2019 Spring Lunch & Learn


Spring 2019 Lunch & Learn 
      12:15pm – Light Refreshments 
      1:00-2:00pm – Program Presentation

For Lifetime Learners current members only
(unless noted as Public Open House)

Wear your NCC Photo ID with current LLI sticker  

Location: NCC East campus Forum (unless otherwise noted)


March 15 – HAHA Group: Laughter is the Best Medicine—Lunch with a Bunch of Clowns
March 15, OPEN HOUSE: All are invited, open to the public, bring your friends! 

The Health and Humor Associates, or HAHA, are volunteer clowns who have been bringing smiles and a little respite to patients at the Stamford Hospital for over 25 years. Representatives of HAHA discuss the relationship between humor and healing, a brief history of hospital clowning, and how people came to HAHA. We learn how hospitals in one country have formally integrated humor into their healthcare system. The “clown doctors” recount some of their experiences clowning around at the hospital and at Ground Zero and Newtown.

HAHA is a group of about 35 volunteers with varied backgrounds and skills. You may be surprised to learn that some of them are people you may already know. Come meet Dr. A. Joy, Dr. Loosi Goosi, Dr. Turnaround and others. Perhaps there is a clown in you waiting to be discovered!


March 22 – Behind the Theater Scenes

This presentation provides examples of the critical job of the scenic designer in staging live theater. We gain a better understanding of the challenging job of the behind-the-scenes theatrical designer. The program outlines the collaboration needed to help turn the written words of a play into a real and practical setting for a live stage production.

Lou Ursone is the long-serving Executive Director and frequent performer at Stamford’s Curtain Call Theater. A     member of Actor’s Equity, he has toured professionally and also performed in many Connecticut theaters, including the Goodspeed Opera House and Norwalk’s Music Theater of Connecticut. He has frequently appeared on TV and in many commercial and Industrial films.


March 29 – The White Star Line’s Olympic Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic and Britannic

Almost everyone knows the tragic story of the RMS Titanic which, while on her maiden voyage to New York in 1912, hit an iceberg and sank, causing the loss of 1,500 passengers and crew. However, few people realize that the Titanic was actually the second of three super ships built in the Olympic Class for the White Star Line to compete for the Atlantic crossing passenger trade. At the time they were claimed to be the largest ships ever built. This   presentation tells the amazing story of these three historical ships and what eventually happened to all of them. Included in the story is the amazing life of Miss Violet Constance Jessop, who incredibly sailed on all three of these ships as a   stewardess and then as a nurse during WWI.

 Philip Vitiello has been a Civil War historian and re-enactor for over 40 years. He is a member of the Titanic Historical Society, and The International Group for Historical Aircraft   Recovery. He has previously presented Lunch & Learns on the Civil War General, Joshua Chamberlin and the Civil War submarine, Hunley.


April 5 – Chilling Out In Chile

Join David Pressler, photographer, world traveler, artist and designer, as he shares outstanding photography from his recent adventures Chile—the high deserts, fjords and mountainous areas. See dramatic land and water forms, unique wildlife, botanicals, ancient indigenous rock art, architecture and some humorous things from Chile’s contemporary culture. Dave’s core message is “learning to look in order to see,” encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to become visually conscious of the world around them.

Dave Pressler earned a degree in Industrial Design from Rhode Island school of Design and has exhibited widely in Fairfield and Westchester counties. He is a member of the Connecticut Association of Photographers and Vice President of Art/Place Gallery in Fairfield and a founding member of the Curatorial Committee of Fairfield Public Library’s Bruce S. Kershner Gallery. 



April 12 – Tanzania, Africa: Lions, Livestock and Living Walls of the Maasai People

Our presenter has visited the African People & Wildlife Fund (APW) in northern Tanzania several times to sketch the people, wildlife and landscapes of the Maasai Steppe. We learn about the conservation issues in this area and shows and talks about her field sketches and studio paintings of the Maasai people. Alison also discusses how APW’s innovative “Living Walls” are reducing human wildlife conflicts, while saving lions, livestock and their habitat.

Alison Nicholls is an artist inspired by Africa. She is a member of Artists for Conservation, the Society of Animal Artists, the Explorers Club and the Salmagundi Club. Her work has been featured in wildlife art magazines in the USA and UK, has been exhibited at the Botswana Mission to the United Nations in New York and has been used by the US Department of State to promote the “Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking” initiative. Alison lived in Africa for several years and regularly returns to work with African conservation organizations and to lead Art on Safaris for Africa Geographic.



April 26 – Iran: Lifting the Veil

Through a series of photographs, we take an intimate journey inside the mysterious and opaque country of Iran. We review the 3,000-year history of this country, as well as experience the real heartbeat of today’s Iranian society, including is a visit to the home of a top cleric and also an Iranian wedding. We meet young women who are actively rebelling against the dress codes imposed by the Ayatollah. In addition, we visit the ancient city of Persepolis, the grand birthplace of the Persian Empire, which is still important in today’s modern Iran.

Bernard Perry is a Westport author and noted photographer whose work has been accepted into the permanent collections of 19 museums in the United States and Europe. He has published five books including Iran: Lifting the Veil.


May 3 – The NCC Choir

The choir performs at numerous events on campus, including the Performing Arts Festival, the
Academic Festival and graduation. The ensemble also performs off-campus and has performed with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (La Boheme, The Mahler One Immersion Project and A Night of Romance) and Norwalk Hospital. They are thrilled to sing for LLI again! The choir performs a
diverse repertoire, from the iconic standards of the 1960s to current Broadway hits of 2019. The NCC Choir meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30-3:50 and welcomes people of all ages who want to join us and sing!

NCC Choir Director Dr. Christine Mangone, studied at Dartmouth College (B.A.), Cal. State, Northridge (M.A.), and UCLA (Ph.D.) and has directed theater programs at Naugatuck Valley Community College and Penn State University prior to teaching at NCC. Christine has directed over 50 shows; her favorites include Avenue Q, The Laramie Project and Chekhov’s The Seagull at the (super-fun) Fringe First Festival in Scotland. Christine loves directing the amazingly talented and passionate NCC Choir!