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The Spring 2016 catalog is available below and may be downloaded from links provided:  

Meet our Fabulous Instructors by clicking here.

***** Spring 2016 Term *****  

1.  Select a course from below.  You may download Summary of Courses and Courses Descriptions.
2.  Call the phone number listed to speak with the instructor.
3.  Download a course registration form with a membership application  or two course registration forms 
4.  Write your tuition check payable to ESILL and mail it with the registration form to the instructor.

Each course requires a separate check.  Note the course name on the check.
Add “Member” and apply your $5 discount if you are a member of The Friends of ESILL*.


-- Some courses require supplies at an additional charge. 

-- Some courses are limited in size.  Call early; your seat will be reserved when yout tuition is received.

-- Your instructor will provide the course location. 

-- A refund will be provided if you inform the instructor that you are withdrawing before the second class .

THE FRIENDS OF ESILL is our support organization, which helps keep tuition low and affords our members the opportunity of fellowship with our directors, students, and instructors.   Join now and enjoy course discounts for this Fall term and all of 2016!

If you have topics you would like to suggest or are interested in teaching a course, please contact Laurie Wiggins at (251) 990-5555.

Spring 2016 Reception

You and your guests are invited to the Friends of ESILL spring 2016 reception on Sunday, February 21 from 2-4 PM at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 1150 Fairhope Ave.  This is your opportunity to meet several of our instructors.  Musician and song writer Mike Turner will perform with the ukulele and early stringed instruments.  Snacks and beverages will be provided.


Click here to download the summary of courses.

Courses are held in Fairhope except as noted.

( L) : limited class size


Abstract Painting II

Tues., 9:30-noon, 4 weeks, Mar. 8-29, tuition $45, copying fee $5, students must purchase supplies costing approximately $50.  Dee Donaldson, 752-0475.  (L)

Art and History Rambles in Baldwin County

Fri., 9-noon, 3 classes, Apr.  8, 15 and 29, tuition $41, Mary Jane Skinner, 625-4806.  (L) 

Art, Symbolism and a Poly-Religious Spiritual Journey

Tues, May 10, 10-noon, tuition $9.  The instructor is Nall.  To register, call Hollie Halford at 334-437-0625. 

Digital Photography

Fri., 9-noon, 4 weeks, Mar. 11-Apr. 1, tuition $54, Gene Sellier, 597-7543.

Drawing Made Easy

Mon., 9-noon, 3 wks, Mar. 28-Apr. 11, tuition $41, Jean-Marie McDonnell, 626-2816. (L) 

Pastel Painting for Beginners

Wed., 9-noon, 4 weeks, Mar. 9-30, tuition $54, materials fee $6, Jane Sellier, 990-5930.  (L) 

Photoshop Elements® Techniques

Mon., 9:15am-12:15pm, tuition $54, Gene Sellier, 597-7543.  (L)Part 1   4 classes, Mar. 7, 21 and 28, and Apr. 4        Part 2   4 weeks, Apr. 11-May 2

Watercolors for Beginners

Thurs., 9-noon, 6 wks, Mar. 10-Apr. 14, tui. $81, materials fee $50, Loran Chavez, 623-3925.  (L).

Watercolors Will Do What?

Thurs., 9-noon, 6 wks, Apr. 21-May 26, tui. $81, materials fee $35, Loran Chavez, 623-3925.  (L) 


Fine-Tuning Our Musical Ears 

Mon., 10-noon, 9 weeks, Mar. 7-May. 2, tuition $81, Vincentine Williams, 626-2712.

Guitar for Beginners

Mon. and Fri., 1-3pm, 4 weeks, Mar. 7-Apr.1, tuition $72, materials fee $10, Kim Jones, 517-7636. (L) 

History of the Blues

Tues., 1:30-3pm, 3 wks, tuition $21, Gene Sellier, 597-7543.   Part 1  Mar. 8-22     Part 2  Mar. 29-Apr. 12.

Learn to Sing!

Spanish Fort     Wed., 10-11:30am, 4 weeks, Apr. 6-27, tuition $27, materials fee $5, Allanda Small, 601-818-2833.

Music Theory for Beginners

Daphne     Fri., 7-9pm, 8 weeks, Mar. 11-Apr. 29, tuition $72, materials fee $6, Kim Jones, 517-7636

Songwriting for Amateurs

Mon. and Thurs., 6-7:30pm, 6 classes, Apr. 7, 11, 14, 25, 28 and May 2, tuition $41, Mike Turner, 458-4775.  (L) 

Ukulele for Beginners

Tues. and Thurs., 6:30-8pm, 5 classes, Mar. 1-10 and Mar. 17, tuition $34, materials fee $5. The instructors are Mike Turner and Carl Couret.  To register, call Mike at 458-4775.


Creative Writing

Sat., 9-11am, 4 weeks, Apr. 2-23, tuition $36, materials fee $8, Mahala Church, 287-2728.  (L)  

An Editor’s Advice for the Novice Writer

Mon., 10-noon, 6 weeks, Mar. 7-Apr. 11, tuition $54, Joe Formichella, 895-5921.

