Arts & Education: Sundays at JASA

Arts and Education: Sundays at JASA

Sundays at JASA is a one of a kind, college-level continuing education program for adults 50+. Each semester offers a wide range of courses and lectures. Our instructors include luminaries from the worlds of politics, the arts, media, and more.

Join us for the JASA's 2022 Fall Semester from October 9th - December 18th with courses held on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays from 9:00am - 5:00pm. Class descriptions are listed below with times. The registration fee of $200 includes all of the classes listed below. Courses will be held in-person on Sundays and virtually on Zoom on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. Dial-in audio-only options are available for most virtual courses.  

For more information contact Sundays@jasa.org or 212.273.5304

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Course Catalogue 

SUNDAYS In-Person Courses
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory to attend in-person classes

         9:00am –10:30am Drawing Workshop

         10:00am – 12:00pm The Opera Companion: Touching Upon Romantic Era Operas and More

         12:15pm – 1:45pm Cinema Lecture Series

         2:00pm – 4:00pm Acting: Performance in Practice

SUNDAYS Virtual Courses

         12:00pm – 1:00pm Get A Clue! Crossword Construction

         1:05pm – 2:05pm Get A Clue! Advanced Crossword Construction 

         2:30pm – 4:00pm Masterpieces of Art: Understanding Bob Dylan

MONDAYS Virtual Courses

         9:00am – 10:15am What Just Happened? The News Today

         10:30am – 11:30am The Supreme Court: Law and Politics Collide 

         11:45am – 12:45pm U.S. History: The American Presidency

         12:50pm – 1:50pm Creative Writing

         2:00pm – 3:00pm Art in the City: Global Edition

         3:00pm – 4:30pm Shakespeare: Cymbeline       

WEDNESDAYS Virtual Courses 

         11:30am – 12:45pm New York Short Stories

         1:00pm – 2:30pm Adventures in Film, Literature and Visual Arts

         2:45pm – 4:00pm Global Fairy Tales

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Course Descriptions


SUNDAYS IN-PERSON


Drawing Workshop
9:00am – 10:30am  Instructor: Pamela Koehler

Explore your creativity in this hands-on exploration inside the art of drawing and watercolor painting. We will explore a variety of skills and techniques, including color mixing, composition, brushwork, and observational sketching. Drawing and painting in watercolor can increase our observation and imagination, as we notice and appreciate more of the world around us. Beginning and experienced artists are welcome and students are free to work in either drawing or watercolor throughout the semester.

**A suggested materials list with inexpensive options will be provided.

Pamela Koehler is an adjunct professor of art and art history at Adelphi University. As a teaching artist she has presented lectures, talks, and workshops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Morgan Library, the Whitney, and the Dahesh Museum.


The Opera Companion: Touching Upon Romantic Era Operas and More
10am-12:00pm  Instructor Jane Marsh

Join international renowned opera singer, Jane Marsh, for an in-depth tour of opera productions for the spring of 2022. This semester’s opera course will include stylistic opera diversity, including the Baroque Era, the Bel Canto and Romantic Eras, and the Verismo and the Impressionistic Eras, all of which open up Ms. Marsh’s commentary on the vocal equipment and technical production needed for these operas. Drawing from literary drama, novels, plays, and political history, the classes will be entertaining fun, all presented through a plethora of apropos YouTube clips. Musical training is not necessary for these classes.

Jane Marsh was the first singer to win the Gold Medal in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition. Among Verdi, Strauss and Bel Canto, her repertoire includes the signature Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov heroines. She has appeared as performer and M.C. in international and U.S. radio and television venues and since 2007, has presented Metropolitan Opera Guild lectures and master classes on Bel Canto, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Mozart, Strauss, and the Russian repertoire. She was awarded the New York Handel Medaille for exceptional contribution to the world of music.


