OLLI and the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville have partnered to bring brand-new courses to the public beginning in April. It is the only museum of its kind in the Southeast, the second largest museum in the state and houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western American art in the country. The museum is named for Sam Booth, a mentor to several of the anonymous founders. Main art galleries feature Western artists of the 20th and 21th centuries.
“The partnership between CCPE OLLI and The Booth Western Art Museum is important because it expands our opportunity to offer lifelong learning to students in Cartersville and north,” said Pat Walker, OLLI program manager.
Courses to be held at the museum will be perfect for any history buff. They will focus on the American West. Course topics range from learning about the musical influence to learning how to write historical nonfiction. Specific courses include a chance to tour the museum.
“American West Influence on Operatic and Broadway Productions of Musical Compositions” will give students the opportunity to enjoy hearing some examples of music, influenced by the culture and expansive of our great American West. Instructor Donna Angel has taught voice, music appreciation and opera courses for 10 years at KSU. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Opera Volunteers International in 2012 and is the founding director of Capital City Opera.
“Legends and Basic Playing of the Native American Flute” will have students learning how the flute was originally used by the Plains Indians and gained popularity in the music world. They will also be introduced to the basic steps on how to play. Students are encouraged to bring their own instrument but student flutes will be available for purchase.
Students will get a unique look at the American history westward from the Mississippi River to California in “Spirits of The Great American West.” It will further explore major historical events that are tied with personal accounts, legends and myths. Some historical questions are addressed and facts are woven together with legends to make history come alive. Students find that instructor Quentin Thomas, a recognized historian, author and cowboy poet, is an entertaining, informative and enlightening instructor.
During the “Civil War in the Western Theater” course, students will explore military action at Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta and much more. Instructor Michael Shaffer, a historian, author and newspaper columnist, will teach students about the commanding officers involved in an area which most historians agree decided the outcome of the war.
“How to Write Historical Fiction” will focus on tips and techniques for people interested in writing fiction set in the past using real historical characters and/or settings. Instructor Josh Langston has published five historical novels in settings as diverse as 1st Century BC Europe, Colonial America and Georgia during World War II. This course is based on research and writing practices he developed in the process.
“Our collaboration with The Booth provides a classroom setting inside a museum that displays pieces of art and history that are being discussed in each of the courses,” Pat said. “We are also pleased that students that would not have been able to attend a course due to the distance of KSU OLLI will hopefully better served at a closer location to their homes.”