Lifestories Workshop: Creating a Memoir 

Thurs., 10-noon, 4 weeks, Apr. 7-28, tuition $36, materials fee $3, Rosanne Gulisano,630-327-1890.  (L)

Selected American Short Stories: Edith Wharton to Edith Pearlman

Thurs., 1:30-3:30pm, 3 weeks, Mar. 17- 31, tuition $27, small copying fee, Brenda Huchingson, 650-2499.  (L). 

Spanish for Beginners or Relearners

NOTICE: COURSE WITHDRAWN Mon. and Wed., 9:30-11am, 10 weeks, Mar. 14-May 18, tuition $135, materials fee $7, Jean Bay, 802-1001.

Word Magic

Sat., 9-11am, 4 weeks, May 7-28, tuition $36, materials fee $8, Mahala Church, 287-2728.


Americans in Paris, 1830-1930

Mon., 10-11:30am, 3weeks, May 2-16, tuition $21, Pam McRae, 895-0016.  (L)

Here’s to You, Jackie Robinson: The Legend of the Prichard Mohawks

Mon., Apr. 18, 10-noon, tuition $9, Joe Formichella, 895-5921.

An Historical Perspective of Israel & Its Challenges in an Unstable Middle East

Daphne   Thurs. 12:30-2:30pm, 3 weeks, Mar. 31-Apr. 14, tuition $27.  There are three guest lecturers (see course description). To register, call Laurie Wiggins at 990-5555. (L).  

Hollywood Blacklist:  The Walking Dead

Wed., Apr. 27, 1:30-3:30pm, tuition $9, Donna Esslinger, 923-6220.

Women and Insanity in the 19th Century

Wed., Apr. 20, 1:30-3:30pm, tuition $9, Donna Esslinger, 923-6220.


Unity of Art, Philosophy, Science and Religion

Mon., 1-3pm, 4 weeks, tuition $36, materials fee $5, Fred Marchman, 929-0995.Part 1   Mar. 7-28           Part 2   Apr. 4-25

Walking the Bible, Studying the Song of Songs

Daphne  Mon., 6-8pm, 3 weeks, Mar. 28-Apr. 11, tuition $27.  The instructor is Rabbi Steven Silberman.   To register, call Mary Jane Skinner at 625-4806.  (L)

The World Turned Upside Down: The Growth of Christianity

Tues., 9-11am, 4 weeks, Mar. 8-29, tuition $36, Toby Gurley, 625-3438.  (L)  


Attracting Hummingbirds, Butterflies and Dragonflies

Daphne  Thurs., Apr. 21, 10am-12:30pm, tuition $12, materials fee $2, Donna Aplin, 577-2988.

Birding 101:  The Basics

Tues., 9-11am, 4 weeks, Mar. 8-29, tuition $36.  The instructor is Ann McLaurin.  To register, call Diana Gardiner at 210-4482.

DIY Italy: How to Travel in Italy On Your Own

Mon., 10-11:30am, 4 weeks, Mar. 7-28, tuition $27, materials fee $10. The instructors are Piero and  Sharri Whiting De Masi.  To register, call Sharri at 650-4090.

Fun Cookie Bouquets

Daphne   Wed., Mar. 23, 12:30-3pm, tuition $12, materials fee $25.  Beth Cullinan and Christine Zuercher are the instructors.  To register, call Beth at 484-302-1934.                                                       The deadline for sign-up is Friday, March 18.

Gardening Way Down South

Daphne     Sat., 9-noon, 2 weeks, Mar. 19-26, tuition $27, materials fee $12.  The instructors are Barb Comstock and John Kitch.  To register, call Barb at 272-0624.  (L) 

Growing Ornamental Camellias

Daphne   Sat., Apr. 9, 10-11:30am, tuition $7.  The instructor is Jim Gaines.  To register, call Dot Bremer at 604-9342.

Introduction to Improv

Wed.,  6-8pm, 6 weeks, Mar.9-Apr. 13, tuition $54, Jon Robitaille, 447-7579.  (L) 

Petits Fours 101

Thurs., 9:30-11:30am, 2 weeks, May 5-12, tuition $18, materials fee $10, Chris Zuercher, 621-9489.  (L)

Sailing Fundamentals

Thurs., 6-7pm, 3 weeks, Mar. 17-31, tuition $14.  The course includes a three-hour hands-on sail to be scheduled later for a $56 fee.  John Helmstadter, 956-495-5147.  (L)

Spring Cupcake Centerpiece

Daphne     Wed., Mar. 23, 9-11:30am, tuition $12, materials fee $25Beth Cullinan and Chris Zuercher are your instructors.  To register, call Beth at 484-302-1934.   The deadline for sign-up is Friday, March 18.

Spring Has Sprung Cooking and Baking

Daphne    Thurs., 10:30-1pm, 5 classes, Mar. 10—31 and Apr. 21, tuition $57, materials fee $40, Beth Cullinan, 484-302-1934.  (L)  

Temari – Japanese Embroidered Thread Balls

Sat., 10:30am-1:30pm, 4 classes, Mar. 26 and Apr. 2, 16 and 30, tuition $54, materials fee $30, Blair Heald, 928-6939.  (L).