Cinema Lecture Series
12:15pm-1:45pm Instructor: Max Alvarez

Sundays at JASA film instructor, Max Alvarez, hosts discussions and shares selections from acclaimed movies, directors and actors. Classes vary week-to-week on topical film industry matters. This semester will include François Truffaut: A 90th Anniversary Tribute, The Crime Films of Anthony Mann (available in softcover as of April 2022), Peter Bogdanovich: His Life and Films, Part I and Part II, Sidney Poitier: A Tribute, 60 Years of James Bond, and more!

Max Alvarez is a film historian who has been presenting multimedia cinema history courses for Sundays at JASA since the fall of 2013. He is the author of “The Cinéphile’s Guide to the Great Age of Cinema” (2020), “The Crime Films of Anthony Mann” (University Press of Mississippi 2013), and a major contributor to “Thornton Wilder/New Perspectives” (Northwestern University Press 2013).


Acting: Performance in Practice
2:00pm – 4:00pm Instructor: Joe George

JASA’s acting class is designed for the budding performer or novice who has a curiosity about acting in theater performance. The course will provide students with an opportunity to learn how to act and perform in a play. Students will work on a selected piece of theater text to gain experience in creating a role for performance within an ensemble. The basics of acting techniques and storytelling are taught with warm-ups, games, improvisation, voice training, text analysis and rehearsal, in order to present a play in a culminating performance or staged reading. Whether you are a beginner, more experienced, or a fan of theater and film, there is something for you. Each week, the class will explore what it means to be an actor working with other performers. Students are not required to perform in public but are encouraged to do so in class. The final class will present the semester’s work for an audience.

Joe George is an actor, musician, composer, playwright and educator. Joe has appeared in many plays over the years, including A Lesson from the Aloes, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Ubu Sings Ubu, Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo, The Confidence Man and Dancing vs. The Rat Experiment. Joe has appeared in regional theaters, off broadway and many downtown theater productions. Joe is a founding member of theater/dance troupe Witness Relocation Theater Company. He has appeared in many national and regional commercials, voice over and television. He is a graduate of A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University and The Moscow Art Theater School (MXAT).



SUNDAYS VIRTUAL COURSES


Get A Clue! Crossword Construction (Virtual via Zoom)
12:00pm – 1:00pm  Instructor: Natan Last 

Learn the principles of crossword puzzle construction through basic history, determining  a theme, making a usable grid, and creating the fill. A group puzzle will be submitted to the New York Times. More than twenty puzzles have been featured in the Times thus far! Will Shortz has hailed this class as “one of a kind.” Registration is capped at 25 students.


Get A Clue! Advanced Crossword Construction (Virtual via Zoom)
1:05pm – 2:05pm  Instructor: Natan Last 
**Administrative Approval Required for Registration

This class will focus on more advanced puzzles such as Thursday-Saturday Times puzzles. Admission to the class is approved for students with one or more years of crossword experience with Sundays at JASA. Please contact Program Director Joe George for class admission approval. A group puzzle will be submitted to the New York Times. Registration is capped at 25 students.

Natan Last published his first crossword puzzle in the New York Times when he was 16, then the youngest constructor to appear in the Times. Last wrote a book of crosswords, Titled Word. He has a B.A. with honors in Economics and Literary Arts from Brown University.


Masterpieces of Art: Understanding Bob Dylan (Virtual via VOOM)
2:30pm – 4pm Instructor James Smith 

“Something is happening here, and you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?” Bob Dylan has been a major cultural figure for 60 years, and is now a Nobel Laureate.  However, public reactions to him vary widely. Many are baffled by his elliptical lyrics, others are less than entranced by his voice, and most musical cognoscenti consider him to be a genius and one of the major cultural figures in recent history. This course will take a deep dive into his poetry, and also explore how its musical setting and production produce the total effect. Students will hear from major literary and poetry critics who understand Dylan’s debt to western and world poetry, as well as critics who are well-attuned to the cultural context that the songs were written in. While emphasis is on his first decade, the 60’s, we will explore his work up to the present day.

James Smith was the Executive Director of an educational and cultural non-profit in Cambridge, MA for many years, and has taught in adult programs at the New School and CUNY.



