Dear Friends:

We want to thank everyone out there who helped to make our original program such a national success. Sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and partially funded by a Public Programs Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Elderquest in Today’s Movies and Novels launched at 18 LLIs around the country in the Spring of 2006, reached more than 1100 students, and was universally hailed as an excellent and timely introduction to a upbeat, alternative narrative for the new old age. It was also the first course to run at several LLIs simultaneously, an indication, we hope, of even more cooperation and coordination to come.

This year nearly half our original partners as well as several new ones continue to run Elderquest or what one LLI calls Sons of Elderquest on their own, and we continue to receive inquires from more of you who want to get involved. This was especially true in March when we described the program at a seminar at the national meeting of the ASA and NCOA.

To accommodate as many of you as we can, quickly and effectively, we have revised and improved our elderquest website and all its curricular materials. We have also done away with our members only restrictions, and made our entire 111 page Study Guide easy to download, to copy, and to use. Finally we have prepared a step by step guide, Starting Your Own Elderquest Program. All of this is available at www.olli.umb.edu/elderquest.

All we ask is that you let us know if you will in fact be running the program and how it is going. We’ll also do anything we can to help you make your version as good, as provocative, and as popular as the original.

You can also join us for two new programs

Meanwhile, we have already applied for another two year grant from the NEH so that we can run two more programs on the New Cinema and Literature of Age, both on gender and aging. Program One: Men, Women, and Aging will run in the spring of 2008. Program Two: Love and Relationships in the New Old Age will run in the spring of 2009. We have already signed up partners for the first program, but we are still looking for more of you to participate in them both. Then, once they have run, been evaluated, revised, and improved, we will once again release them for free public use on our website.

Please contact us at chucknicholas@verizon.net if you are interested in any of our programs or simply want to hear more. And once again thanks for your hard work, enthusiasm, and cooperation. Together we’ll change the nation’s negative notions of aging, and who knows, we may even get Nora Ephron to stop worrying about her neck.

Chuck Nicholas
Elderquest Program Director







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