Wine Fundamentals

Tues., 6-7:30pm, 4 weeks, Mar. 15-Apr. 5, tuition $27, wine fee $30.   Reservation only:  Tuition and wine fee must be received by Thursday, March 10.  Jon Robitaille, 447-7579.  (L) 


Estate Planning  Tues., April 12, 5:15-7:45pm, tuition $12.  The instructor is Sam Irby.  To register, call Dot Bremer at 604-9342. 
In accordance with the Canon of Ethics of the Alabama Law Association, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Raspberry PI:  A Computer for Everyone!

Sat., 10-noon, 4 weeks, Mar. 26-Apr. 16, tuition $36, Gene Sellier, 597-7543.  (L) 

Sign Language For Professionals 

Tues. and Thurs., 6:30-7:30pm, 15 weeks, Mar. 8-Apr. 7 and April 14-June 23, tuition $135, materials fee $20, Cheray Bixler, 229-7755.  (L)


Aerial Yoga for Beginners

Fri., 9:15-10:15am, 6 weeks, tuition $27, Megrez Mosher, 454-2528.  (L) Aerial Yoga I   Mar. 11-Apr. 15      Aerial Yoga II   Apr. 22-May 27

Aquasize for Seniors

Sat., 9-11am, 6 weeks, Mar. 12-Apr. 16, tuition $54, Kathleen Fendelman, 348-2044.   (L)

Chair Yoga – Sitting and Standing

Wed., 10:30-11:30am, 4 weeks, Mar. 9-30, tuition $18, Billie Reinhart, 379-4493.

Energy Medicine Movement for Health and Well-Being

Fri., 9-11am, 5 weeks, Apr. 8-May 6, tuition $45, materials fee $10, Bob Maldonado,  210-6872.

Introduction to Ayurveda

Thurs., 10-noon, tuition $9, Cindi Galas, 205-746-6632.        Ayurveda I   Mar. 31          Aruveda II   Apr. 28

Women’s Healing Circle

Thurs., 10-noon, Mar. 10 and Apr. 7, tuition $18, Cindi Galas, 205-746-6632.

Yoga for Fitness and Strength Management

Mon., 9:15-10:45am, 6 weeks, tuition $41, Christina Caprez, 928-9565.      Yoga I    Feb. 29-Apr. 4           Yoga II    Apr. 11-May 16.


Click here to download courses descriptions.

ABSTRACT PAINTING II   New Course!  This is a structured acrylic art course in which instructor Dee Donaldson will demonstrate a step-by-step composition on canvas as the students follow.  You will have the option of color palette, and the design and composition is selected by the instructor.  Students of any skill level are welcome.  Class size is limited.

AERIAL YOGA FOR BEGINNERS      New course!     This course is designed to help increase balance, strength and pain management and to allow your inner child to play.  Led by instructor Megrez Mosher, the course will explore the basic yoga poses modified to be gentle and restorative and made appropriate for all fitness levels.  As a participant, you will get your own fabric “vine” that is adjusted to hold you at hip height or lower.  Most of the exercises are performed standing or sitting on a mat, with assistance from the vine.  As you progress, inversions and floating poses will be explored, and modifications can be easily made for those who do not wish to go upside down.  This program is specially designed to help relieve minor lower back and neck pain.  Many students report feeling lighter and less stressed as a result.  In fact, many people say that they become addicted to aerial yoga.  So don’t be afraid, come out and play!  The instructor is Megrez Mosher.  Class size is limited.


AMERICANS IN PARIS, 1830-1930     New Course!      This course offers an overview of the cultural life of Paris from the eyes of American writers, artists, diplomats and students who spent formative parts of their careers in the “City of Lights”.  The instructor is Pam McRae.  Class size is limited.  

AQUASIZE FOR SENIORS     New Course!     This course utilizes both exercise drills and pool work with an emphasis on balance, coordination and agility.  There will be 20 minutes of land drills and 50 minutes in the pool performing weight transfers – forward, backwards and sideways – specifically focusing on rhythmic movements for both upper and lower extremities.  A medical waiver is required.  Please call the instructor, Kathleen Fendelman, for additional information.  Class size is limited. 

ART AND HISTORY RAMBLES IN BALDWIN COUNTY     New Course!     By popular demand, this course is back with some new fun tours.  Each week we will visit artists’ studios and historic places in Baldwin County, after which we’ll enjoy a Dutch Treat lunch at a local restaurant and discuss what we’ve seen and heard that day.  Mary Jane Skinner is the coordinator.

ART, SYMBOLISM, AND A POLY-RELIGIOUS SPIRITUAL JOURNEY     New Course!   Nall, the internationally-acclaimed local artist, will speak about the influences of art and symbolism that led him on a number of quests and pilgrimages that he made across Europe, Asia, Mexico, North Africa, and, eventually, here to Fairhope, where he has lived off and on over the last decade

ATTRACTING BUTTERFLIES, HUMMINGBIRDS AND DRAGONFLIES     New Course!     This course will focus on the shelter needs of all these wonderful, engaging garden creatures, their food requirements, the plants they prefer, and the seasons when they are present.  Handouts including a list of plants for each season and life cycles will be provided.  Donna Aplin is your instructor. 

