Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

November, 2019

In order to participate in any class (unless otherwise stated) you must pre-register and pay the fee at least three days before the date of the class. You may call (941-637-1655) and charge the fee by credit card or stop in the office and pay by cash, check or credit card. Most classes have a minimum enrollment requirement and the class will be canceled if that number is not met.

For more information contact the office at 941-637-1655

All classes offered at the Punta Gorda Civic Isles Association are open to the general public.


Basket Weaving:

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday, January 9.
Beginning pine needle basket class. Basket starts with a drilled wood base. Pine needles treated with glycerin are stitched to the wood base with waxed cotton thread. The student will learn five stitches along with how to add beads between rows of coiling. All materials will be provided. A variety of color choices will be available. Patty Feather, instructor. Reservations required. $70 includes materials.

Card Making Class

Card Making Class:

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday, January 13 and February 3.
Create fun special occasion and holiday cards. Assemble 4 cards using pre-cut designs and learn various stamping techniques. Release your creativity while making some beautiful handmade cards. Preregistration required. All materials provided. Contact Instructor Patti Boese 941-875-5850. $15/class

Digital Photography Class

Digital Photography:

9:00 a.m. second Wednesday every month.
The Digiteers, formerly known as the Charlotte Digital Arts Photographers, is a group where everyone from novice to expert shares techniques and experiences in a friendly environment. Peer critique of regular assignments or themes is used as a powerful tool to teach new skills in photography and the digital darkroom. Regular presentations regarding the expanding photo technology keep members up to date on all phases of this hobby. Experienced members help those just getting started with their cameras. All are welcome; registration not required.

Landscape Painting in Oils:

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tuesdays, starting January 7 - 4 week series.
Contact Instructor Mary Taglieri 941-979-0901 or for info & supply list. Series of 4 classes $175. Students provide own supplies.

Oil Painting Class:

10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, January 13.
Jan Britland teaches a fun and easy day-long class using the “Bob Ross Technique”. Beginners encouraged to attend. Students take their finished painting home with them the same day. $60 fee, payable at registering at PGICA, includes all materials. Wear old clothes, bring your lunch, and enjoy a full day of painting.

Finish Your Book:

6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
$80/series of 4 classes. Contact Instructor James Abraham for more info. 941-258-4920.

  • Jan. 7--Scene-building: Bringing life to dialogue and action.
  • Jan. 14--So what’s a Bildungsroman? Coming-of-age novels such as “Huckleberry Finn” or “The Catcher in the Rye” have long been a staple of any literary study. Learn how to build your own bildungsroman by borrowing from the best.
  • Jan. 21--Character Development: Don’t just push your characters around, give them jobs with meaning and make them work for your best story.
  • Jan. 28—Support staff: Learn how to give characters their meaning and body, how to use minor characters to illuminate the whole, and how to construct and maintain a story pyramid.


Lew Bennett, CFP

Finances And Investing For Women

Lew Bennett, CFP, Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management, presents educational seminars designed to help empower women with financial decisions.

  • Introduction to Stocks - January 9 - 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
    The first step towards understanding the stock market is to have a basic understanding of stocks. Come learn about the different types and characteristics of stocks and how they bought and sold. Free of charge

Investment Management Services

Christine Hause, Vice President, Charlotte State Bank & Trust

  • Are You Prepared to be a Floridian?
    January 10 -10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Considering being domiciled in Florida or have moved here from another state to benefit fully from homestead law, no state income tax, and favorable estate planning codes? Will your out-of-state documents work in Florida as you had planned? Join us to explore your checklist to be a Floridian, common problems with other states’ documents, and some helpful tips.
  • Are You Prepared with Exchange Traded Funds vs. Mutual Funds?
    January 17 - 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Explore the details of how each investment tools works; its costs, performance measurements, and taxability. Learn the pros and cons of each. Gain insight into target funds, sector funds, and specialty funds and the risks of each.
  • Are You Prepared for Family Controlling Your Finances??
    January 17 - 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Many have named family to serve in their will, power of attorney and trust while sitting in the attorney’s office. The reality of a relative accessing your bank accounts, IRA assets, investment accounts, insurance policies, and safe deposit boxes may not be as comforting. Learn the pros and cons of family or friends serving in these important fiduciary rolds, including costs and liabilities.

Seminars are free of charge and open to the public. Light refreshments provided.


Sandwich Seminar:

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, January 21.
Open to the public and provided by Bayfront Healthcare Punta Gorda with lunch at no cost to attendees. Preregister by calling PGICA @ 941-637-1655.


Workouts with Carla Peralt

All workouts $10 per session, registration not required.
Contact Carla with questions at 941-276-1887 or e-mail

  • Latin FitnessLatin Fitness (formerly Zumba):
    8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays
    A fitness dance class based on Latin rhythms that will guarantee you a great workout through Latin and international music that will leave you sweaty and full of joy and energy.
  • PiYOPiYo
    10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Fridays
    A complete exercise program, a blend of Pilates and Yoga and functional training exercises. Developed by Charlene Johnson as part of Beachbody, PiYo is marketed as a low-impact workout that strengthens, sculpts the body, improves your balance and your cardiovascular system.

EssentricsEssentrics® with Elissa Rioux:

as seen on the PBS show “Classical Stretch”. These workouts will tone and shape your body, create long lean muscles and increase mobility, energy, flexibility and balance. Perfect for men and women of all fitness levels. Questions, contact Elissa 207-967-5393 or No need to preregister. Please bring a yoga mat. $10/class.

