FREQUently Asked questions
WHAT IS CLIR? CLIR is The Center for Learning in Retirement. A unique community of independent and lively Bay Area individuals over 50. Established more than 40 years ago as a special program area within the University of California Extension, today's CLIR has evolved into an stand alone, non-profit, membership organization offering a unique blend of arts and cultural events, peer-led classes and discussion groups, and social activities, all focused on lifelong learning and adventuring with a circle of friends. CLIR is nothing like bingo night at the senior center, or college level lectures at OLLI or FROM. Come see for yourself.
WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS WILL I FIND AT CLIR?
Since CLIR is a self-run organization, programs and activities change based on member interests. That said, CLIR programs generally fall into one of the following three categories:
1. Free daytime classes from a constantly changing curriculum; recent examples include:
- Down Memory Lane (memoir writing)
- The Moors of Spain: Art, Architecture and Philosophy
- The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
- Understanding Great Music
- Brain Matters
- Jews in Exotic Places
- Beginning Acting
- History of the United States
- Spanish and French Conversation
- Religions in America
- Spirited weekly current affairs forum
- Book and movie discussion groups; screenings of film noir and classic musicals at CLIR
- "Vicarious Traveler" -- monthly slide shows to places far and near, presented by CLIR members
- Dinner out, exploring the city's many great ethnic and regional cuisines
- Visits to Bay Area art galleries and studios
- Monthly general meeting and social hour (with food and drink)
- Walking group, exploring the city's parks and neighborhoods together
(participant fees are set to cover estimated costs of group transport, lodging, tickets, food or wine), such as:
- Plays performed by ACT Conservatory students (MFA level) with pre-performance lecture by an ACT faculty
- Bus tours off the beaten path, including out of the way museums, gardens, and wonders in northern California
- Lectures on current art shows by docents from the De Young Museum who come down to CLIR
- Out-of-town retreats
- Multi-day trips to Santa Cruz and Ashland (OR) for Shakespeare & more
- All San Francisco Symphony Concert and performances of the Merola Opera
- Social events: Holiday Gala, June Luncheon, Fall picnic
- Members’ Art Show and Reception (modest hanging fee)
- Comp tickets to concerts, plays, and lectures in San Francisco through the CLIR Special Audiences add-on
WHEN AND WHERE DO CLIR'S ACTIVITIES TAKE PLACE? Most CLIR events occur during daylight hours in our downtown San Francisco office and meeting rooms in the Mechanics Institute. It's an easy walk from the Montgomery Street BART/MUNI station as well as Market Street buses and the TransBay Terminal. If activities are not transit accessible, carpools or buses are arranged.
WHO RUNS CLIR? CLIR members run CLIR. The nature and number of programs grow from interests and participation of members. Council members and CLIR officers are elected annually. All members are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills by joining a committee, helping with a program or activity, facilitating a discussion, or teaching a course. CLIR committees include Finance, Nominating, Tours, Curriculum, Walks, Hospitality, Office Task Force, and, of course, Council. Most committees meet monthly. CLIR has no paid staff.
MAY NON-MEMBERS ATTEND CLIR ACTIVITIES? Yes! Guests and non-members are welcome to visit CLIR's General Meeting and Social Hour, held on the first Friday of every month. At this event you can learn details about up-coming events and programs and meet current CLIR members while munching on sweet or savory bites and sipping our wine, coffee, or tea. Non-members are also welcome to attend monthly Vicarious Traveler shows, highlighting the global travels of CLIR members. Please call the CLIR office for details and times. Occasionally CLIR members may bring guests to some fee-based events. When this possibility arises, it is announced at general meeting and in the VOICE.
WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE JOIN CLIR? CLIR members are active, interested, inquiring adults; most of us have retired from full-time gainful employment, but none is ready to quit living. Many CLIR members volunteer; some work part-time. All value education, the arts, and an independent and involved lifestyle. We reflect Bay Area diversity.
DO YOU HAVE A NEWSLETTER OR A WEBSITE WHERE I CAN LEARN MORE? Of course. You're on the website--please explore it, including the current and past copies of our newsletter (CLIR Voice). The newsletter helps keep members up to date and provides a calendar of the months events and classes.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO JOIN CLIR?
WHAT IS SPECIAL AUDIENCES? Special Audiences is a unique to CLIR program designed to expand our members' experiences of the Bay Area's vibrant performing arts scene. Through Special Audiences, members are offered many free tickets to some of San Francisco's best professional music, theater, and dance performances as well as lectures-- an amazing value worth many times the cost to you. Please click here for more information on this activity, including a list of the local arts, cultural, music, and theater groups that support us.
WHAT ARE CLIR'S OFFICE HOURS? Volunteers staff the CLIR office. The office is open whenever there are activities in suite 614; the office is staffed two days a week: Tuesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. If you miss us, please leave a phone message at 415-543-3965, or send email to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Someone will get back to you.