2016 Events Program

October 23 through November 1

Death Fest Book Fair at Barnes & Noble

We encourage everyone to visit the store to buy books from the Death Fest Reading List, books that were ordered specifically for this event.  Customers are welcome and encouraged to shop the entire store for any items of interest – café, music, movies, toys and games, or other books of your choice.  This offer is good for online shopping and can be applied at any Barnes and Noble store.

Proceeds benefit Natural State Burial Association. Please state your support for NSBA at the register or request Voucher # 11999109. This offer is only good October 23 through November 1, 2016.

See a list of in-store events at Community Events During Death Fest: http://naturalstateburialassociation.org/deathfest/community-events-death-fest/

Thursday, October 27

The Kickoff Gala

Doors open at 6:30PM
Fayetteville Senior Wellness and Activity Center
945 South College, Fayetteville

Dessert Reception/Meet & Greet 

Invocation/Inspirational Quotes
 

Address from Cayla Wilson, Director, Fayetteville Senior Wellness & Activity Center http://aaanwar.org

Address from Justin Taylor, Environmental Educator,                          City of Fayetteville Recycling & Composting Program
http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/1297/Recycle-Something

A Reading of the Proclamation “Green Burial Education Days”
from the office of Mayor Lioneld Jordan, City of Fayetteville

Honoring the ‘Groundbreakers’ Recognizing the historical impact of the early presence of the Funeral Consumers Alliance in NWA

Musical Entertainment – Including the NSBA Theme song, Provided by Walter Schmidt and Friends

Who We Are & What We’re Doing – Meet the Board of Directors of the  Natural State Burial Association and discover the mission and the message of the organization

 The unveiling of the ‘Plain Pine Box’ –  A locally handmade, bio-degradable, toe-pincher coffin that functions as a bookshelf until needed. To be given away by raffle drawing on closing night. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.  Need not be present to win. Delivery can be arranged within 30 miles of Fayetteville.


Friday, October 28

Death Café: Drink Tea, Eat Cake, and Discuss Death

6:00PM  Senior Center, in the Exercise Room
Facilitator: Pamela Ramsfield

“Death Café is a group directed open discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session. At Death Café you can safely explore your thoughts and feelings about death and dying.”
(Death Café- Glastonbury, UK)       http://deathcafe.com

Pamela Ramsfield is a board certified chaplain through the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation and an active member of the NWA Interspiritual Community.  Upon completion of her master’s degree in Social Work through the University of New England, Pamela hopes to serve as a healing presence in the NWA community in the fields of trauma or grief, loss, and death and dying.

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/08/173808940/death-cafes-breathe-life-into-conversations-about-dying

Reception/Meet & Greet

7:00PM-7:30PM  Senior Center, in the Walker Dining Hall

A Will for the Woods

7:30PM  Senior Center, in the Great Room
Screening of the PBS documentary, followed by a  Q&A session with National Home Funeral Alliance representative, Jim Bates

What if our last act could be a gift to the planet? Determined that his final resting place will benefit the earth, musician, psychiatrist, and folk dancer Clark Wang prepares for his own green burial while battling lymphoma. The spirited Clark and his partner Jane, boldly facing his mortality, embrace the planning of a spiritually meaningful funeral and join with a compassionate local cemetarian to use green burial to save a North Carolina woods from being clear-cut.

With poignancy and unexpected humor, A Will for the Woods portrays the last days of a multifaceted advocate – and one community’s role in the genesis of a revolutionary movement. As the film follows Clark’s dream of leaving a legacy in harmony with timeless cycles, environmentalism takes on a profound intimacy.

Face Painting: A Fund Raiser for Death Fest

2:00PM to 6:00PM, Lobby Area at the Senior Center

Get yourself ‘Suger-Skulled’ for Death Fest

Painting sugar skulls is a passion for local artist Rose Bartlett, and she is very good at it.
Part of the proceeds will go to the Natural State Burial Association.
So, come get yourself ‘Sugar-Skulled’ and donate to a good cause.

Rose will be available Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 for custom face painting!

