2017 Symposium is a Winner

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.

2:00 p.m. Doors Open on 5th Annual BATR Authors and Artists Symposium
Located inside The Studio, 123 West Main Street, Walnut Ridge, AR

Argenta Collection of rare Beatles photos on display
“Bed-In for Peace” photo opportunity with John and Yoko
Authors and artists on hand for questions, chat, and book signings
Student entries in Little Dog at the Ridge Beatles art contest displayed/judged.

3:00-3:30 “Facebook LIVE” with BATR authors, artists, and film makers

4:15-5:30 p.m. Book Release Party in Honor of Featured Author, Bruce Spizer

Live Beatles music by 2015 Talent Contest Winner and musician, Cameron Hicks
Entries from Beatles-themed School Art Contest on display

5:30-5:45 p.m. Welcome and Introduction of Authors, Artists, and Filmmakers

Jude Southerland Kessler, Symposium Chairperson

5:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m. “The Summer of Love and The Beatles: 1967”

Multimedia presentation by Jude Southerland Kessler taking you back to the magical summer of 1967 in England, America, and in the lives of The Beatles…

6:30 p.m. Featured Author: Bruce Spizer presents: “The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fans’ Perspective”

A multimedia look at Sgt. Pepper 50 years later…from the perspective of Beatles experts and the “real” experts, the fans!

7:30 p.m. Winners of “Little Dog at the Ridge” Beatles Art Contest Awarded

7:35 p.m. Book Signing for All Authors

Saturday’s Events

Outdoor Events

Outdoor Activities with Jessica Altman:

Face painting
Balloon animals
Jugglers
Wall Chalk Art Creation

1:00-1:30 p.m. Poetry Reading/Open Mic Time led by Beatles poet, Terri Whitney

Located at Beatles Park
OPEN MIC time: Bring your Beatles and rock’n’roll poetry to share!

Activities Taking Place Inside The Studio, 123 Main Street:

9:00-9:45 a.m. “Doughnuts, Milk, and a Book” Time for Kids/Parents for Reading of the brand new book, Little Dog at the Ridge by Lanea Stagg

Coffee provided for parents
Discussion/coloring time after reading…plus, a chance for kids to be photographed with Little Dog, Ava!

10:00-10:45 a.m. Art Happening for Elementary School Children with Featured Artist Enoch Doyle Jeter

Come and create something very special to be hung inside The Studio!

11:00-11:45 a.m. Multimedia presentation with Beatles author, Sara Schmidt “George Harrison’s Other Summer of Love!”

Noon-12:45 p.m. “Beatles Lunch and Learn” with Beatles author, Dr. Kit O’Toole “A Journey through the Musical World of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

They may be the act you’ve known for all these years, but the Beatles were also innovators in words and sound. Nowhere was this more evident than on their 1967 masterpiece. Join Kit as she guides you through the writing and recording of Sgt. Pepper; you will never hear the album the same way again

***Please bring in sack lunches or lunch purchased at one of our vendors. Enjoy as you listen!

1:00-2:45 p.m.  Sneak Peek Showing of new Beatles Film by Cevin Soling

After the film, Cevin will answer your questions about the upcoming film.

3:00-3:30 p.m. Beatles Sing-Along and Jam with Cameron Hicks

After first few songs, participants will be encouraged to join Cameron with guitars, tambourines, ukes, etc. to sing and play along!

3:45-4:30 p.m. Art Happening for Middle School and High School Students with Featured Artist: Enoch Doyle Jeter

4:45-5:30 p.m.  Beatles at the Ridge Symposium “Grand Finale” with Beatles author, Dr. Ken Womack “A Musical Fragmentation Grenade: Sir George Martin and the Making of Sgt. Pepper”

 Throughout Saturday, visit our authors, artists, and filmmaker in their booths outside, and visit vendors Sandi Borowsky and Bud Loveall in their booths – all located on NW Second Street. In the event of inclement weather, vendors will be indoors.