Graphic with six icons for OLLI Commons eventd

OLLI Commons

Welcome to the Commons, OLLI's Free Meetup Place

The Commons is OLLI’s free meetup place, offering a variety of interesting, fun and creative activities.  Activities in the Commons are free, but registering is required to receive the Zoom link. No commitment is implied by registering. We value and encourage your participation whenever it works for you! 

The OLLI Commons during Summer 2021

  • The Schmoozery and Poetry Reading with Ginny Bentz, will continue meeting through the summer and into the 2021-22 program year.
  • Coffee + Show or Tell is on summer break and be back on September 7th with a new title – Coffee with Marta.
  • The Lunch Bunch will meet on June 10th, 17th and 24th following the three Summer Lectures on Food Insecurity. It will not meet in July or August as there are no Thursday lectures. And will be back starting in September following each Thursday Morning lecture.
  • The First Friday Happy Hour is taking a break during July and August, but will be back starting Friday, September 3.
  • The Book Beat is taking a break during June, July and August. It will be back starting Tuesday, September 28th.

Registering and obtaining Zoom links for OLLI Commons events

In April of 2021, the single Zoom link for the Commons was discontinued. All Commons events now require registration via the OLLI website, and the ability to book a “private” meeting in the Commons is no longer offered.  More details:

  • Each Commons event has a designated Zoom link.
  • Participants register for the Commons events they want to attend by signing in to the OLLI web site (this web site) and going to the OLLI Commons section in the online Course Calendar. Registration is open now.
  • You register once for each Commons activity that interests you.
    • For example, if you’d like to attend Poetry Reading (which meets on the third Friday of the month), you register once for Poetry Reading.  After you register once, then on a monthly basis, you’ll receive an email reminder with a Zoom link for that month’s Poetry Reading.
  • Trouble registering? Please be sure you are signed into the OLLI website here
  • The Commons events remain free and participants are not required to pay OLLI's annual membership fee.
  • Participants who register once for an activity in The Commons will receive a reminder email, a few days before the event, with the Zoom link for their Commons activity as they do for other OLLI events. The email will be sent each time that activity occurs. You just register once for each ongoing activity that interests you.
  • The Zoom links for OLLI Commons events are also available to registered and signed in users in OLLI's online Course Catalog and on the payment History page on OLLI's web site.


  •  The Commons events are free and you do not have to pay OLLI's annual membership fee in order to register for Commons events.
  • If you have an OLLI account, but are not signed in, sign-in by clicking on the Sign-In menu item in the navigation bar near the top of most web pages in the OLLI web site. Once you are signed in, go back to the first step in this list.
  • If you don't have an OLLI account, you can create one by going to the Sign-Up for a New OLLI Account web page from the Sign-In page. Once your account has been created and you have its password from an e-mail confirmation message that was sent, go to the second step in this list.
  • Everyone needs to keep these Zoom links confidential, not share them or post them publicly.
  • If you need assistance, contact the OLLI Office by phone at (734) 998-9351 or by sending e-mail to

Commons Events

 Events in the OLLI Commons are listed here:

Lisa Barton, OLLI’s Executive Director

First Friday Happy Hour

First Friday Happy Hour meets the first Friday of every month from 4:30 – 5:30 pm, with rotating guest hosts. 

It's what Friday Happy Hour always is – a time to relax at the end of the week and meet some new friends. 

Look for us on the OLLI Commons Calendar.

Look for us in the online Course Catalog.

Hank Greenspan

The Schmoozery: At Our Age, In This Age

The Schmoozery meets every Wednesday from 1:00 - 2:00 pm.

The Schmoozery: At Our Age, In This Age is a facilitated conversation in which participants are invited to share stories and reflections about aging, generations, hopes, and related topics in “uncertain times.” The specific issues and themes are less important than the chance to learn from each other’s experiences and insights in these times—and perhaps in any times.  That is, the goal is to have the best possible schmooze about things that matter.

Look for us on the OLLI Commons Calendar.

Look for us in the online Course Calendar.

Hank Greenspan hosts the Schmoozery: At Our Age, In This Age. He is a psychologist, essayist, oral historian, and playwright recently retired from UM.  He has been a committed schmoozer his whole life.

Lynn Boyer

Lunch Bunch

The Lunch Bunch normally meets from noon to 1 pm on Thursdays whenever there is a Thursday Morning lecture.

The Lunch Bunch will continue to focus on discussing and responding to specific OLLI lectures while also considering relevant supplemental material.   Look for us on the OLLI Commons Calendar. Look for us in the online Course Catalog.

The Lunch Bunch is hosted by members of OLLI’s Social Interaction Committee and members of the OLLI Lectures Committee.    

Marta Skiba

Coffee with Marta

We meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 9 am – 10 am.

Hello, I’m Marta Skiba; and I’m looking forward to meeting you at Coffee with Marta!   It is great to meet new people, find out about each other and learn what you have been doing to entertain yourself both before, during and after the pandemic.

Look for us on the OLLI Commons Calendar.

Look for us in the online Course Catalog.

 I wanted to tell you a little about myself. I grew up in Flint during prosperous years but have now lived in Ann Arbor for 55 years. I am a retired school psychologist with 5 children and 10 grandchildren.  Numerous hobbies have been tried during my lifetime.  Some of my hobbies have been camping, reading, gold mining, Southern gospel music, a little traveling and spending time with family and friends. I love living in Ann Arbor and enjoying the many opportunities in town.

OLLI Book Beat

Meetings every fourth Tuesday of the month, 4:00 - 5:00 pm.

OLLI members are always looking for a good book to read! Learn about new book releases (fiction and nonfiction) each month and share your favorite titles in these informal sessions with other book lovers.

Laurie Barnett and Marjorie Oliver will host the first OLLI Book Beat, but watch for periodic guest hosts!

Look for us on the OLLI Commons Calendar.

Look for us in the online Course Catalog.

Ginny Bentz

Poetry Reading with Ginny Bentz

Meets the third Friday of every month from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

You’re invited to a Poetry Reading with supportive, friendly people. Please bring a poem of your own or a favorite one written by someone else. You will have about five minutes to read aloud and to give some context, so one longer poem or two short ones work well. If you’d rather just listen, that’s okay too. Sip on a glass of wine or a cup of tea as we sit back, relax, and applaud each unique offering!

Look for us on the OLLI Commons Calendar.

Contact Ginny Bentz at for details.

Register in the online Course Catalog You must be signed into the OLLI website to register.

Interested in hosting a program or event in the OLLI Commons in 2022?
Please reach out to Ginny Bentz at