You’ve attended (or taught) your courses and participated in the latest event… now what? If you have a particular interest or hobby, why not join or start a Special Interest Group?
Spanning diverse interests like games, jazz, birding, sports, mysteries, and more, these groups (or SIGs) are created and managed by members and provide social, cultural, and educational opportunities beyond the OLLI classroom. Groups are listed in two categories: Kitchen Sink (as in “everything but the…”) and Book Club SIGs.
Is there a SIG you'd like to join but don't see here? Consider starting your own SIG!
Kitchen Sink (Variety) SIGs
At the Theater
Weekend matinee live theater performances, followed by dinner nearby. One or two per month. Leaders: Ron and Marghe Tabar
Exploring Ancient America
Explore the 10,000 years (13,000 BCE to 1400 CE) of human history which unfolded in the centuries before Europeans ever saw the Americas! We will meet monthly, ideally in person, often featuring a presentation by a local scholar on a selected topic. We will explore the possibility of visiting various places. Leader: Rick Menzel (plus other OLLI member leader TBD).
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.–noon. The pace is slow and deliberate. No experience necessary: we will learn from each other. Binoculars are highly encouraged! Leaders: Julia Classen, Ruth Hiland, and Lisa Thornquist
Jazz Appreciation: The OLLI Cats
The OLLI Cats enjoy hearing live performances by vocalists and instrumentalists and discussing jazz together. We meet monthly in September–November and February–May at Schmitt Music, 7800 Harmony Dr., Bloomington. Contact the Leader to learn about the plans. Leader: Cecelia Boone
Currently meets via Zoom on the third Thursday of each month, 1:30 p.m. Leader: Ken Rich
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 and does not meet during the summer. Leaders: Bonnie Nelson, Swami Sundaram, and Tom Rooney
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Members are again going to four concerts (Series 4A on Friday mornings at 11 a.m. at Ordway’s new Concert Hall in Saint Paul) starting in September and running through May 2024. A complete listing of the scheduled programs can be found at www.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
Play Scrabble with relaxed rules and a pleasant, congenial atmosphere. Pop-ins are welcome! Come give us a try. We meet on Mondays at 1 p.m. at the Lenox Community Center at 6715 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park 55426. Lenox Community Center charges ($1 for their members and $2 for nonmembers) each time we use their facility. Leader: Laurie Lykken
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
The group bikes Wednesday mornings May through September. Members take turns leading bike rides on various Twin Cities and suburban trails. Leaders: Susan Verrett and Ginny Mahlum
Members take turns leading walks each Wednesday morning at various locations around the Metro area. This is a friendly, sociable group that enjoys eating lunch together after the walks. Leader: Judy Remington
Book Club SIGS
American History Books
Meets via Zoom on the first Thursday of each month, 1:30 p.m. Leader: Bill Wittenbreer
Awesome Women’s Book Club
Books by or about women. Meets February through November on second Tuesdays, 1:30–3 p.m. New members are welcome. Leaders: Kathleen Bognanni
Fiction Books in Spanish
This book club, which meets the third Thursday of every other month, welcomes members fluent in reading in the Spanish language. Leader: Hector Sztainer
A small group of dedicated readers meets 10:00–11:30 a.m. every third Friday of the month for lively discussion via Zoom. New members should be able to participate in most of the meetings and love to search for meaning and quality in the books. Currently accepting new members. Leader: Judy Remington
Literary Fiction Uptown
Meets monthly in the Walker Library. Third Tuesday from 1:30–3 p.m. Leader: Janet Herbert
Meets via Zoom on the first Tuesday of each month, 2:30–4 p.m. Leader: Karen Koepp
Meets via Zoom on the second Friday of each month at 1 p.m. Leader: Kate Anderson
Nonfiction Saint Paul
Meets over lunch or via Zoom, on the fourth Thursday of each month at 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 at 10:30 a.m. Leader: Dan Vogel
Join or Start a SIG
Are you an OLLI member who is interested in joining or starting a SIG?
To join a current group: Connect with the group’s leader by logging onto the OLLI Member site where you will find a list of SIG leader names and contact information.
To start a new group: All it takes is a member (or two) willing to organize and manage the group and its activities. All set? Contact the OLLI office and we’ll connect you with the SIG Coordinator. Once your group is established, OLLI will help you find members who share your interests.