BIRDING 101:  THE BASICS     If you like the great outdoors and are looking for a lifelong hobby that is both intellectually stimulating and physically invigorating, consider bird watching.  Birding 101 is an introduction to backyard birds, bird behavior, identification, migration, communication and other basics.  The Gulf Coast region of Alabama, with it pristine beaches, mixed forests, bays, rivers, swamps and pastures, is an ideal laboratory.  Of the 445 species recorded in the state, 420 have been found in Baldwin and Mobile counties.  Warning!  This hobby may be addictive.   Ann McLaurin is the instructor.

CHAIR YOGA – SITTING AND STANDING    This course is helpful for anyone who wants to exercise but has difficulty with floor postures (weight on hands and knees or repetitive movement on and off the floor) because of knee pain, extra weight, arthritis, etc.  It begins with breath work and seated yoga postures in a chair.  We then stand by the chair (or use the wall) to improve balance and strength in standing poses.  Participants have the option to stay in their chairs or wheelchairs or lie on the floor for relaxation at the end.  Bring a yoga mat.  Blocks and straps are provided; they are optional but will help you to perform to your greatest potential.  The instructor is Billie Reinhart.  

CREATIVE WRITING:  INTRODUCTION TO FICTION     Creative writing is one of the most stimulating and fulfilling ways to express yourself, and age is never a factor!  This course discusses the various forms of creative writing to spark ideas, acquire confidence, and gain a sense of how to move forward with your writing.  An overview of fiction basics - plot, characters, setting, voice, narrative, and dialogue - will assist you to weave together the melody of fiction writing.  In-class exercises and a touch of homework (about an hour a week) will assist you to merge class information into practical application. Pencils, pens, and laptops welcome.  Class size is limited.  Mahala Church is the instructor.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY   This basic photography course will help you get better results from your digital camera.  Discover what all those dials, wheels, buttons and menu options mean and how they can help improve your pictures.  We will cover specific tasks such as portraits, action photography and close-ups, photo editing software, and the many options for displaying your finished product, be it a photo book, slide show, individual print, collage, greeting card or web image.  This course is of most benefit to those who have cameras with interchangeable lenses or adjustable modes.  Bring your camera, its manual and sense of humor to class.  The instructor is Gene Sellier.  

DIY ITALY:  HOW TO TRAVEL IN ITALY ON YOUR OWN      New Course!     Been to Italy and want to get off the beaten path?  Never been there, but you're the adventurous type?  In each of our four classes, you will be provided an itinerary for travelling independently in a different part of Italy - on your own, not on a tour, and not in the major cities.  You will learn about the history of the locales and get advice on the kinds of places to stay, how many things to plan in a day, what’s worth seeing and what’s not, how to get there by car or public transportation, what special things there are to eat or buy, and more.  The regions you will visit are the Wine and Oil Routes (Umbria and Tuscany), Foodie Heaven (Parma, Modena, Bologna, Mantova), the Cradle of Western Civilization (Sicily), and the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Pompeii, Amalfi, Ravello, Capri, Ischia).  Your instructors are Piero and Sharri Whiting De Masi.  

DRAWING MADE EASY     New Course!     For those who say, "I can't even draw a stick figure," this course is for you. The class will give you confidence through a few simple tricks that you can share with your friends or grandchildren. Please bring two pencils, a pen and a drawing pad with you to the first class.  The instructor is Jean-Marie McDonnell. 

AN EDITOR’S ADVICE FOR THE NOVICE WRITER     Joe Formichella, award-winning local author and editor of books from anthologies to novels, will discuss topics including story ideas, the writing process, beginning a project, and the common obstacles new writers face – all topics beyond a creative writing workshop.  The instructor is Joe Formicella. 

ENERGY MEDICINE MOVEMENT FOR HEALTH AND WELL BEING   Learn a gentle approach to identify and heal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wounds through an integrated practice combining energy medicine, transformative movement, breathing and meditation.  The student will be encouraged to identify a core issue that needs to be cleared and set an intention to heal.  Guided meditation and a series of breathing and easy movements will help restore energetic balance.  This is a practical self-help method that helps produce positive physical, emotional, mental and spiritual changes improving overall health and well-being.  Discussion and sharing is encouraged.  No experience is necessary.  Wear comfortable clothes.  Bob Maldonado is the instructor.   

ESTATE PLANNING     Get all your questions about estate planning issues answered in just one class.  This course will cover the basic planning principles, with an emphasis on reducing or avoiding estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes; the non-tax aspects of estate planning, including wills, trusts, and the probate process; the need to coordinate insurance and retirement assets; ways to avoid probate; methods of property transfer at death; durable powers of attorney and health care declarations, and moreThe instructor is Sam Irby.  In accordance with the Canon of Ethics of the Alabama Law Association, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.  