In Tribute:
Poems and Stories of Death and Remembrance

7:30PM  Bear’s Place, 504 E 15th Street, Fayetteville

Spoken Word Performance –                                                                                   Featuring Slam-Poet Houston Hughes & Friends

$5 Entrance Fee – – or – – $10 for entrance fee and a copy of      NSBA’s 2016 compilation CD  It’s Natural: Arkansas Musicians Sing About Livin’ & Dyin’   http://naturalstateburialassociation.org/celebrating-life/its-natural-cd

Come listen as local poets and storytellers share their words on death and remembrance, from the heartbreaking to the uplifting. Led by local performance poet Houston Hughes, the night will feature works on the loss of loved ones, the mourning process, and the lessons learned that we still carry with us. Anyone interested in performing, or who might like one of their own stories turned into a piece for the event, should e-mail HoustonRH7@gmail.com .

Houston Hughes is a performance poet who has been slinging words professionally for nearly a decade.  Hughes often collaborates with others and has produced stage works with musicians, dancers, culinary artists, burlesque groups, and more. In 2010, the Individual World Poetry Slam competition placed him among the top 12 performance poets in the world, and today he continues his work in Fayetteville running the local poetry slam group and teaching in schools. His latest CD, “Growing Up, Not Old” was released earlier this year and contains collaborations with a number of Fayetteville artists including Shawn James and Randall Shreve – and you can grab it at houstonhughes.bandcamp.com



Saturday, October 29

Workshops/Presentations

10:00AM-12:00PM Senior Center – Various assigned rooms
See a detailed listing at the end of this program.

Annual Membership Meeting

Senior Center, in the Walker Dining Hall
1:00PM Welcoming Reception/Meet & Greet
1:30PM Introduction of the NSBA Board of Directors and meeting

2:00PM Guest Speakers

“A Natural Alternative” Michael Stephens from Green Tree Burial Grounds, Mead, OK will cover the philosophy of Green Tree Burial Grounds, and his motivations for greentreegetting into the green cemetery business.

Website: http://www.greentreeburialgrounds.org

Native Oklahoman Michael Stephens received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. His specialties are the Natural Sciences, Psychology, and Teacher Education. He works as a Respiratory Therapist as well as a Secondary High School Teacher with the Denison (TX) Independent School District. Michael lives in Mead, OK.

“We are here to help, and we are not from the government!”
Presented by Jim Bates
http://homeNational Home Funeral Alliancefuneralalliance.org and    https://www.funerals.org
The National Home Funeral Alliance and Funeral Consumers Alliance are national advocacy and support organizations registered as charitable organizations. Both have deep expertise in deathcare issues. Registration is free for both organizations. This talk will explain what FCA and NHFA do, and how they can help you; thus helping us all.

Jim Bates has been a funeral consumer advocate volunteer for over 25 years; serving in local, state and national leadership positions. Jim leads a board of directors who help consumers with deathcare issues in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. He teaches a seniors course on funeral planning at a local community college. Statewide, Mr. Bates serves as the legislative liaison in the state capitol, defending consumer rights and authoring consumer-friendly legislation. Jim Bates served 9 years on the national board of directors for the non-profit Funeral Consumers Alliance, actively advancing technology and lobbying efforts for nationwide local affiliates of FCA. Jim is a pioneer member of the new NHFA Ethics Committee.

Face Painting: A Fund Raiser for Death Fest

2:00PM to 6:00PM, Lobby Area at the Senior Center

Get yourself ‘Suger-Skulled’ for Death Fest

Painting sugar skulls is a passion for local artist Rose Bartlett, and she is very good at it.
Part of the proceeds will go to the Natural State Burial Association.
So, come get yourself ‘Sugar-Skulled’ and donate to a good cause.

Rose will be available Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 for custom face painting!

Workshops/Presentations

4:00PM to 6:00PM Senior Center – Various assigned rooms
See a detailed listing at the end of this program.

In Memoriam:
A Performative Dialogue on Death and Dying

6:30PM  Senior Center, in the Walker Dining Hall
$5 Entrance Fee – – or – – $10 for entrance fee and a copy of NSBA’s 2016 compilation CD It’s Natural: Arkansas Musicians Sing About Livin’ & Dyin’  http://naturalstateburialassociation.org/celebrating-life/its-natural-cd

Artist’s Laboratory Theatre will facilitate a collaborative conversation on the matters of death and burial  by employing expressive theatre and storytelling techniques. The event will conclude with a special Secret Theatre performance created by Artist’s Lab that will explore the nature of Death and Dying in an intimate, interactive, and immersive performance that includes the audience in a special way.

