Encore Institute

Upcoming Encore Programs

With Bruce Tinker, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Cost: $15 (includes lunch following the program)

Registration Required by December 2

Making and experiencing arts and culture transforms the quality of life for individuals and communities. The arts draw upon our most fundamentally human qualities such as creativity, discovery, and community.  In this session we welcome Bruce Tinker, Executive and Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.   From casting to costuming, find out how one of the leading community theatres in the nation creates live theatre magic in the heart of downtown.

Bruce Tinker is celebrating his 20th Season as the Executive and Artistic Director of Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and School of Theatre Arts.  He has been director over 150 productions throughout the Midwest for professional, university and community theatres.  Bruce has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from University of Evansville, Indiana and a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from University of Nebraska.

Register Now

Wednesday, January 29, 10-11:45am    

With Nan Schichtal

Cost: $15 (includes lunch following the program)

Registration Required by Wednesday, January 22

Nan is researcher and author of the book, Their Faith Lives On: St. Mary’s Visitation Parish Histories, New Salem,   Michigan.  The book is a compelling chronicle about the Catholic community in northern Allegan County.  In this presentation, Nan will share her research journey and will discuss: Genealogy as a gift to your family; How to get started; What genealogical resources you may use for free; and, What do you do with the information you find?

Nan Schichtal is a librarian at Grand Rapids Community College, Secretary of the Grand Rapids Historical Society, on the Grand   Rapids History Detectives committee, and is a long-time member of the Western Michigan Genealogical Society.

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Volunteering not only helps others but leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, studies show that volunteering   promotes a healthier and more active lifestyle!  Join us as we learn about two remarkable agencies, Gilda’s Club/Gilda’s LaughFest and Make-A-Wish Michigan and the work they do in Grand Rapids. Perhaps you will find a new opportunity for volunteering!

Special Guests:

  • Ben Mepham is the Volunteer Program, Lead Coordinator for Gilda’s Club and Laughfest
  • Beth Mans is a Wish-Granting Volunteer for  Make-A-Wish Michigan
  • Elly Bainbridge is a Wish-Granting Volunteer for Make-A-Wish Michigan

Register Now

The Encore Institute is designed for those over the age of 55 and programs focus on spirituality and vitality as we age.  This programs are held monthly, September to June, from 10-11:30am with lunch following each program. The cost of each session including lunch is $15.  Adults of all ages may attend these classes.

Register for a class today!


For more information please contact:

Irene Strom, Director of  Programming and Institutes,  Phone (616) 459-7267 or Email

Past Encore Classes Included:

  • Finding Joy and Meaning in the Second Half of Life, with Fr. Joachim Lally, CSP
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd: Psalms to Accompany Us on Our Journey Through Aging , with Rabbi Albert Lewis
  • Holy Spirits!, with Fr. Michael Hennessy, CSP
  • Sharing Faith Lessons with Children’s Books, with Glenys Nellist
  • Music, Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease, with Emily Smith
  • Heaven and the Afterlife, with Sr. Mary Kay Oosdyke, OP
  • The Road to What’s Next, with John and Barbara Ziemann
  • Adventures in Volunteering, with Angie Drier of RSVP and Kay Fricano of Kids Food Basket
  • Church Architecture in Grand Rapids Tour, with Fr. Bob Cary, CSP