FINE-TUNING OUR MUSICAL EARS    Whether listening to classical or pop music, the enjoyment depends on how engaged our ears are.  In this course, students will be encouraged to observe the form, tonality, rhythm, harmony and lyrics of many types of music.  This is a very different music appreciation course, in which students themselves participate in forming the course content in an informal and interactive setting.  If your interest is in Tin Pan Alley or Pavarotti, country rock or the development of stringed instruments, anything is game.  In addition to studying the elements of music, we will learn about present and past composers and various selections to be performed by the Mobile Symphony in its Spring concert series.  The instructor is Vincentine Williams.

FUN COOKIE BOUQUETS     New Course!     Take your cookies to the next level and join us for this single session course designed to teach you how to make a Spring-themed cookie bouquet similar to those found in specialty bakery shops.  You will learn how to bake cookies on a stick, make and color your own homemade fondant, and how to professionally display your finished product.  Our instructors, Beth Cullinan and Chris Zuercher, will teach you how to create professional-looking cookies you will be proud to give as a gift or enjoy yourself.  Bring three yards of your favorite wired ribbon.   The deadline for sign-up is Friday, March 18.  

GARDENING WAY DOWN SOUTH     Are you a beginning gardener, snowbird, or new to the South?  Master Gardeners Barb Comtock and John Kitch will start this course off explaining why gardening in south Alabama is different from gardening anywhere else.  This includes hot nights, high humidity, lack of chill hours and more.  We will discuss the importance of oxygen and drainage, soil types, root types, mulches, compost, fertilizers and soil additives.  Also covered will be vegetables throughout the calendar year, varieties and companion plants, and we’ll lightly touch on landscaping, lawns, ornamental plant varieties and native plants, shrubs and trees.  Before the first class, you should read ANR-0006-A from and watch the video ‘DIY Soil Sample’on the ACES website.  Bring a soil sample to the first class.  Class size is limited.

GROWING ORNAMENTAL CAMELLIAS     New Course!     Master Gardener Jim Gaines will tell you all you need to know to make your property flourish with beautiful camellias.  Topics to be covered are their selection, cultivation and pruning, and the control of pests and diseases.  

GUITAR FOR BEGINNERS   New Course!   In this course you will learn handling and care of your instrument, basic music reading and guitar theory, basic chords, left and right hand techniques, and duet and solo work.  You may even have the opportunity to participate in a live performance!  The instructor is Kim Jones.  Class size is limited.

HERE’S TO YOU, JACKIE ROBINSON:  THE LEGEND OF THE PRICHARD MOHAWKS    New Course!     In March of 1948, when Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers came to Mobile on a whistle stop tour to play an unremarkable exhibition game, it had very remarkable consequences for the city, the black community and baseball itself.  Robinson’s brief appearance fueled a passion for the game among the city’s black population.  One man, however, saw more than just excitement for a sport.  Though he had no baseball experience at any level, local businessman Jesse Norwood realized he could take the model of the game and build it into a sense of dignity and pride for hopeless black kids living in the segregated South of the 1950s.  He did more than just transform a gang of scrawny youngsters into a team, the all-black Prichard Mohawks; the team he built became a beacon of community pride and a positive example of civic responsibility, and his legacy can still be felt today.  Local award-winning author Joe Formichella will relate his adventures in researching the Mohawks, the history of blacks in baseball, and race-relations in 20th-century America on his way to writing Here’s to You, Jackie Robinson:  The Legend of the Prichard Mohawks.

AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF ISRAEL AND ITS CHALLENGES IN AN UNSTABLE MIDDLE EAST     New Course!      Daphne     We are fortunate to have the participation of three guest lecturers to provide us an in-depth view of this subject matter.  Dr. David Meola, USA professor of Jewish Studies, will cover Euro-Mediterranean Jewish life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Subjects to be explored include Ottoman Jewish life, European Jewish life, anti-Semitism and the Dreyfus Affair, origins of the Zionist movement, and the reactions of European and Mediterranean Jewry to the events, ideologies and political negotiations of that period in history.  Rabbi Dana Kaplan, Ph. D., of Spring Hill Temple in Mobile will discuss Israel’s development from 1948 to the present.  Ron Brummer, Deputy Consul General at the Consulate of Israel to the Southeast U.S, will provide us insight into the enormous political challenges that Israel faces today.  We wish to thank Carol Zimmerman for suggesting this topic and coordinating the development of this course.  Class size is limited.

HISTORY OF THE BLUES     From the beginning of the Blues to the present, we will visit many of the artists in this field through audio and video presentations.  We’ll discuss the lives and impact of some of the most celebrated Blues musicians.  This course is given in two parts, each three weeks in length.  Part 1 will cover from the beginning of the Blues until about 1930.  In Part 2, we will discuss the period from about 1930 to the present.  The instructor is Gene Sellier.

THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST:  THE WALKING DEAD     New Course!     This is a review of the effects of the anti communist witch hunt of the 1940’s and 50’s and its evisceration of the motion picture and TV industries. Who finked and who didn't?    Donna Esslinger is the instructor.

