Artists & Authors Symposium

2019 Symposium Theme is Beatles Memorabilia

This is the seventh year that we have hosted The Beatles Authors and Artists Symposium, and we’re thrilled about this line-up,” Symposium co-chair Kessler said. “Our theme this year is Beatles Memorabilia, and our variety of special guests are a perfect fit for it.”

Headlining the weekend will be Featured Author Jim Berkenstadt (“The Rock ‘n’ Roll Detective”) whose book about fill-in drummer Jimmie Nicol, The Beatle Who Vanished, is being turned into a feature film. Jim will be talking about some of the mysteries associated with Beatles memorabilia, as well as hosting a viewing of the documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, on which he served as official historian.

Also topping the bill will be Featured Artist Ken Orth with his “Meet the Look-Alikes!” collection of art pieces, album covers, T-shirts and more inspired by The Beatles. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “Abbey Road” album in September 2019, Ken will exhibit and talk about a selection of the album’s artwork from his collection, including images that led to the iconic cover, out-take photos and over a hundred parodies on a variety of formats from around the world.

This year’s Primary Source Guest Speaker will be Art Schreiber. Art will speak on The Beatles in 1964 and play his “cuts” (as he calls them) – tapes of interviews that he did with The Beatles live that year when he traveled with them as a journalist for The Westinghouse Network. He will be bringing items he collected during that time on the North American Tour as well. Art, who is blind, will also be selling copies of his inspirational book, Out of Sight: Blind and Doing All Right.

Other respected Beatles at the Ridge 2019 guest speakers include Terry Crain (who will be celebrating the new release of his book on US Beatles memorabilia); Patricia Gallo-Stenman (author of Diary of a Beatlemaniac who will be showcasing her vast Beatles collection); emcee Susan Ryan (host of the Fab 4 NYC Walking Tours); Allison Boron and Erika White (hosts of the BC the Beatles podcast); plus co-hosts for this year’s symposium Lanea Stagg, (author of the Recipe Records Cookbook Series) Jude Southerland Kessler (author of The John Lennon Series, a 9-volume historical narrative biography of Lennon’s life).

“But that’s not all we have in store,” said Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp, founder of Beatles at the Ridge. “Our 2019 Symposium will also welcome back gifted artist and photographer, Rande Kessler, plus we have the Argenta collection of rare Beatles’ photographs for visitors to enjoy!”

Popular teen musician Cameron Hicks will also return this year, playing the entire Beatles’ Help! album. Poet Terri Whitney will reprise her “Live Mic Poetry Reading,” sharing her works from Any Rhyme at All and encouraging other poets to do the same. And popular Beatles vendors Bud Loveall, Rita Lokerson, and Tammy Chambers will be on hand as well.


Friday, 20 September 2019 (Noon – 8:30 p.m.)

Doors open at noon for meet and greet with authors and artists

12:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. The Studio Opens for viewing of The Argenta Collection and Ken Orth’s “Meet The Beatles Look-Alikes!” collection. All authors and artists will be on hand to answer questions and sign books. Ken Orth will be giving tours of his collection.

1:45 – 2:30 Sara Schmidt on The Official Beatles Fan Club in the United States (with wonderful club memorabilia!)

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Terry Crain on Sue Me Sue You Blues: Legal Fun with 1964-66 Beatles Memorabilia

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Cameron Hicks, musical performance of the entire Help! LP. Sing-Along sheets provided to get you in the spirit of the festival!

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. “Meet and Greet Party” with authors/artists in booths and refreshments and a special poetry reading by Terri Whitney

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Welcome and Introductions (by co-chairs, Lanea Stagg and Jude Kessler) of our authors and artists and emcee Susan Ryan

6:00p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Primary Source Guest:

Art Schreiber, American reporter who toured with The Beatles in 1964 (and also covered the Democratic National Convention during the first week of the tour) will talk about his days with The Beatles and will play “cuts” (interviews with the lads).

7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.: Featured Author:

Jim Berkenstadt, author of The Beatle Who Vanished and served as historian for the making of the Martin Scorcese film George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Jim will speak on Beatles Memorabilia and Mysteries

15 minutes provided for Questions and Answers after this featured presentation

8:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Authors and artists in booths for book signings, photos, questions/answers

8:30 p.m. Close for the night

Saturday, 21 September 2019 (8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.)

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Authors and artists in booths (inside The Studio on Main Street) to meet the public. Argenta Collection and “Meet The Beatles Look-Alikes” Collection open for viewing. Ken Orth will be giving tours of his collection during this time frame…but not while presenters are speaking.

*** Note: All speakers will have 45 minutes (including Q & A, if they so desire). For 15 minutes after each speaker, authors/artists will be in booths to sell and sign books/CDs/DVDs. No books will be sold while a speaker is presenting.


10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Jim Berkenstadt on The Beatle Who Vanished: Jimmie Nicol

11:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m. Jim Berkenstadt Introduces PART 1 of the film: George Harrison: Living in the Material World

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Film: Martin Scorcese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World (Part 1)

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. “Lunch and Learn” with Patricia Gallo-Stenman, author of Diary of a Beatlemaniac and Beatles memorabilia collector

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Film: Martin Scorcese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World (Part 2)

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Question and Answer Time with Jim Berkenstadt on The Making of Living in the Material World (Jim was the official historian for the Harrison family during the film’s production.)

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. BC The Beatles LIVE!!!!! Allison Boron and Erika White will be recording a Beatles at the Ridge edition of their lively podcast as they talk about Beatles Memorabilia and collectibles and interview some of our presenters and our attendees for their fans!

5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Ken Orth: The Artwork of Abbey Road: Before and After

6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Grand Finale Speaker: Terry Crain on Seltaeb and The Business of Beatles Memorabilia

6:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. All authors in booths for final sales of the day and final tours with Ken Orth through his “Meet The Beatles Look-Alikes!” collection.

Symposium will end at 7:30 p.m.

Note: All speakers will be 45-minutes in length (including Q & A, if they so desire). For 15 minutes after each speaker, authors/artists will be in booths to sell and sign books/CDs/DVDs. No books will be sold while a speaker is presenting.


Outside Symposium booths on Saturday:

Bud Loveall (Beatles books, buttons, T-shirts, etc.)

Indoor Symposium booths:

Rita Lokerson (Beatles clothing, blankets, jewelry, and gifts)

Tammy Chambers (Beatles jewelry)

Additional Symposium Artists/Authors who will not be presenting this year but will be selling inside The Studio on Main Street:

Rande Kessler

Lanea Stagg

Jude Southerland Kessler