 

Artist’s Laboratory Theatre is a community-centric, site-specific theatre based in Fayetteville, AR.  They stage original, handcrafted performances in surprising places that include their audiences in unique ways. By collaborating with community groups in our writing process and engaging through interactive experiences during  live immersive performances, we strive to expand our audience’s role in live theatre. Learn more about their projects at http://artlabtheatre.com/

“I’ve Been Dying to Share This with You!” 
A Death Fest Open Mic 

7:00PM Nomads Music Lounge, 1431 So School Ave, Fayetteville

An open mic evening of songs, poems, and stories about death and dying, spirits and ghosts, and visions of the great beyond!  It can be dark or funny, secular or spiritual, original or borrowed, but if you’ve got something to share on the Death Fest Stage at Nomad’s on Friday, October 28 please join us.  Or just come to watch and listen!  Sign-ups start at 6:30 PM and the show starts at 7:00.   No cover, donations appreciated.

Hosted by Walter Schmidt:  A local singer/songwriter who retired from the practice of law 5 years ago.  In 2014 he released an album of original songs, “Big Fat Moon.”   Walter produced the compilation album “It’s Natural: Arkansas Musicians Sing About Livin’ & Dyin’” on behalf of the Natural State Burial Association, and wrote the NSBA theme song “Natural State”.  His song, “Arkansas, I Hear You Calling,” was selected as a New Song Showcase winner for the 2016 Walnut Valley Music Festival held in Winfield, Kansas.


Sunday, October 30

Workshops/Presentations

10:00AM-12:00PM Senior Center – Various assigned rooms
See a detailed listing at the end of this program.

Death-Themed Sunday Services

Area churches cover the topic of mortality and death, funeral traditions, and burial options within their faith traditions.

More info on the Community Events During Death Fest page:
http://naturalstateburialassociation.org/deathfest/community-events-death-fest/

Guided Tour of the Evergreen Cemetery 

11:00AM Located at 112 North University St,  Fayetteville            (Park at Powerhouse Seafood)
Led by William Mayes Flanagan, long-time caretaker & board member of Evergreen Cemetery

Evergreen Cemetery, located at William and University Streets in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is one of the largest early historic cemeteries in the region, with burials dating to 1838. Evergreen is included in the National Register of Historic Places for its age, and because numerous important historical figures are buried there. These include Senator J. William Fulbright, Governor Archibald Yell, educator Sophia Sawyer, industrialist Lafayette Gregg, and many others. You can read about the cemetery in this informative article:

http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=7426

Plenary Session and Keynote Address

Senior Center, in the Walker Dining Hall
1:00PM Welcoming Reception/Meet & Greet
1:30PM Introduction of the NSBA Board of Directors
2:00PM Abby Burnett, local historian and author of
Gone to the Grave; Burial Customs of the Arkansas Ozarks, 1850 – 1950

“Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Death in the Ozarks”

Not all Ozark burial customs and practices were logical. Some originated in folklore and superstition; other parts of the complicated ritual were necessary because members of the community – not the professional funeral industry – were burying their own dead. This talk will focus on some of the Ozarks’ more unusual burial customs, the rationale behind a few of these practices, and some of the things early undertakers did to establish a need for their services.

Abby Burnett is an independent researcher who documents all Abby-Burnettaspects of burial in the Arkansas Ozarks. As seen in the Arkansas Education Television Network’s 2010 documentary, “Silent Storytellers”
http://www.aetn.org/engage/blog/abby_burnett

Burnett studies such things as long-lost funeral customs, grave covers, tombstone symbolism, epitaphs and the work of early tombstone carvers.

Burnett, who is on the board of the Association for Gravestone Studies, was a lecturer at the organization’s 2016 annual conference, has given a gallery talk at Crystal Bridges (on mourning art in the traveling folk-art exhibit) and been the keynote speaker at the Ozarks Studies Symposium in West Plains, Missouri.

Workshops/Presentations

4:00PM to 6:00PM Senior Center – Various assigned rooms
See a detailed listing at the end of this program.

