Registration opens for July “Summer Potpourri” courses through Senior College at Belfast

Sun, 05/21/2023 - 8:00am

BELFAST — Belfast Senior College presents a “Summer Potpourri” series of four low-cost, single session courses between July 5 and July 25 in the Social Capital facility, at 28 Spring Street, and at Waterfall Arts in Belfast.

The registration fee for each course is just $15; there are no age restrictions and participants do not have to be members of Senior College. Registration opens on June 1 at

“These summer courses offer opportunities to engage with the arts, crafts, nature and international relations, indoors and out, that we think will appeal to many,” says Belfast Senior College president Nancy Lavalle Perkins, in a news release. “The cost is minimal and the enjoyment is huge. In addition, while Senior College is typically for those ages fifty and over, these summer courses are for everyone, regardless of age.”

Jane McLean will lead the course on “Tote Bags, Basics and Beyond,” Wednesday, July 5, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Social Capital. You can learn to make your own reusable fabric bag, add a cloth or waterproof lining or box bottom, pockets or closures. McLean, a Belfast resident who has been sewing for decades and runs PinchPenny Threads, loves to “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

For something completely different, global health consultant Christy Gavitt leads a discussion of “Reflections on Providing Humanitarian Aid in North Korea and Other Authoritarian Settings” on Tuesday, July 11, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., also at Spring Street. Gavitt will share her experiences and the lessons she learned as a Peace Corps volunteer, CARE-Korea intern, more than three decades in international relief and development in Africa and South Asia, the American Red Cross and six months working for a consortium of nonprofits monitoring 152 food-for-work projects in North Korea. Check the registration website for recommended reading.

It’s “hands-on” for Sandi Cirillo’s Thursday, July 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, “Acrylic Pour Class” at Waterfall Arts. Students will explore color theory and work with acrylic paint and canvas to create their own abstract designs. Cirillo, whose studio is in Searsport, is a veteran Senior College instructor, art teacher and artist-in-residence, currently represented by Local Color Gallery in Belfast. She will provide all materials with a $15 materials fee payable at the class and advises students to wear “messy clothes.”

The final “Summer Potpourri” class is “Milkweeds, Monarchs and Maine,” a field class led by Cyrene Slegona, Tuesday, July 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (rain date July 27). The workshop begins with a review of the butterfly’s anatomy and life cycle, and the interaction between the butterfly and Maine’s milkweed, the Monarch’s preferred food and environment. It concludes with observing, sketching and investigating milkweed near the Spring Street class location. Slegona has been fascinated with Monarchs since she was a young girl in Lincolnville. She has integrated teaching with them for her elementary school students and worked with them as a Maine Master Naturalist. She also rears, tags and releases Monarchs every summer. For this course, you will want to bring a journal/ or sketch pad, drawing tools, hat, sunscreen, repellent and a stool or camp chair. 


Belfast Senior College is an independent all-volunteer non-profit organization, now celebrating 30 years of programming. It provides year-round courses and events to provide stimulation, knowledge, social interaction and fun for people age 50 and up. Members’ spouses and partners of any age are also welcome to become members, though Summer Potpourri courses are open to members and non-members alike.