Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Presents “Listening to Women”

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Presents

Listening to Women”

Thursdays, Jan. 26 – March 2

A six-session series featuring women whose innovations and accomplishments are having an impact and influencing lives locally and globally.

SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2023) The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College) presents its fourth annual Listening to Women, a six-session series featuring women whose innovations and accomplishments are having an impact and influencing lives locally and globally. The series takes place on Thursdays at 1 pm, Jan. 26-March 2, 2023, at Sarasota Art Museum, the Ringling College Museum Campus, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Registration for the six-session series is $81 for OLLI Gold Members and $90 for OLLI Silver Members and general admission.

Holly Freedman, a member of the OLLI Advisory Council, is the creator of the Listening to Women series. Members of the Listening to Women team include Victoria Eckl, Louise Gallagher, Susan Gorin, Bev Harms, Victoria Kasdan, Terry Rixse, Tobie van der Vorm, and Lois Watson.

Each week we’ll meet women who had the passion and determination to break barriers and overcome obstacles to become movers and shakers in their own fields and beyond,” Freedman says. “The women in the 2023 series from Sarasota and Manatee counties have persevered in television and radio broadcasting, high-tech education, nonprofit leadership, social justice artworks, mental health advocacy, and corporate governance. Their inspiring stories will engage and captivate the audience.”

Freedman adds that the Listening to Women series brings attention to the incredible women who live and work here and at the same time enhances the depth and breadth of OLLI’s course offerings. “Our hope is that the audience – men and women – will be inspired to suggest or seek out similar programs at OLLI.”

The Listening to Women schedule at a glance (For complete details and schedule, visit www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org):

  • Jan. 26: “Optics of Storytelling When Told by Women Journalists of Color” with Renée James Gilmore and Mercedes Soler. Two seasoned broadcast journalists, in the third act of their careers, come together to share their perspectives on the current state of journalism, what it’s like to practice that craft as women of color, the role they play as communicators in community advocacy, and some alarming facts surrounding neighborhoods that are heavily populated by their families and friends.
  • Feb. 2: “Cracking the Code: Robotics, Programming & Loving I.T.” with Neirda Thompson-Pemberton, Deshjuana Bagley, and Jane. Together, Thompson-Pemberton, Bagley, and Jane have over 40 years of leading hands-on high-tech programs and loving I.T. Their passion extends to others, and they are making an impact on elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students in our community. Learn how these three are creating programmers, problem-solvers, and the next generation of innovators.
  • Feb. 9: “When Vision Meets Reality: Strength, Leadership, Tenacity” with Sandra Frank, Jennifer Rominiecki, Virginia Shearer, and Felice Schulaner. Successful nonprofit leaders Frank, Rominiecki, and Shearer talk about innovation and creativity as well as the challenges and joys of building their organizations. All Faiths Food Bank, Selby Gardens, and Sarasota Art Museum nourish the body and soul of our community by providing healthy solutions to end hunger, creating bayfront sanctuaries, and serving as a catalyst for understanding the art of our time. Bringing their own expertise and experience to the conversation, they will share personal stories and inspirations, offer insights on moving their organizations forward in an ever-shifting cultural and economic environment, and give their visions for the future.
  • Feb. 16: “Confronting the Issues of the Day: The Art of Patricia Anderson Turner” with Patricia Anderson Turner and Nanette Crist. Turner does not shy away from controversy in her life or her art. Her award-winning mixed-media work reveals her passion for social justice as she addresses issues as varied as gun violence, white supremacy, and climate change. Turner will share how she approaches her work and the techniques she uses to tell a story. She will also discuss her contributions to the OppArt section of The Nation news magazine and her collaborations with other artists to create exhibits like the recent “Women Take Issue.”
  • Feb. 23: “From Adversity to Advocacy: Changing the Mental Health Landscape” with Carrie Seidman, Erika Quartermaine, Helen Neal, and Sarah Miller. Four accomplished Sarasota women share the life experiences that catalyzed their professional goals to expand support for individuals dealing with mental health conditions and trauma. One is a judge who helped create and oversee jail diversion programs for offenders who committed crimes as a result of their mental health challenges. One is a domestic violence survivor whose own recovery became the foundation for helping others heal from emotional trauma and build new lives. Two presenters have personal and familial experiences that crystallized their commitment to mental health advocacy; one is a peer counselor and family navigator for a nonprofit organization, and one is a newspaper journalist and podcast producer.
  • March 2: “From Coal Miner’s Daughter to the Boardroom” with Michele J. Hooper. Hooper will discuss her path from small coal mining town “smart kid” to business leader and governance expert. Growing up as the middle child of 11 gave Hooper a foundation that has served her well as she continues to be a leader in the boardrooms of global corporate and nonprofit companies. Sharing personal stories of her journey, Hooper will discuss the role of mentors and champions, hot topics in the boardroom, and why it is so important to have both gender and racial diversity in our boardrooms, organizations, and communities. She will also offer her perspectives on where we are today and what’s in store for the future.

For more information and to register, call 941-309-5111, or visit www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org. Listening to Women is made possible, in part, with support from The Schwartzbaum Urfer Group at Morgan Stanley, and the Harms Family Foundation.


About Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College, or OLLI at Ringling College, offers noncredit educational opportunities for adults to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons, and enrich their lives. Courses cover a wide range of stimulating topics and are taught by scholars, retired faculty members, and professional practitioners in an engaging, collaborative manner. Visit www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org for more information.

About Ringling College of Art and Design

Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. For more information visit www.ringling.edu and follow the College on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

About Sarasota Art Museum

Sarasota Art Museum is Ringling College of Art and Design’s dynamic laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. As Sarasota’s only museum solely focused on contemporary artists and their work, Sarasota Art Museum offers visitors a place to see thought-provoking exhibitions and participate in education programs that start conversations and amplify the city’s creative spirit. 


Located in the historic Sarasota High School, Sarasota Art Museum opened to the public in 2019 and features 15,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space, the outdoor Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza, the Great Lawn featuring temporary sculpture and site-specific installations, Bistro, and SHOP. Sarasota Art Museum is home to a robust portfolio of education programs for all ages, including the Studios @ SAM, a vibrant studio arts program, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College, which offers a variety of courses for adult learners. 


Sarasota Art Museum is located at 1001 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236. To stay in the know, become a Sarasota Art Museum Member, sign up for Museum email updates, visit our website at SarasotaArtMuseum.org, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

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