Bradley's OLLI and the Peoria Riverfront Museum Join Forces to Travel the World Virtually

November 5, 2020

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Bradley is joining forces with the Peoria Riverfront Museum to bring the public a new online experience called "Virtual Voyages." Their current series, Experience Autumn in the East, will feature exclusive, live, behind-the-scenes tours with renowned experts in three distinct locations. Below, is a list of upcoming tours. To register for any of these virtual events, click here. Deadline to register is on the day of the event (except for the The Maine Diner in Wells). For additional questions, email or call 309-677-3900.

Shelburne Museum in Vermont

Wednesday | November 11
2 p.m. | Live Zoom Tour
Shelburne Museum is one of the finest, most diverse, and unconventional museums of art and Americana. Its collection includes Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings, and an array of 17th-to 20th-century artifacts. The museum's chief curator will serve as the event's virtual behind-the-scenes tour guide. Participation costs $15.

Want To Experience More?

  • For $65, participants will also receive the recently published hardcover book American Decoy: The Invention from Peoria Riverfront Museum's own Center for American Decoys.

The Maine Diner in Wells

Wednesday | November 11
4:30 p.m. | Live Zoom Tour
Participants will experience "world famous food, like Grandma used to make" during this virtual event. The Maine Diner, featured on the Today Show and Drive-Ins and Dives, will ship to OLLI, via UPS Next Day Air, their lobster pie seafood chowder. Pickup will take place at Bradley's Continuing Education building, and staff will be onsite to bring orders directly to cars on Tuesday, November 10, at approximately noon. On Wednesday, November 11, at 4:30 p.m., participants will be treated to a private virtual presentation with owner Jim MacNeill. Participation costs $55 (includes lobster pie, a bowl of seafood chowder and the live presentation). Deadline to register is Friday, November 6.

Smithsonian Institution

Wednesday | November 18
2 p.m. | Live Zoom Tour
Participants will experience an exclusive and diverse program as they visit several Smithsonian Institution museums and research sites. They'll begin with the Hope Diamond. Shortly after, they will go behind-the-scenes in the storage areas of the National Museum of Natural History to discover how collections help scientists study and understand zoonotic diseases--like coronavirus. They'll visit the pandas at the National Zoo and learn about efforts to save the species. They'll, then, go to Chile's Atacama desert where the Smithsonian is building a new telescope. Finally, they'll journey to Iraq, where the Smithsonian Institution is working to reverse some of the damage caused by ISIS. Dr. Richard Kurin, a distinguished scholar and ambassador at large at the Smithsonian Institution, will be this event's host, along with John D. Morris, the president and CEO of Peoria Riverfront Museum. Participation costs $15.

Want To Experience More?

  • For $35, participants will also receive the book Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem by Richard Kurin. It includes an autographed bookplate from Dr. Kurin.
  • For $95, participants can join an exclusive meet and greet experience with Dr. Richard Kurin, featuring an "in-person" book signing after the main presentation. Each participant will get the chance to ask Dr. Kurin a question or have an intimate conversation while he signs a book plate for their personal copy of The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects. This price includes the initial Zoom session and the Hope Diamond book. There is a limit of 15 spots available for this $95 experience ($110 for couples who wish to order only one set of books and will be on the Zoom link together.)

Colonial Williamsburg

Wednesday | December 2
2 p.m. | Live Zoom Tour
Colonial Williamsburg is the largest outdoor living museum in the country. In 1926, the Reverend Dr. William Archer Rutherfoord Goodwin, with the financial backing of John D. Rockefeller Jr., began to restore Williamsburg to its original colonial state. Today, Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area houses restored and historically preserved buildings, 88 of which are originals. Participants will explore Colonial Williamsburg with its teacher institute coordinator/trainer and the Peoria Riverfront Museum's curator of history and registrar. Participation costs $15.

Want to Experience More?

  • For $55, participants will also receive a glass ornament from Colonial Williamsburg.