MONDAYS VIRTUAL COURSES


What Just Happened? The News Today
9am-10:15am  Instructor: Gregg Birnbaum

Join veteran journalist and professor Gregg Birnbaum for a course examining the most important news developments of the week, at home and abroad. Politics, health care, criminal justice/policing, the economy, societal and global changes, foreign affairs and more will be on the table in this discussion-driven course enriched by class members sharing their views. The course will draw from major media outlets for its topics and source material. Our goal is to come away each week more informed, with a better understanding of major news events and having benefited from both the instructor’s insights and the differing perspectives of class members. 

Gregg Birnbaum is a former assistant managing editor for politics at NBCNews.com, where he supervised coverage of national politics and the 2020 presidential campaign, as well as the White House, Congress and Supreme Court. Birnbaum also previously held senior editing positions at the Miami Herald, CNN.com, the New York Daily News, Politico, and the New York Post. He teaches journalism at Baruch College and the University of Florida.


The Supreme Court: Law and Politics Collide
10:30am – 11:30am  Instructor: Leora Harpaz

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has involved itself in numerous controversies that have had significant political ramifications. Whether it is redistricting, voting rights, abortion, guns, climate change, or immigration, just to name some of the issues, the Court’s actions have involved it in major political controversies. This course will examine the Court’s recent actions in areas of political significance as well as look ahead to other issues that may reach the Court.

Leora Harpaz is an emeritus professor of constitutional law at Western New England University School of Law as well as founder of the annual Supreme Court Conference where she has been a speaker for over 20 years. Since receiving emeritus status, she has been an instructor in several senior learner programs and taught undergraduate law courses in the political science department at Hunter College. She received her B.A. from Stony Brook University, and has law degrees from both Boston University and New York University.


U.S. History: The American Presidency
11:45am – 12:45pm Instructor: Doug Brin

This course will look into the 'greats,' 'near-greats,' mediocrities, and downright failures among the 45 men who have held the prestigious title of President of the United States. Did crucial events make or break them? Students will take a closer look at revisionist interpretations concerning the former presidents’ tenures.

Doug Brin facilitates weekly discussion groups at the 92nd Street Y and several independent senior residences, and lectures at the JCC. He is a former feature writer for the New York Daily News, and both a history and ethics teacher at the prestigious Dalton and Ethical Culture Schools. As a visual artist, his work has been exhibited in major neighborhood galleries in Manhattan.


Creative Writing
12:50pm – 1:50pm Instructor: Leo Schaff

This course calls on writers of all stripes, persuasions, and experiences. Memoirs, poetry, short stories, song lyrics, and letters-to-the-editor are all welcome. Find inspiration through art, music, current events, or simply hearing each other’s work. Writers are helped through writing prompts to help guide topics if needed. When it comes to writing, everything is on the table.

Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime Bardolator, he also teaches at the 92nd Street Y and was NY1 New Yorker of the Week for his popular Shakespeare classes for seniors throughout the city. He co-wrote “Give Us Hope,” a song performed by the San Francisco Children’s Choir at President Obama’s first Inauguration.


 

Art in the City: Global Edition
2:00pm – 3:00pm  Instructor: Pamela Koehler

In this course we will explore the nature of visual expression and the ways in which artists transform ideas into works that communicate across time and culture. Through lively discussion and careful observation, we will engage with works of art from museums and collections around the world, and explore new ways to connect to them virtually.

Pamela Koehler is an adjunct professor of art and art history at Adelphi University. As a teaching artist she has presented lectures, talks, and workshops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Morgan Library, the Whitney, and the Dahesh Museum.


Shakespeare: Cymbeline
3:15pm – 4:45pm Instructors: Leo Schaff and Joe George

Not produced very often but a wonderful play nonetheless. This is a play that has love, betrayal, jealousy, revenge and humor; it is a great family drama that Shakespeare tells so well. Very juicy, andas good as anything you'll see on Netflix or HBO. 

Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime Bardolator, he also teaches at the 92nd Street Y and was NY1 New Yorker of the Week for his popular Shakespeare classes for seniors throughout the city. He co-wrote “Give Us Hope,” a song performed by the San Francisco Children’s Choir at President Obama’s first inauguration.

