LLI’s 20th annual meeting was held on May 14, with 74 members attending on Zoom. After an entertaining poll, in which 100% of the participants admitted they had lost count of how many times this year they had said, “You’re muted,” our president, Nanci Kryzak, opened the meeting. Once the minutes of 2020’s annual meeting were approved, Nanci moved on to discuss this unprecedented year where everything went online—courses, committee meetings, Council meetings, and social gatherings. She lauded the determination and dedication of the volunteers who sustained us through this period and the willingness of members to adopt new technologies and maintain their participation in all our activities.
Looking to the Future
Looking to the future, Nanci informed us that we will be largely online for SummerFest and our fall semester. We hope to hold a few in-person classes and some hybrid classes in the fall and to make a full return to campus in the spring. Bard will have determined its COVID policies and protocols by mid-summer, and their decisions will guide us. We will be working with a law clinic at George Washington University to decide how we might record our classes.
Other decisions include raising our membership cap to 350 people and reinstating our $175 membership fee. Nanci stressed that scholarships are available on a confidential basis; email her with a request. (June is membership renewal month and you can click here to begin the process.) In the 2021-2022 year we will be reviewing our bylaws, as we do every five years. And Council is already beginning to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion and LLI’s appropriate role in this serious issue…what we are already doing and what we might do in the future. Some questions about that were included in our annual member survey.
Meet Your Electees
The newly elected Council members, who will begin their service on July 1, were introduced. They are Felice Gelman, 2nd vice president; Deborah Lanser, secretary (above); and Carol Goss and John Mathews, members at large (right).
Robert Beaury, our treasurer, presented a report on the finances for 2020-2021 and presented the draft budget for 2021-2022. He discussed how the budget line items relate to the unknowns we face in the coming year with no fixed plan on how and when we will return to the Bard campus. The budget includes a contingency fund that will allow us to meet the circumstances. The budget was approved by the membership attending the meeting.
Hybrid Learning and Future Possibilities
Carmela Gersbeck, chair of Program Support, introduced Chuck Mishaan, who is chair of the Hybrid Learning team, to discuss the plans for hybrid classes. Chuck noted, “The concept of hybrid is not just one thing. It’s a complex web of approaches . . . we have been experimenting with how to produce a quality product for members. The spring class at Olana taught us it was too difficult to deliver a Zoom product outdoors in a public space.” There will be one hybrid gardening class in SummerFest, which will take place in a more controlled environment. “The situation is changing day to day,” he said, “but we have spent a lot of time thinking this out, have acquired equipment, and look forward to offering new possibilities. It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun.” We are one of the very few LLIs in our area offering anything other than online classes.
The meeting concluded with LLI member Navin Sharma introducing a video concert of two Bard Conservatory flute students. Bard flute professor Helen Tara O’Connor had asked composition students to write new pieces for the flute students and collaborate with them to create videos. It was a beautiful conclusion to a meeting packed with information and discussion. You can watch these wonderful performances by clicking on the links: Angel Wings, When the Woods Sleep.