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The Lark: Vol 1, Issue 9, February 2022



One goal of The Lark is to feature articles about LLC personalities, the people who make LLC such a successful organization.


I grew up and was educated in Ohio before moving to Massachusetts where, for 32 years, I taught studio art and art history at Bridgewater State University. After retiring, I moved into a loft in a refurbished mill building in Pawtucket where I live and have a printmaking studio overlooking the Blackstone River. Over the last five years, I have taken LLC classes in photography, art, books, and science… am eager to take more! I also currently serve on the LLC Diversity Committee.

My interests in art are broad. I have curated many exhibits for galleries and museums, organized studio and gallery tours, served on art jury panels, volunteered at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, participated in residencies in Italy, Scotland, Mexico, and Albuquerque, and conducted art history study tours in Europe. In addition to being an active member of several regional art organizations and exhibiting my artwork, I currently manage Gallery 175 in Pawtucket and serve as chair of the Pawtucket Public Art Committee.


A "Gem" of a Playwright
By Barbara Barnes

There are no greater fans of American playwright August Wilson (1945 – 2005) than members of Lifelong Learning Collaborative (LLC). The ten plays that Wilson wrote in his American Century Cycle (one play for every decade of the 20th century) represent the many experiences of African Americans from the period after the Civil War through the late 1990’s. LLC “students” have read, studied, and discussed these plays and have been able to attend live performances of Wilson’s plays at Trinity Rep in Providence.

An opportunity to continue to experience the life of African Americans as seen through August Wilson’s eyes is available once again when Trinity Rep presents Gem of the Ocean from February 24 through March 27, 2022. The play is set in 1904 Pittsburg and represents both the struggles and the promises of life early in the 20th century. Questions of family ties, faith, and possibilities for a new century are explored as some characters struggle to leave behind the realities and the memories of all-too-recent slavery. Tickets for the play may be purchased on-line at or by phoning the box office at 401-351-4242.

To complete the August Wilson experience, the LLC Diversity Committee invites you to attend a special webinar on Tuesday, March 1 at 3:30 p.m. Curt Columbus, Trinity Rep Artistic Director, and Michelle Cruz, Director of Community Engagement at the theater, will join us to talk about Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Award winner, and Gem of the Ocean, “a lyrical masterpiece of myth and history.” (Trinity Rep brochure) Curt has been the Artistic Director at Trinity since 2006 and, for the past year, Michelle has been teaching an August Wilson class at Trinity Rep. Both speakers are dynamic and engaging.

Click here to register.


Carolyn Roberts, Interim Vice President for LLC

Ms. Roberts is a partner in Connors/Roberts Associates, a healthcare consulting business. Long active in healthcare organizations, she is the CEO Emerita and former president and chief executive officer of Copley Health Systems Inc., a nationally recognized multi-corporate, community-based, rural healthcare entity in Vermont. She previously held executive and administrative positions at Dana-Farber Cancer Center and in several ambulatory clinical settings.

Ms. Roberts is former chair of the American Hospital Association, a former commissioner on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), past chair of JCAHO’s Accreditation Committee, and treasurer of JCAHO’s International Board.

She served on the Board of the National Rural Health Association, and the National Rural Health Policy Board (Advising Congress on Rural Health Issues). She chaired the Board of the Vermont Hospital Association, the Northern New England Hospital Insurance Trust, The Vermont Community Foundation and numerous other Vermont and New England healthcare and community related Boards.

She has served on and chaired the University of Vermont’s School of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences. She was a member of the Board of Directors of Lifeline Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE), participating in its sale to Philips. She was a member of the Castle Worldwide Board, a privately owned company dedicated to testing design and credentialing which recently completed a merger with Scrantron, and the Advisory Board of the Health Care Competency Collaborative of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). She has served on multiple public and private corporate boards.

Following her retirement, she served as senior advisor on healthcare policy to the Health, Education and Pensions (HELP) committee of the U.S. Senate under the chairmanship of Senator James Jeffords of Vermont. Her professional experience also includes research in psychophysiology at Case Western Reserve University and Duke University.

A long time New Englander, she returned from Arizona to Providence, RI in May 2020 and has since joined the Governing Board of the Miriam Hospital and its Quality Oversight Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Lifelong Learning Collaborative and the Budget and Finance Committee, Art Exhibit Committee, and Marketing and Sales Committee of the Laurelmead Cooperative.

Carolyn is the widow of Edward J. Connors and mother to Deanna Hazeltine and Mark Roberts. She has 4 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. In addition to her family and volunteer activities, she enjoys continuing education, oil painting, travel, fitness, policy and politics, cooking and reading.


Notice: Dorcas International Institute Website

If you would like to help Afghan refugees, you can go to the website for Dorcas International House. You will be able to see how you can support the effort to help the new arrivals. That website will always lead to the updated information on how to help.


From Preserve Rhode Island

A Two-Part Community Conversation Series
MARCH 9 and 16, 2022

The violent attempt to disrupt the electoral process on January 6, 2021 shook many Americans’ faith in our democratic system. According to a December 2021 NPR/Ipsos poll, 64% of Americans believe democracy is in crisis and at risk of failing. Even more, 70%, feel the same about America itself. Locally, two key contributors were identified by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities in the January 2022 Culture is Key: Strengthening Rhode Island’s Civic Health Through Cultural Participation report: inequities in civic education and threats to local journalism. So what impact can actions taken at the local level have when we come together and relearn the power of citizenship and community? As Rhode Islanders, what can we do to rebuild our civil society when we address these threats to civic education and journalism? Please join this series of two community conversations March 9 and 16 at 6:30 PM.

The FREE discussions will be held virtually via Zoom. Pre-registration is required.

This conversation series is a partnership between Lippitt House Museum and the Providence League of Women Voters.

Click here to register.


Book Talk: Member Recommendations

First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents by Gary Ginsberg

In the bestselling tradition of The Presidents Club and Presidential Courage, White House history as told through the stories of the best friends and closest confidants of American presidents.

Former Clinton aide Gary Ginsberg provides fresh insights into the lives of the men who held the most powerful political office in the world by looking at the friends on whom they relied. First Friends is an engaging, serendipitous look into the lives of Commanders-in-Chief and how their presidencies were shaped by those they held most dear.

Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy by Nathaniel Philbrick

Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were now an unsure nation. Travels with George marks a new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection into a single narrative.

Writing in a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, in the fall of 2018, Philbrick follows Washington’s presidential excursions: The narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries as we see the country through both Washington’s and Philbrick’s eyes.

Written at a moment when America’s founding figures are under increasing scrutiny, Travels with George grapples bluntly and honestly with Washington’s legacy as a man of the people, a reluctant president, and a plantation owner who held people in slavery.


Interesting Facts from RINews

  • Despite its small population, Rhode Island has the largest percent of people in the US who claim Portuguese as their primary ancestry. December 27, 2021
  • Ann and Hope was the first discount department store in the United States.
    Opened in Cumberland, the company was named after the ship Ann and Hope which was lost at sea off Block Island in 1806. January 4, 2022
  • The Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge in Foster is the only remaining covered bridge in Rhode Island. January 6, 2022
  • The American straw hat industry was launched by 12-year-old Rhode Islander, Betsey Metcalf, in 1798 when she started making inexpensive straw hats. She failed to patent her hat and another woman did - Mary Kiss of Killingly, CT. January 13, 2022
  • While they were working together at Bryant College, Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales came up with the idea to create their own school. They wanted to work for themselves so that they could be in charge of what they taught. In 1914 they opened up a school in Gertrude’s home and called it Johnson & Wales Business School. January 14, 2022