Shared Interest Groups – SIGs

Shared Interest Groups Now Forming

How does a Shared Interest Group (SIG) get started?

A SIG is launched by a nucleus of OLLI members with a shared interest in the same subject, and who are willing to participate as active, rather than as passive, learners.

What does a SIG provide for me as a member of OLLI?

  • ongoing learning.
  • friendship.
  • support around the shared interest.

Each group is different depending on its focus, and all provide interesting lifelong learning opportunities as well as a fun social experience that is ongoing through semesters and class cycles.

Shared Interest Groups are a benefit offered by OLLI members, for OLLI members.

  • member-managed, with the members deciding when, where, and how often they meet.
  • handle administrative and communication details.
  • most meet once a month although they may meet more or less often.
  • OLLI staff can help the SIGs to promote and advertise to OLLI membership.
  • SIGs grow, develop and are sustained by active participation/commitment of their members.

What kind of topics are suitable for a SIG?

Almost anything can work! Some ideas from other OLLIs throughout the US:

  • Memoir Writing Group
  • Stitch & Knit
  • Digital Photography
  • French Conversation
  • Astronomy is Fun
  • Drawing for Beginners
  • Culinary Adventures
  • Genealogy
  • Heavy Metal Fans
  • Play Reading
  • Growing Gardeners
  • Walking Group
  • Foreign Film Discussion
  • various Book Groups (Mystery Readers, Science Fiction, Non-Fiction Books)

If you have an interest/love/expertise you want to share, it can most likely become a SIG!

How Do I Start a SIG?

If you are interested in forming a SIG the opportunities are endless! Please review OLLI’s guidelines:

  • open to all interested, current OLLI-UVA members.
  • a minimum of six participants required to establish a SIG.
  • will be held via Zoom initially When in-person is possible, SIGS will be held off-site.
    • options include venues related to the SIG’s activity (movie theaters, restaurants, libraries, recreational facilities, etc.) or members’ homes.
  • SIGs do not take the place of OLLI courses. They complement and enhance classes and other programs offered by OLLI-UVA.

If you would like to start a SIG, contact Liz Courain, Volunteer Coordinator or call 434-923-3600.  Proposals for SIGs are taken on an ongoing/rolling basis.

  • As SIGs are created, members will be notified through OLLI’s weekly eNewsletter and invited to join.
  • When at least six members have expressed interest, the first meeting can be scheduled.

To join an established SIG, members ask to have their names placed on the email distribution list for the SIG, and members can be to start participate. It’s that simple!

OLLI Celebrates 20 Years