allen: Themes, Reaction and Discussion.”
“I mean, where else are you going to find a class on Woody Allen,” Amos said.
“Here Be Dragons: Navigating the Director's History,” which will be taught by the director of Gainesville Theater Alliance’s WonderQuest, Gay Hammond, is another class Amos is excited to see.
“She’s really looking at what a director has to consider,” Amos said. “And there’s a huge range of things she’ll be talking about and really taking them behind the scenes. And I think for people who are hooked on theater — which I think a lot of people are in this area — it’s an excellent chance for them to get a point of view from the captain of the ship.”
Amos said the classes give members an opportunity to learn interesting, nontraditional things in a more relaxed environment from people who know what they’re talking about.
Apart from classes BULLI offers, there are special interest groups members can join. That’s where a lot of the real experience comes in, Amos said.
There’s a hiking club that takes hikes on trails in Northeast Georgia. There’s a poetry club, book club and dinner club, too.
“Lifetime learning is a big factor in keeping you in shape as you age,” Amos said. “And that’s what these people have found.”
As learning continues and the program approaches its 25th anniversary in January, Amos hopes to see the group grow even larger. She knows the impact it can have on those in the community who don’t want to stop learning, so she said she’s ready for the next 25 years.
“There are places for folks to find their niche and really explore things that are of interest to them with BULLI,” Amos said.