The original format for VISTAS seminars was a series of six morning sessions meeting once a week on topics generated by the membership and approved by the Curriculum Committee. In addition, occasional single-session seminars and social events were presented in afternoons or evenings.

That format has evolved into a more varied pattern to include seminars varying in length from two to eight sessions offered in either the morning or afternoon to better meet the wishes and schedules of the membership. Single session seminars and social events continue to be popular.

The Curriculum Committee does an annual member survey to determine topics of interest, and then attempts to identify members and/or outside experts willing to develop and present seminars in those areas. Members are also encouraged to join the VISTAS “faculty” by leading seminars in topics of their particular interest or expertise.

Seminars emphasize peer-led discussions rather than lectures, with class size limited at the discretion of the presenter; enrollments vary from 12 to 60 or more. VISTAS members are highly educated, widely traveled and have rich life experience, thus lively discussions continue unabated through refreshment breaks and after classes. For some seminars, there is a recommended reading list of readily available books, and additional materials are often given to enrollees at the class meetings.

Seminars are held in a variety of locations in and around Santa Barbara including Valle Verde and Maravilla Retirement Communities, the Maritime Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Goleta Public Library. VISTAS has audio-visual equipment available for presenting Power Point lectures, movies, videos and other such material.

VISTAS Curriculum Committee Members:

Robert Benham (co-chair)
Jill Breedon (co-chair)
Barbara Margerum (co-chair)
Sharon Alvarado
Ted Anagnoson
Gerry Corrigan
Steve Ebbin
Sarah Fox

George Frakes
Doris Frey
Barbara Huemer
Brian Johnson
Johanna Johnson
Lois Kaplan
Ben Kehela
Barbara Krahn

Peter Kruse
Sue Mellor
Jan O’Dowd
Patricia Poile’
Charlie Schneider
Gene Waller
Mort Weisman

Our seminar fee schedule as of September 2016

  • Single sessions $18 for members, $27.00 for nonmembers
  • Three sessions $35 for members, $52.50 for nonmembers
  • Five sessions $60 for members, $90.00 for nonmembers
  • (Shorter and longer seminars are priced proportionally)


Go to Join VISTAS for information on membership form and fees.



a 501 (c)(3) Not for Profit Corporation
VISTAS Lifelong Learning, Inc.
P.O. Box 23228
Santa Barbara, CA 93121
E-mail: vistas@silcom.com