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Rainbow Lifelong Learning Institute Boston

Adult Education and Lifelong Learning for Boston's LGBT Seniors and Friends!

All Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender seniors and friends are welcome to register for Rainbow Lifelong Learning Institute Boston courses!

Fall 2021 Courses Update

Rainbow LLI Boston will have 2 Fall Sessions this year. Each session will offer Tuesday courses and Wednesday courses.

Each course will hold its classes either ALL on Tuesday or ALL on Wednesday.

For the first 5 week session, BOTH the Tuesday and the Wednesday courses will be held on Zoom.

For the second 5 week session, we hope to hold the Tuesday courses in person, while Wednesday courses will continue on Zoom.

As always, if you have questions or experience problems please contact us at RainbowLLIBoston@gmail.com


**All Our First Session Fall Courses will be held on Zoom**

Fall 2021 Rainbow Courses

Session 1 on Tuesdays: 5 Week Morning Course

On Zoom

Sept 14 - Oct 12

Tuesdays 10:30am - 12pm


Alienated White Americans: Where the American Dream is Dying

Course Leader: Janet Van Zandt

This course reviews distressing trends in the lives of working-class whites and the overlap with support for Trump.

We will review work status, trends in personal lives, and the rise in deaths of despair.  We will then look at societal influences and the rise of angry racial, anti-elite and anti-government responses. We will also explore the role of the more educated professionals.

Finally, we will discuss possible healing directions. The course is meant to provide information that will be the basis for discussions.


Sessions 1 and 2 on Tuesdays: 10 Week

Early Afternoon Course

Meets: On Zoom for Session 1 (Sep 14 - Oct 12)

Meets: In Person for Session 2 (Oct 26 - Nov 23)

Students should plan to take both sessions of this 10 week course.

No class held on Tues. Oct 19

Tuesdays 1pm - 2:30pm

From Dreams to Nightmares:

Six Great African American Playwrights

Course Leader: Jyl Lynn FelmanDael

From Lorraine Hansberry to Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks, these six African American women playwrights will stun, shock, and amaze you with their often brilliant, ground breaking scripts, scene stoppers and outrageous characters.  

With exploding plots that confront race, sex, class, and gender, these literary boundary-crossing playwrights will challenge and expand your notions of what makes a play great.  From Martin Luther King’s last night on earth to the color hierarchy in Black communities, these plays are full of politics. 

Playwrights also include MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Lynn Nottage; Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith; and Olivier and Susan Smith Blackburn winner Katori Hall.  Read across cultures and be invigorated by these powerful women’s voices. 

Session 1 on Tuesdays: 5 Week Late Afternoon Course

Meets: On Zoom

Sept 14 - Oct 12

Tuesdays 3pm - 4:30pm

10 Lessons for the Post-Pandemic World

Course Leader: Jessica Bethoney

How will the Covid-19 epidemic transform our lives and impact our future?

How did different countries respond to the crisis and which responses were most effective? How does this pandemic compare with those of the past? 

What can we learn from our current experience to prevent future epidemics?

In this course, we will discuss the changes wrought by the pandemic to human life and the implications for the economy, medicine, the environment, government and technology.

We will also learn about surprising advances in medicine and public health that had their origin in past battles against pandemics and brainstorm about any silver linings that may emerge from our current dark cloud.

Students will read Fareed Zakaria’s book “10 Lessons for the Post-Pandemic World”.

Session 1 on Wednesdays: 5 Week Early Afternoon Course

Meets: On Zoom

Sept 15 - Oct 13

Wednesdays 1pm - 2:30pm

What Makes Sondheim Great?


Course Leader: Gail Leondar-Wright

Stephen Sondheim is commonly thought to be the most important musical theater composer and lyricist of the past fifty years, and the single most influential force in bringing the Broadway musical into the modern era.  What makes him great?

We will unpack some of Sondheim’s major works including Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George, looking for evidence that he is a “playwright in song." 

We’ll see how Sondheim has elevated the genre ushering in the musical’s modern era.  We’ll have opportunities to appreciate and analyze “Send in the Clowns” and “The Ladies Who Lunch,” among others.



Session 2

Session 2 on Tuesdays: 5 Week Morning Course

Meets: In Person

Oct 26 - Nov 23

Tuesdays 10:30am - 12pm

Journeys in Deep Time - The Call to Pilgrimage

Course Leader: Michael Connollypilgrimage_Mecca

A pilgrimage is a (hopefully) transformative journey to a place of spiritual, moral, or esthetic significance.  It may last weeks (the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Spain) or a single day (climbing Mt. Fuji, Japan).  The journey is as important as the destination and the pace is deliberate: one settles into slow travel; clock time is left behind; conversations become...fuller.

As we view and discuss 3 films about spiritual and secular pilgrimages (The Way, MindWalk, and The Trip to Bountiful) and read the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, we will reflect on past travels and explore sites of interest around the world.

Session 2 on Tuesdays: 10 Week Early Afternoon Course

Meets: In Person

Oct 26 - Nov 23

Dael OrlandersmithTuesdays 1pm - 2:30pm


**Continuation of course from Session 1**

From Dreams to Nightmares:

Six Great African American Playwrights


Session 2 on Wednesdays: 5 Week Morning Course

Meets: On Zoom

Oct 27 - Nov 24

Wednesdays 10:30am - Noon


A BACH Bacchanal: If It's Baroque, Don't Nix It

Course Leader: Liz Diamond

This course will provide a virtual bacchanal/overview of the music of arguably the greatest composer of all time: J. S. Bach (the instructor’s personal favorite), as well as a framework for what to listen for. The goal of this class is for students to discover the joy and genius of Bach! Students with no musical background or lots of musical experience are welcome. Each student will be asked to give a brief presentation on a Bac piece of their choice—a list of resources will be provided.

Class discussion encouraged. There will be a short Bach Gem of the Week for home listening and discussion. 

Scholarships are available

Rainbow makes scholarships available to those who would otherwise be unable to afford our courses. To request a scholarship please email us at RainbowLLIBoston@gmail.com

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