  • Essentrics® Barre 8:30 a.m. Mondays
  • New! Essentrics® Rock Your Core 10:00 a.m. Tuesdays
    All-standing, 45 min. full body workout to classic rock music. Designed to strengthen your core and improve flexibility. Great for guys and gals, especially hose playing sports who want to improve their game. Open to all levels. Give it a try and have some fun! No equipment, no impact, just great Essentrics® moves.
  • Essentrics® Toning and Strengthening 8:30 a.m. Wednesdays
  • Essentrics® Gentle Stretch 10:00 a.m. Thursdays

Mellow Morning YOGA:

10:30 a.m. Wednesdays
Alignment-based classes. Safe, playful and explorative of mind and body. Incorporates gentle restorative postures, yogic philosophy and breath work.  Inspires a joyful and healthier lifestyle. Contact Instructor Linda Haverlock with questions 317-727-6100 $10/class

Qigong Class

NEW! Qigong

11:30 a.m. Thursdays starting December 12
The foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), qigong dates back over 3000 years.  Accessible to everyone (including those with mobility issues), it has been shown to have many wide ranging health benefits including: supporting the immune system, improving balance, lowering blood pressure and eating depression, to name a few. Wear lose fitting clothing and bring a yoga mat if you would like to practice barefoot. Instructor Jim Wilton. Classes are free, but donations are accepted



8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Thursdays starting October 3
Mixed-level Hatha is suitable for beginner and intermediate practitioners. Emphasis is on proper alignment,   mind/body connection and fun! Bring a yoga mat; a blanket, block and strap is encouraged but not required. Wear comfortable clothes and avoid a heavy breakfast. Instructor Linda Anderson 941-575-3500 or $10/class  


Choir Play with Cahal Dunne

Mondays, Starting January 6 - 4:30–6:30 p.m. Concert: Sunday, March 8
Come sing with the choir! Fun way to make new friends, learn new tunes, and improve your health from head to toe. $90 includes CD of your part with accompaniment and sheet music.

Time Saving Kitchen Tips

Time Saving Kitchen Tips

11:00 a.m. to noon Wednesday, January 8
Looking to prepare elegant and healthy meals in less time? Chef Nathan Buckley will share the short-cut secrets of the experts! $10.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils
Plant Based Medicine: Is CBD Right for You?

1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 15 & Thursday, January 23
How you can use CBD to reduce pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression and cancer-related symptoms. Topics such as the Endocannabinoid System, THC, Hemp and Marijuana will be defined and discussed. With the passing of the Farm Bill, CBD is legal and found everywhere. Finding a quality CBD is important to your success with the product. Our discussion will also be centered around what to look for when purchasing a quality CBD. This class is a fun learning environment where actual product is sampled. your lifestyle. $15/class. Registration required. Contact Dotti Vaivoda

History of Punta Gorda in Murals

History of Punta Gorda in Murals

Mural Society’s President, Kelly Gaylord Introductory Lecture: Punta Gorda—The Pineapple Capital of the Nation 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 9. Free of charge.

Classes: The Whole Story
The history of the area as told through the murals throughout our beautiful City. Visit all 29 murals from your comfortable classroom seat while we present 450+ years of history using the murals as a guide. Hear about the Mural Society and get a sneak peek of upcoming projects.

  • The Early Years: from pre-Spanish Exploration to pre-WWI.
    1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Monday, January 27
  • Post World War I: picks up after World War I and continues to modern times.
    1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 29

Let’s Go Fishing:

7:00 to 9:00 p.m., six Wednesdays,
January 8 to February 12 or
February 19 to March 25.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations for fishing in fresh and salt waters of Southwest Florida. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated and there will be useful handouts. The class is geared toward beginning anglers, but more experienced fishermen will pick up helpful tips as well. The instructor is long time local fishing guide Captain Ralph Allen who might even reveal the locations of a few local hot spots! Open to all members and the public. $45/series of six classes.

Mah Jongg

MAH JONGG 101 Class:

9:00 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday,
February 4 to February 20

Learn Mah Jongg from experienced instructor, Gloria Walker, in 6 easy lessons, first two classes are mandatory attendance. Class size is limited so sign up early as this popular class fills up fast. $35 (couples $60). When you register pick up info sheet.

Master Gardener Plant Clinic “First Time Florida Gardeners”

Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. January 21
Diane Peterson offers her knowledge in the differences between gardening “back north” and gardening in Florida. Knowing what to do, and what not to do, saves money and boosts gardening confidence and success. An absolute MUST for new residents and even the most experienced Florida gardener can always learn something new. Bring garden problems and questions for after the program. Several Master Gardeners will be available to help you. Bring specimens in a sealed baggie. Free of charge. Registration not required. Info: Nancy Palmer, 941-286-6111

One Society: Race Relations in a Post-Racial Society:

Tuesdays 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
$80/series of 4 classes.
Contact Instructor James Abraham for more info. 941-258-4920

  • Black InventorsJan. 7--Black Inventors: From traffic lights and vacuum cleaners to blood transfusions and space travel, black inventors and scientists have had a hand in inventions both mundane and world-shaking, yet their accomplishments are little known. Let’s examines some trailblazers
  • Jan. 14--The New Interracial: What do manufacturers and marketers know that we don’t? Even as our nation wallows in a racial divide of historic proportions, print and electronic ads herald an age in which multiracial families are commonly accepted. What planet do they live on, or are they anticipating a brave new world?
  • Black Cowboys Jan. 21--Black Cowboys: Home on the range was never lily-white, although Hollywood long said it was. But from Punta Gorda and Arcadia to the high plains and beyond, black cowboys burned their brand into the true history of bronco bustin’.
  • Jan. 28--The Science of Ignorance: A look at some of the spurious theories of race and the consequences of believing and propagating such stupidity.