Public Events

The Lake Merritt's Public Programs

We’re proud to present a variety of events which are open to the public and designed to be of special interest to Bay Area older adults and our residents.

Frequently our presenters include distinguished medical professionals and researchers, wellness coaches and top-notch care givers. We also present programs by local historians, naturalists and others who are happy to share their expertise with us.

Our goal is to provide our residents and friends with relevant information which enriches their life experience.



November 2nd @ 3:30pm
Conversations on the Lake
Architecture: Urban Parks and Gardens
Presented by Johanna Leonard

From the Versailles Gardens to Central Park, urban parks and gardens have been a large part of architectural history. Urban park spaces represent a dialogue between the urban and the rural, where the city expands towards the countryside, and vice versa. Come watch a short film on the some of the best designed urban parks and gardens. Executive Director Johanna Leonard will lead a discussion on how urban parks have transformed our cities, making them more livable for its citizens.  Be ready to talk about your favorite urban park experience.



November 9th @ 3:30pm
Conversations on the Lake
Climate Change in US National Parks
Presented by Patrick Gonzalez

Human-caused climate change is melting glaciers, bleaching corals, increasing wildfires, shifting vegetation, and causing other changes in US national parks. Learn more about this and what natural wonders you can help conserve by reducing carbon pollution and living more sustainably.  The presenter is Patrick Gonzalez, Principal Climate Change Scientist, U.S. National Park Service and Associate Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley.



November 16th @ 7:00pm
SPECIAL Conversations on the Lake - Living Room Conversations
Police-Community Relations

In today’s world, we often find ourselves unable to connect with people of differing perspectives. Not understanding each other has led to dehumanizing others in a way that is detrimental to our society as a whole. Participating in a Living Room Conversation (LRC) is a simple way to engage in a friendly, meaningful conversation on an important topic in a welcoming and safe environment. In an LRC, small groups of people discuss carefully chosen questions on a predetermined topic.

This evening's topic is police-community relations. To get geared up for this talk, everyone is invited to attend a special screening of the documentary The Force (about the Oakland Police Department) at The Lake Merritt on Wednesday, November 8th at 7:15pm.



November 23rd 
Conversations on the Lake

Happy Thanksgiving.  There will be no Converations this week.



November 30th @ 3:30pm
Conversations on the Lake
Broadway's Legendary Composers: George Gershwin 
Presented by Bonnie Weiss

Leonard Bernstein once described George Gershwin as "one of the true authentic geniuses American music has produced". Gershwin brought a jazzy, animal force to musical theatre that has become synonymous with the kind of exhilarating music we think of as "Broadway". He was an enormously versatile composer moving easily from the Broadway stage to the concert hall to grand opera.

His hit musicals, like Lady Be Good, Oh Kay, Girl Crazy and Of Thee I Sing were filled with a bevy of songs that are now among our greatest standards: "Fascinating Rhythm", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Embraceable You", "But Not for Me", "Love is Sweeping the Country", and many more. His contribution to the classical music repertoire includes such celebrated pieces as "Rhapsody in Blue", "Concerto in F", "American in Paris Ballet" and, of course, the stunning folk opera "Porgy and Bess".

In this presentation you will learn about this gifted composer's personal and professional life and see delightful scenes from his Broadway and Hollywood musicals performed by such legends of the stage and as Ethel Merman, Fred Astaire, Liza Minelli, and even George Gershwin, himself..



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