Joe George is an actor, musician, playwright and educator. Joe has appeared in many Shakespeare plays over the years, including Julius Caesar, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure. Joe has appeared in regional theaters, off broadway and many downtown theater productions. Joe is a founding member of theater/dance troupe Witness Relocation Theater Company. He has appeared in many national and regional commercials, voice over and television. He is a graduate of A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University and The Moscow Art Theater School (MXAT).



WEDNESDAYS VIRTUAL COURSES
 

New York Short Stories
11:15pm – 12:45pm  Instructor: Jennifer Gilchrist

New York is a city of millions, with stories of hope, dreams, fear, anger, despair, romance, luck, creativity, humor, and resilience. What better setting for a literary short story? With an emphasis on craft and perspective, this course will analyze short works of tragedy, irony, satire, psychological drama, and stream of consciousness by New Yorkers and temporary New Yorkers such as Abraham Cahan, O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Gish Jen, Jean Stafford, and Deborah Eisenberg.

Jennifer Gilchrist is a veteran New Yorker who now resides in Metro Detroit. She taught literature courses at Hunter College and has published articles in Twentieth-Century Literature and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. In addition to her instruction at JASA, she is the review editor of Supernatural Studies: A Journal of Art, Culture, and Media. With a specialty in modernist narrative, she received her Ph.D. in twentieth-century American and British literature from Fordham University in the Bronx.


Adventures in Film, Literature and Visual Arts
1:00pm – 2:30pm  Instructor: Mark Tursi

Film owes an immense gratitude to literature. An astonishing 70% of the top grossing movies have been adapted from novels. But, how about poetry transformed into film? Or, experimental and avant-garde works of literature adapted to the screen? This course will explore the exciting intersection of film and literature with a specific focus on innovative, avant-garde, and experimental works in varying mediums: film, poetry, fiction, painting, photography, animation, and more. This remarkable convergence of very different mediums – the textual with the visual and audio-visual – reveals a world of fascinating and surprising works of art that have the potential to transform the mind and the imagination. In addition to cinematic adaptations of avant-garde literary works, this course will also explore film that simply borrows the methods and techniques of poetry and fiction, as well as the reverse: literature that uses cinematic techniques or that is inspired by film and visual art.

Mark Tursi is the author of four poetry books including the forthcoming title, The Uncanny Valley. He is currently working on several writing projects including a novel, an anthology of American Surrealist poets, a cross-genre work that blends philosophy, fiction, literary criticism, and poetry in response to and ‘in conversation’ with Dante’s Inferno, as well as a scholarly work titled Experience & Emptiness that explores the confluence of Postmodern philosophy with Surrealism, Zen Buddhism, and notions of the sublime. He teaches various courses in the humanities at Marymount Manhattan College, Mount Saint Mary College, and Pace University.


Global Fairy Tales
2:45pm – 4:00pm Instructor Jennifer Gilchrist

Fairy tales are some of humankind’s oldest stories, traveling the globe for millennia. In this course, we will compare different cultural versions of the tales we know as Cinderella, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Beauty & the Beast, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, and The Dog & the Sea, transcribed by folklorists such as Brothers Grimm, Joseph Jacobs, Andrew Lang, Asbjørnsen & Moe, Giambattista Basile, Emily Gerard, Vuk Karadžić, Duan Chengshi, and Grace James. While deepening our experience with psychological interpretations and historical context, we will explore the magic produced by ancient cultures in present-day South Africa, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Romania, Afghanistan, Israel, Serbia, India, Scandinavia, Russia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and France.

Jennifer Gilchrist is a veteran New Yorker who now resides in Metro Detroit. She taught literature courses at Hunter College and has published articles in Twentieth-Century Literature and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. In addition to her instruction at JASA, she is the review editor of Supernatural Studies: A Journal of Art, Culture, and Media. With a specialty in modernist narrative, she received her Ph.D. in twentieth-century American and British literature from Fordham University in the Bronx.


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