January 2020 Lecture Series


Lectures are held in the Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Room A off the lobby on the first floor.

Reservations Required

Due to limited seating, reservations are required to attend lectures. Reservations can be made through Eventbrite via one of two ways described below:

Member Reservations: We e-mail the registration link to current members at 8:30 AM on the Tuesday preceding the next week’s lecture(s).

Non-Member Reservations: The registration link is placed on the website (below) at 8:30 AM on the Wednesday preceding the next week's lecture(s).

Each registrant may reserve one seat. Your name must be on the list of registrants to enter the lecture and you must be in your seat five minutes before the lecture starts to guarantee your seat.


All January lectures are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00-11:00 AM.

January 7—Craig Kraft

Light Sculptor

Over the past 38 years, light sculptor Craig A. Kraft has gained national recognition for his innovative neon light works. His sculptures have been featured in over 135 exhibits throughout the US, and internationally in Korea and Mexico. A member of the faculty of the Smithsonian Institution Studio Arts Program for 24 years, Kraft received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Most recently, Kraft has investigated the universal urge to connect through mark making: to this end he has traveled to France, Spain, Sulawesi, Indonesia, and this past October, to Namibia. As an artist, turned explorer and writer, Kraft also has begun a series of articles published by Timeless Travels, a magazine specializing in art, archaeology, and travel.



January 9—Wil Haygood

Unraveling the Life of Sammy Davis Junior

Accomplished journalist and award-winning author Wil Haygood became a staff writer at the Boston Globe in 1984, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, before joining the Washington Post in 2002. As an investigative reporter, Haygood has traveled all over the world, including France, Germany, India, South Africa, where he witnessed Nelson Mandela's liberation from prison, and Somalia, where he was kidnapped and ransomed by rebels. During his time at the Washington Post, Haygood wrote the article, "A Butler Well Served by This Election," which became the basis for the 2013 award-winning motion picture The Butler, directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. He is also the author of numerous books, one of whichIn Black and White: the Life of Sammy Davis Jr., has just been optioned for a TV miniseries by Lee Daniels and Tom Hanks.



January 14—Kenneth D. Ackerman

Trotsky in New York, 1917

One hundred and three years ago this month an unknown radical who had been thrown out of Russia, Austria, and France turned up in in refugee-friendly America. Less than a year later Leon Trotsky was the co-leader of the Bolshevik Revolution. Ken Ackerman has traced the 10 weeks that Lev Davidovich Trotsky spent in the Bronx. Trotsky, son of a Russian farmer, arrived in the City an unknown revolutionary barely speaking a few phrases of English.  He dove into American socialist politics, gave over thirty speeches against American entry into the First World War, and barely escaped British Intelligence trying to reach Petrograd and join the 1917 upheavals. He left his mark on all the places he went. Ken Ackermanauthor, historian, and Washington lawyer, has authored five major books on Americana, including his most recent, Trotsky in New York 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution. When not writing, Ken practices law in Washington at Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC specializing in agriculture risk management.



January 16—William Kloss

Art in America—Historical Perspectives

William Kloss is an independent art historian and scholar who lectures and writes about a wide range of European and American art. He has enjoyed a long association with the Smithsonian Institution, presenting more than 150 courses in the US and abroad on subjects ranging from ancient Greek art to Impressionism to the works of Winslow Homer. Professor Kloss serves on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House and is the author of several books. Most recently, he coauthored the United States Senate Catalogue of Fine Art. He also has written articles published in Winterthur Portfolio and the magazines Antiques, American Arts Quarterly, and Antiques & Fine Art.



January 21—Helen Zughaib

Unfinished Journeys: Tracing the Arc of the Arab Spring Through the Syrian Civil War and Refugee Crisis, Through Paintings and Installations

Helen Zughaib was born in Beirut, Lebanon, living mostly in the Middle East and Europe before coming to the US to study art at Syracuse University, earning her BFA. Her work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums in the US, Europe, and Lebanon, and her paintings are included in many private and public collections, including the White House, World Bank, Library of Congress, and in Art in Embassy State Department exhibitions abroad. Helen has served as Cultural Envoy to Palestine, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia, and her paintings have been gifted to heads of state by President Obama and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.



January 23—Judy Feder

Time for a Change? The Future of US Health Insurance

Judy Feder is a professor of public policy and, from 1999 to 2008, served as dean of what is now the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A nationally-recognized leader in health policy, Judy has made her mark on the nation’s health-insurance system, through both scholarship and public service. Judy is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance; a former chair and board member of Academy Health and former board member of the National Academy of Social Insurance; and a member of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Board and the Hamilton Project’s Advisory Council. In 2006 and 2008, she was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 10th congressional district.



OLLI does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed by the speakers in its series.

We thank the Lecture Committee and all those who suggested and contacted speakers: Paul Brown,
Martha Cutts, Lesley Diaz (Staff Liaison), Chuck Edson, Judith Havemann, Lynne Heneson, Jeanne Kent,
Mary Fran Miklitsch (Staff), Mark Nadel (Chair), Stan Newman, Diane Renfroe, Richard Ringell,
Steve Sherman, Delbert Spurlock, and Ray Squitieri.