INTRODUCTUON  TO ARUVEDA      New Course!     This course delves into the ancient system of health and healing called Ayurveda, an Indian medical tradition that dates back thousands of years.  Focusing on harmony in the body through diet, exercise, yoga and massage, it offers one of the most effective ways to improve our health, increase our energy, focus our mind, and shift those stubborn excess pounds.  The fundamental aim of Ayurveda is to encourage you to take control of your wellbeing, both physical and spiritual, by achieving a better balance between your body and your mind.  The instructor is Cindi Galas.  

INTRODUCTION TO IMPROV     New Course!    This is a fun and immersive introduction to the joys and thrills of improvisation.  Participants are introduced to the basics of theatrical improv through games and exercises in a safe, friendly and welcoming atmosphere.  Concepts include exploring active listening, being open to the moment, understanding story structure, and in finding the scene that wants to be performed by making one’s partner look good.  You will also gain a new and excited appreciation for embracing failure and how to bring all of these concepts to your daily off-stage lives.  No prior experience necessary!  Jon Robitaille is the instructor.  Class size is limited.

LEARN TO SING!     New Course!    Spanish Fort      This is course is designed as an introduction to vocal study and training.  You will learn the important foundations of healthy vocal technique (breath support, resonance, tone placement, etc.) and have fun singing in an unpretentious and supportive environment.  Whether you enjoy karaoke, singing in church or singing in the shower, this course will give you the tools to discover and improve your voice.  Materials will be provided for a small fee – see course schedule.

LIFESTORIES WORKSHOP:  CREATING A MEMOIR     In this beginner’s workshop, Rosanne Gulisano teaches the basics of how to get started turning your life story into a readable narrative, choose appropriate photos and have the pages bound into a priceless family memento.  You will get not just organizational tips but a good dose of motivation as well.  Writing and sharing your stories in class will inspire and entertain you.  Don’t be forgotten in two generations!  Class size is limited.

MUSIC THEORY FOR BEGINNERS     New Course!     We are going to start from the very beginning and create a foundation to build on.  What is music?  How and why do we perform it the way we do?  Students will learn about notes, steps, timing, keys, chords, vocal projection and enunciation.  Believe it or not, having built this background of knowledge you will have the ability to pick up any instrument and be able to play it in no time.  Bring a notepad.  The instructor is Kim Jones.  Course size is limited.

PASTEL PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS     New Course!    Soft pastels are a unique artistic tool.  No other medium offers the speed and directness of painting.  This course enables beginning students to get the feel of the medium, from making simple marks on paper to building up color to produce a finished painting.  The only requirement for this class is a desire to learn.  No previous art experience is necessary - not even the ability to draw! Jane Sellier is the instructor.  Class size is limited.

PETITS FOURS 101     New Course!     These bite sized cakes are always a hit at any party and your friends will be impressed when you tell them you made them yourself.  This course will cover how to properly bake, fill, coat and decorate cute designs on these small sweets.  Chris Zuercher is the instructor.  Class size is limited.

PASTEL PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS     New Course!    Soft pastels are a unique artistic tool.  No other medium offers the speed and directness of painting.  This course enables beginning students to get the feel of the medium, from making simple marks on paper to building up color to produce a finished painting.  The only requirement for this class is a desire to learn.  No previous art experience is necessary - not even the ability to draw! Jane Sellier is the instructor.  Class size is limited.

PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS® TECHNIQUES   Students will be provided step-by-step instruction in how to use the powerful software tool Adobe ®Photoshop Elements® to organize, store, edit and present digital images in a variety of formats.  The course text is Adobe® Photoshop Elements® Classroom in a Book.  This course will be given in two parts, each four weeks in length.  In Part 1, we will discuss organizing photos;creating projects; printing, sharing, exporting and basic editing.  Part 2 will cover color correcting; fixing exposure problems; repairing, retouching and recomposing images; and combining images and advanced editing.  There is no pre-requisite – beginners are welcome, and you do not have to take Part 1 to participate in Part 2.  You may use the Fairhope library’s computers or bring your laptop.  The instructor is Gene Sellier.  Class size is limited.

RASPBERRY PI – A COMPUTER FOR EVERYONE!     New Course!     Add a keyboard and monitor to a $35 Raspberry PI and you have a complete Linux-based computer with access to individual I/O ports by which you can control a security system, a greenhouse, your home environment, a weather station that logs data or the world (a slight exaggeration).  We will cover Linux and Python software and various hardware devices to interface with the external environment.  No previous hardware experience is required but a familiarity with either Windows or Mac OS computer systems is helpful.  The instructor is Gene Sellier.  Class size is limited.

SAILING FUNDAMENTALS     There are many dimensions to sailing, and this course will give you a little exposure to what it is like, to see if it is something you might enjoy.  This basic how-to-sail course will include nautical terms, points of sail, sail trim, steering, right-of-way rules and safety in three classroom sessions, followed by a three-hour, hands-on sail.  John Helmstadter is your captain. Class size is limited. 