Concert with Harmonia and Broad Daylight

Senior Center, in the Walker Dining Hall                                                                6:30PM  Reception/Meet & Greet
7:15PM  Concert begins

 “Waters of Healing”
Flowing like the river of life, listen to songs that flow in celebration!
The celebration of healing into life . . . and the celebration of healing into death.

Harmonia:  10 women — 20 years of singing together —  who delight in sharing the healing, heart-opening, and inspiring power of music with their audience
Broad Daylight:  4 Harmonia women – who, just for the fun of it, have broadened their palette of songs
https://www.facebook.com/Harmonia-201246615894



Monday, October 31
Halloween

Halloween Trick-or-Treat on the Square

3:00PM to 5:00PM                                                                                                               Fayetteville Downtown Square – Plaza in front of the Town Center

Death Fest, in collaboration with the City’s Recycling/Composting Program, will host a booth including face painting, photo ops with logo cutouts, fun games and nifty prizes. Music will be provided by The Clarke Buehling Carousel Orchestra, comprised of Clarke Buehling on banjo and mandolin, Carol Widder on cello and Walter Schmidt on banjo.  They’ll be playing music from before the days of radio for your listening pleasure!  http://www.experiencefayetteville.com/

Cajuns, Costumes, & Comedy:
One Wicked Halloween Party

5:00PM to 9:00PM  Parish Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church,
Corner East & Dickson Streets, Fayetteville                                                         http://www.stpaulsfay.org/
$15 Entrance Fee

Beverages & BBQ Plates for your enjoyment.  Purchase your Raffle Tickets and enter the Costume Contest for great prizes during the night. Our MC is one and only ‘Gary Cooper’.

Phunbags! You’ll Die Laughing!
Cast includes: Mark Landon Smith, Jules Taylor, Mike Thomas, Jason Suel, and Julie Gabel   http://www.phunbags.org/
Where Whose Line Is It Anyway? meets Saturday Night Live – – Phunbags Phayetteville brings the art of short form comedy improv to play as they address all things Halloween – – graveyards, funerals, dead things, and candy.

Music & Dancing with
Jumpsuit Jamey & the Can’t Wait to Playboys
Band includes: Jamey Hall, Mark McGee, Kevin Watkins, Robin Rues, Mike Rickard, Sid Simons and Ray Palmer

Singer/songwriter/accordionist Jamey Hall’s intent is to make music with background percussive elements that match the sounds of an Arkansas bayou on a hot summer night, with the accordion leading the way. Jamey, an experienced dance instructor, especially likes to start events with a Cajun Dance Lesson so everyone will enjoy the resurgent art of couple dancing.
Jumpsuit Jamey & The Can’t Wait to Playboys

Tuesday, November 1
Day of the Dead

Natural State Burial Association’s
2nd Annual Day of the Dead Celebration

7:00PM Teatro Scarpino, 329 North West Ave, Fayetteville
$15 Entrance Fee

 “Yao Angelo and the Afrique Aya Drum & Dance Company”

Debuting:             afriqueayalogoaa
‘Drums of Passing: Funeral Rhythms, Dances, and Processions from the Ivory Coast Tradition’
Afrique Aya will be sharing a new performance  program commissioned by Death Fest 2016.

Drums of Passing will be an exploration of drums used during the passing on of loved ones. In Africa people do not just sit there and cry; they also apply drums and dance to this special occasion – as a way to celebrate and mourn the passing on of a relative or friend into the next realm.

 AFRIQUE AYA is a multi-ethnic group of dancers and drummers dedicated to enjoying and sharing the music and culture of West Africa. Inspired by rhythms and rituals from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), AFRIQUE AYA celebrates the synergy of nature, spirit, movement, and percussion. Angelo Yao is the Creative Director of the group and Angelo has been dancing and drumming his whole life; professionally since he was 14 years old. http://bit.ly/AngelosBio

 Raffle Drawingfor the ‘Plain Pine Box’
A locally handmade, bio-degradable, toe-pincher coffin that functions as a bookshelf until needed. Need not be present to win. Delivery within 30 miles of Fayetteville can be arranged.

 Death Fest Finale`
Closing remarks and a Requiem for Death Fest
www.naturalstateburialassociation.org

To offer the vision, inform the public, and create a choice.