“Explore Greece and its islands, tour Cape Cod with excursions to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, visit the North Carolina Pottery Festivals of Seagrove, or spend the day on The Great Smoky Mountain Railway lead by an authentic steam engine.” These are just a few of the programs available, says Jennifer Baer, director of Craven Community College (Craven CC) Foundation’s Lifetime Learning Center (LLC). “The LLC has a very exciting line up of new programs, old favorites and diverse travel destinations set for our 10th anniversary year.”
Programs closer to home will include the very popular Explorations: The International Film Series, a free movie series that kicks off on Friday, September 8. The performing arts series, Explorations in the ARTS will open on Friday, November 10 with The Gospel Jubilators; the series will also include performances by Molasses Creek and the NC Youth Tap Ensemble.
New to the program are two free screenings of Michelangelo: Love and Death, art documentary, part of the Exhibition on Screen program. LLC will also travel to Raleigh for the day to see the World Premier Ballet, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Haunted Tales, a Carolina Ballet production.
LLC participant Gail Young traveled to Italy in 2014. “Jennifer Baer does a marvelous job. I am so glad she is there coordinating these opportunities,” said Young. LLC traveled to Halifax Canada where Young connected with fellow travelers. “We really hit it off. It’s great to get to know so many different people,” added Young. Since 2007, the LLC has increased cultural education and appreciation through artistic performances, international films and travels both near and far.
The LLC was kick-started by a grant from David Young. Then generous annual financial support continued though Terry and Teeny Tait of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. The program is currently supported by Jon Tait and Ashley Martin also of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Craven CC’s own Public Radio East has been the media sponsor since the inception of the program.
Claude Monet was center stage as the theme in the inaugural year. In 2009, the LLC managed through the great recession, offering local and regional activities and travel, including the first Best of Broadway day trip to Durham Performing Arts Center to see Jersey Boys. The free annual international films series held in Orringer Auditorium continued to grow in popularity, with attendance now over 500 participants per film.
In 2013, LLC launched a new performing arts series, Explorations in the ARTS. The LLC added U.S.A. Adventures to its local, regional and international travel itinerary in 2014.
In reflecting on the past 10 years, Jennifer Baer, director of LCC, exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, look at all the trips we’ve taken!” Baer is eager to introduce new cultural education and experiences in the LLC program for 2017-18.A secondary but crucial advantage of participation in LLC programs is that the net proceeds financially benefit the Craven CC Foundation, supporting student scholarships and new initiatives.
The first registration deadline is September 29 for LLC’s first Best of Broadway and Raleigh’s World Premier Ballet trips. In most cases, registration can be completed online or by calling. Look for more LLC programs detailed online at www.cravencc.edu/llc or request a brochure by calling (252) 633-2618 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Childs is the marketing specialist at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.