SELECTED AMERICAN SHORT STORIES: EDITH WHARTON TO EDITH PEARLMAN     New Course!     In this course, students will read and analyze a selection of short stories by 20th- and 21st-century American writers, both male and female.  Copies of the stories will be provided by the instructor for a small fee and will be available a week before the course begins.  The instructor is Brenda Huchingson.  Class size is limited.

SIGN LANGUAGE FOR PROFESSIONALS     New Course     This intensive course will provide instruction in simple American Sign Language to enable professionals such as nurses, police and firemen to communicate with deaf persons whom they may encounter during their work day.  We will also discuss aspects of deaf persons’ culture so that students might understand their perspective:  the challenges they encounter, how they navigate without sign language to help them, the emotional toll they suffer being dismissed or looked down upon by others, and the successes they have achieved although hearing-impaired.  You will also learn about the history of schools for the deaf and how children are taught.  A text the instructor will provide has 30 chapters for which you will need to read one for each class.  Class size is limited.  

SONGWRITING FOR AMATEURS     New Course!       Been humming an original tune?  Jotted down some lines that could tell a story set to music?  Take this course to learn how to turn your ideas into a song!  In this seminar-style course, students will learn the essential elements of song; song structures and genres; how to form and develop song ideas; basics of lyrics, rhymes and melody; copyright; and the “lowdown” on the music “business.”  Strictly for amateurs – no musical knowledge required – if you can hum or whistle a tune, you can learn to write a song!  Mike Turner is the instructor.  Class size is limited.  

SPANISH FOR BEGINNERS OR RELEARNERS- NOTICE: COURSE WITHDRAWN.  Learn useful Spanish with proper pronunciation.  You will learn words and phrases for greeting others, asking and giving directions, describing objects (color, number, size), parts of the body, talking about food, describing people, and articles of clothing.  We will discuss grammar components unique to Spanish, but this is primarily a conversational course.  The Spanish we practice at each class will provide basic language for traveling or building a basis for additional learning.  The instructor is Jean Bay.

SPRING CUPCAKE CENTERPIECE     New Course!    Daphne     This single session course will leave you with a beautiful flower cupcake bouquet to give as a gift or use as a centerpiece on your table.  You will learn how to make several sugar flowers, including the rosette, hydrangea, carnation, and fantasy flower.  Our instructors will school you in some pastry art and show you how to easily showcase your next event. Bring 18 cupcakes and three yards of your favorite wired ribbon.  Deadline for sign-up is March 18th.  The instructors are Beth Cullinan and Chris Zuercher.  

SPRING HAS SPRUNG COOKING AND BAKING     New Course!     Daphne     Using some of Spring’s offerings, we will be making carrot cake with candied carrot curls, St. Patty’s Day treats, Spring Veggie appetizers (spring rolls), pies, edible spoons with cheese dip, edible “moss” Easter cookies, coconut pound cake with lemon chiffon curd, and many more.  The instructor is Beth Cullinan.  Class size is limited


TEMARI – JAPANESE EMBROIDERED THREAD BALLS   Temari began as a Japanese kick toy constructed from the remnants of old kimonos bundled into a ball and stitched; later, stitching became more decorative and detailed with intricate embroidery, and it transitioned into an art.  Learn how to prepare temari for sewing and use the Spindle, Interlocking Diamonds, Chrysanthemum and Rose Garden patterns.  Past students are encouraged to return to learn new techniques.  Materials fee $30, or past participants may bring their own supplies.  Bring scissors.  The instructor is Blair Heald.  Class size is limited.  


UKULELE FOR BEGINNERS    The return of one of ESILL’s most popular courses!  Learn the basics of this fun folk instrument.  Students will achieve beginners’ skills in tuning the ukulele, playing simple chords in different musical keys and employing different strumming styles, all while playing many traditional, popular and Hawaiian songs.  No musical knowledge required – just a willingness to have fun! Students must provide their own ukulele; the instructor can provide information about purchasing one.  Mike Turner and Carl Couret are your instructors.  Class size is limited.

THE UNITY OF ART, PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE AND RELIGION     This course continues the Ancient Wisdom of the World series:  Some topics we may touch upon are modern metaphysics, the New Thought movement, theosophy, Secret Doctrine studies, thought forms, Mahatma Letters, the seven rays of human types, esoteric art, hidden powers in man, etheric and unseen energies, dream symbols, archetypes and reports of near-death experiences.  (We will not get to all of these, and other subjects may be introduced.)  Books on these subjects will be available on loan, and we will view some of Joseph Campbell’s outstanding PBS series, The Power of Myth.  This course is given in two parts.  You need not participate in Part 1 to attend Part 2.  The instructor is Fred Marchman.

WALKING THE BIBLE, STUDYING THE SONG OF SONGS     New Course!   Daphne    Rabbi Steven Silberman will lead the class in a study of the Bible’s intriguing book “Song of Songs”. Welcome to any and all students of the Bible, regardless of the familiarity you may have with Bible studies.  Please bring any version of the Bible you own.  The Rabbi is looking forward to studying with you.  Shalom!  Class size is limited.

