OLLI is host to a variety of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), all of which are created and managed by members. SIGs meet regularly and provide members with social, cultural, and educational opportunities beyond the OLLI classroom.

Interested in starting a SIG? All it takes is a member (or two) willing to organize and manage the group and its activities. OLLI will help you to find members who share your interests. Contact the OLLI office and we’ll connect you with SIG Coordinator, member Jan Brunell.

The following SIGs are up and running online via Zoom. To connect with a group, log into the OLLI member site where you will find SIG leader contact information.


NEWLY MERGED! Bananagrams/Scrabble

Select the option of playing either Bananagrams or Scrabble with relaxed rules and a pleasant, congenial atmosphere. We meet on Mondays at 1 p.m. at the Lenox Community Center in Saint Louis Park from May through November, and we meet via Zoom the rest of the year. Lenox Community Center charges ($2 for nonmembers or $1 for members) each time we use their facility. Leader: Laurie Lykken

Intermittent Birders

Calling all birders, from beginners on up, for birding walks during the migration season in spring and fall. We meet at a different location each week for Sept./Oct. and April/May, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The pace is slow and deliberate. No experience necessary: we will learn from each other. Binoculars highly encouraged! Leaders: Julia Classen, Ruth Hiland, and Lisa Thornquist

Jazz Appreciation: The OLLI Cats

The OLLI Cats enjoy sharing live jazz together.  We hope to move to a new location in the next few months. Contact the leader to learn about the plans as they unfold. Leader: Cecelia Boone

Memoir Writing

Currently, meets via Zoom on the third Thursday of each month, 1:30 p.m. Leader: Ken Rich

Movie Appreciation

Do you love to watch and discuss movies? If so, join like-minded film aficionados on two Thursday mornings each month. Location, film selection, and other specifics to be determined by the leaders and participants. Note: This SIG does not meet during the OLLI terms. Leaders: Bonnie Nelson, Swami Sundaram, and Tom Rooney

Poetry Appreciation

The group meets in Zoom two Wednesdays a month starting at 10:30 a.m. Group members take turns choosing a topic for a future session and then leading the discussion on that topic.  All members contribute to the discussion and the reading of related poems. Occasionally, though not required, participants share their own poems with the group. Leader: Laurie Lykken

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Members are again going to four concerts (Series 4A on Friday mornings at 11 a.m. Ordway’s new Concert Hall in Saint Paul) starting in September and running through May 2023. A complete listing of the scheduled programs can be found at thespco.org. We have already purchased tickets for the coming season, but anyone is invited to buy their own and join our group as we have lunch at a local restaurant after each performance. Leader: Dave Bucheck

Sports Huddle

Do you love to discuss sports? If so, join like-minded sports aficionados on two Monday mornings each month. Location and other specifics to be determined by the participants. Note: This SIG does not meet during the OLLI terms. Leader: Tom Rooney

Tinnitus Discussion

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present, estimated to be experienced by 50 million Americans. This group will meet to share tinnitus experiences, remedies, and research. Meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Leader: Ron Tabar

Travel, Adventure, and Comradery

Members will have the opportunity to select educational and fun tours, trips, and cruises local, national, and international; meet new members and make new friends. Leader: Cherie Hamilton

Wednesday Walkers

Group members take turns leading walks each Wednesday morning at various locations around the Metro. Lunch follows the walk for those who wish to stay. Leader: Judy Remington

Book Club SIGs


A pile of books in grass

American History Books

Meets online via Zoom on the first Thursday of each month, 1:30 p.m. Leader: Bill Wittenbreer

Awesome Women's Book Club

Books by and/or about women, meets via Zoom February through November on second Tuesdays, 1:30–3 p.m. Leaders: Kathleen Bognanni and Mary Jo Robinson-Jamison

Fiction Books in Spanish

This book club, which meets monthly, welcomes members fluent in reading in the Spanish language. Leader: Hector Sztainer

Fiction Minneapolis

Meets via Zoom on the third Friday of each month, 10–11:30 a.m. This SIG is full and not accepting new members at this time. Leader: Judy Remington

Literary Fiction Uptown

Meets via Zoom on the third Tuesday of each month, 1:30–3 p.m. Leader: Carla Waldemar


Meets via Zoom on the first Tuesday of each month, 2:30–4 p.m. Leader: Karen Koepp

Nonfiction Minneapolis

Meets via Zoom on the second Friday of each month, 1 p.m. Leader: Kate Anderson

Nonfiction Saint Paul

Meets via Zoom on the fourth Thursday of each month, 1 p.m. Leader: Ron Tabar

Saint Paul Contemporary Fiction

This SIG is open for 3–4 new members. Meets via Zoom on the third Friday of each month, 10:30 a.m. Leader: Dan Vogel