2017 Symposium is Shaping Up

Check back often as the schedule finalizes

In its fifth year celebrating the genius of The Beatles, the Beatles at the Ridge Authors and Artists Symposium has recruited a highly-distinguished panel of Beatles authors, artists, filmmakers, and musicians for the September 15-16, 2017 “Summer of Love: 50th Anniversary” event.

Featured Authors for the gala weekend are Bruce Spizer and Jude Southerland Kessler. Both have written numerous books on The Beatles and are featured speakers at the Fest for Beatles Fans in New York and Chicago.

Bruce Spizer is the leading Beatles music expert in America, having penned The Beatles are Coming!, The Beatles Story on Capitol Records (Vols. 1 and 2), The Beatles Swan Song, Beatles for Sale on Parlophone Records, The Beatles on Apple Records, and The Beatles Solo on Apple Records. Additionally, Spizer is a regular contributor to Beatlefan magazine and a speaker at Abbey Road on the River. He also created the questions for the Trivial Pursuit Beatles board game. In 2016, Spizer was the Grand Finale Speaker for the GRAMMY Museum of Mississippi Beatles Symposium.

Jude Southerland Kessler is the foremost John Lennon expert and the author of The John Lennon Series including Shoulda Been There (Lennon’s life from 1940-1961), Shivering Inside (1961-1963), She Loves You (1963-1964) and this year’s Should Have Known Better (1964-1965). She is also one of the authors of New Critical Perspectives on The Beatles: Things We Said Today. Kessler serves as the official blogger for The Fest for Beatles Fans and hosted “The John Lennon Hour” radio show for three years. She was the Chairperson for the GRAMMY Museum of Mississippi Beatles Symposium in 2016 and has been the Chairperson for Beatles at the Ridge’s Symposium since 2012.

Featured Artist for the Symposium is Enoch Doyle Jeter of Monroe, LA. Jeter is Artist in Residence at the University of Louisiana, Monroe and was the illustrator for Volume 3 in The John Lennon Series, She Loves You, creating 14 original lithographs for the book. He has been featured in one-man shows at Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana and Taos, New Mexico. Jeter is a gifted stone lithographer whose work was selected for the cover of Dr. Kit O’Toole’s 2015 book, Songs We Were Singing, and he has taught a seminar in lithography in Cork City, Ireland. Jeter will host two “art happenings” at the Ridge – involving elementary age children in one, and high-school aged children in the second.

Lanea Stagg, Jude Southerland Kessler, Bruce Spizer and Kit O'Toole

Lanea Stagg, Jude Southerland Kessler, Bruce Spizer and Kit O’Toole

Noted authors and artists for the September event also include Dr. Ken WomackLanea Stagg, Sara Schmidt, Dr. Kit O’Toole, Cameron Hicks, and Rande Monroe Kessler. Special vendors for this year’s event include Beatle collectibles expert Bud Loveall, poet Terri Whitney with her new book Any Rhyme at All, and noted Beatles blogger and author Sandi Borowsky.

Friday’s Events

The Artists and Authors Symposium will be held inside the very lovely Studio on Main Street, a gorgeous state-of-the-art venue. The Argenta Collection of rare Beatles photos will be on display inside the building.

The symposium will open at 2:30 p.m. with the first presenter speaking at 3:00 p.m. A new addition to the group, Scott Cardinal an expert on Tittenhurst, will be taking us on a guided tour through Tittenhurst, which from all accounts is a spectacular presentation.

At 4:30 p.m., there will be an Official Book Release Party for Bruce Spizer’s new book, The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fan’s Perspective. Refreshments including a Sgt. Pepper cake will be served and live music presented by Cameron Hicks. Prizes will be presented to attendees during the party, so be sure to attend.

At 5:30 p.m., all artists and authors will be introduced followed by a presentation from Jude Southerland Kessler on the historical backdrop for Sgt. Pepper…what was going on in the world and with The Beatles in the summer of ’67.

At 6:15 p.m., Bruce Spizer will present  “Sgt. Pepper at 50.”

Afterwards, there will be a time for book signings from all the authors.

Saturday’s Events

The theme this year is “Sgt. Pepper and the Summer of Love.” Jessica Altman is our chairperson for the Summer of Love events that will be going on outside. She’s booking face painters, balloon artists, jugglers, etc. If you know anyone who would volunteer to help with this, please let Jessica know. She’s at jaltman2004@gmail.com

Terri Whitney is going to be leading a poetry reading time on Saturday featuring her own Beatles poetry and also encouraging others to read theirs. Please spread the word about this.

Our Featured Artist, Enoch Doyle Jeter, will host two Art Happenings in which students get to create a Beatles art banner and have a blast doing it. One “happening” will be for elementary age students. The other will be for Middle School and High School students. This is going to be so cool!

We are going to have a LIVE JAM lead by Cameron Hicks…Cameron will perform Beatles songs and then encourage people to come up with guitars, tambourines, etc and join in the fun!