WATERCOLORS FOR BEGINNERS     Gain confidence in the watercolor basics using a limited palette.  The course concentrates on types of washes, paint, paper, and brushes and all their uses.  Practice the techniques of dry brushing, masking, lifting, washes, glazes, bubbles and more!  Create and complete paintings on your own, taking home a paint palette, paper and four brushes.  The instructor is Loran Chavez.  Class size is limited.

WATERCOLOR WILL DO WHAT?  Take your watercolors further than you ever imagined with new techniques and tips.  In this intermediate course we will work more with masking, using fluid, fabric and paper, bruising the paper, multiple layers, Chinese white as a resist, wax, nails and more.  See what you can do with this wonderful medium we call watercolor!  Watercolors for Beginners is a prerequisite for this course.  The instructor is Loran Chavez.  Class size is limited.

WINE FUNDAMENTALS     New Course!     This is an introductory course designed for the novice wine enthusiast.  Whether building on an existing career in hospitality or enhancing your enjoyment of wines, Wine Fundamentals provides an introduction to the major grape varietals used in wine production.  You will study the different components of wine appearance, aroma and flavor.  Students must be 21 years or older.  Reservation only:  Tuition and wine fee must be received by Thursday, March 10.  Jon Robitaille is the instructor.  Class size is limited.

WOMEN AND INSANITY IN THE 19th CENTURY     What was considered insanity during this period?  How was the term used and abused in family matters and courts of law?  This is a fascinating study of the subject, highlighted by the sensational insanity trial of Mary Todd Lincoln.  A Lincoln artifact will be shown.  The instructor is Donna Esslinger.

WOMEN’S HEALING CIRCLE    New Course!     This year, create the community of women you yearn for.  The healing circle provides an intimate exploration for women to share and discuss the concept “I am enough”.  We can heal our body with our mind, so science tells us.  Group support, some ancient techniques of caring for the body and simple skills for the centering the mind will bring your heart into peaceful rest.  Using visualization, breath work and loving support, this circle of women will find wellness.  The instructor is Cindi Galas.  

WORD MAGIC     New Course!     This course explores the rhythm and pacing of words, word specialties (alliteration, parallelism, metaphors, etc.), dialogue and narrative conundrums, style, voice, and word painting.  It is a course for moderately experienced writers who wish to stretch their creativity and develop new writing techniques.  We will have fun with exercises to spark your imagination and strengthen your writing skills, while removing some of the mystery of turning writing craft into writing art.  In-class exercises and a touch of homework (about an hour a week) will assist you to merge class information into practical application.  Pencils, pens, and laptops welcome.

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN:  THE GROWTH OF CHRISTIANITY     This course provides a non-faith based and non-denominational investigation into Christianity.  The heritage which believers share today has developed over three millennia, from its roots with the descendants of Abraham to the earthly ministry of Jesus and his disciples, down through 20 centuries of development and strife, to the place it occupies in our times.  The course will cover, among other topics, the first century church, the Roman and Orthodox churches, Reformation, European religious conflicts, and the coming of Christianity to America.  Woven throughout this study will be the developing history of the Bible.  Toby Gurley is the instructor..

YOGA FOR FITNESS AND STRENGTH MANAGEMENT   Find balance between getting a workout tensing all the major muscles in your body and releasing them into relaxing poses which include upright, forward, backward, sideways, twisting and inverted.  As you practice yoga with emphasis on your breath and alignment, you become naturally more active and fit.  And as you do yoga you will feel better about yourself in body, mind and spirit.  Explore your limits without feeling exhausted.  You will feel refreshed, full of energy and ready for anything, with a calmer outlook on life.  Bring a yoga mat and towel.  The instructor is Christina Caprez.



In Fairhope
Fairhope Public Library, 501 Fairhope Avenue
Fairhope Unitarian Fellowship, 1150 Fairhope Avenue (opposite the satellite courthouse)
First Baptist Church Fairhope,300 South Section Street
Fairhope Friends Meeting House, (Quakers),9261 Fairhope Ave.
Homestead Village, 924 Plantation Boulevard (off Hwy. 98, north of Piggly Wiggly)
Redeemer Lutheran Church, 200 South Section Street. at Morphy Avenue
Trinity Presbyterian Church, South Mobile Street at Fig Avenue (on the bay)
United Methodist Church, 155 South Section Street at Morphy Avenue

In Daphne
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 8271 Whispering Pines Road (on the left just past Creekside development)
United Methodist Church, 2401 Main Street (Scenic 98 at Rosa Avenue)

In Foley
Foley Public Library, 319 East Laurel Avenue (Hwy. 98 just east of 59)

In Spanish Fort

Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church, 6620 Spanish Fort Boulevard (Hwy. 31 -take Hwy. 98 to end, turn right)



Art Holder, President, Dot Bremer, Vice President and Membership Chair, Mary Jane Skinner, Secretary, Paul Huchingson, Treasurer, Sharon Caldwell, Database Management, Judith Falberg, Events Management, Brenda Huchingson, Registrar and Publicity Chair, Dan Jaksen, Strategic Planning, , Paul Moreno, Website Management, Laurie Wiggins, Curriculum Planning, and Judy Wilder, Facilities Coordination.


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