Note:  Be advised that these programs are being conducted in-person and seating will be limited to allow for social distancing.  With the exception of the outdoor offerings, participants  must provide proof of vaccination or expect to wear a mask for the entire time they are in the building.  There will be no exceptions.  Fees are non-refundable.

Writing Life Stories

Dates: Tuesdays September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19 

Time: 1:00pm- 2:30pm

Fee: $30 Members/$60 Non Members

Format: In Person at EKH

Description:  For those who want to tell stories about their lives (for family, friends, or just to remember your own history). We will explore styles of memoir writing as well developing story types. Each person will write a one or two page memory weekly which will be discussed and expanded in class. Bring your memories and join us.

Presenter:  Judith Porter is a retired educator/librarian. She has one fiction book published and was a co-author for the recent book of memoirs “How We Got Here.’ She has also had short stories and articles published in the past. Among other degrees, she has one in journalism. 

What Happens When We Die? An exploration of how human consciousness exists outside of the body.

Dates: Thursday, September 16th 

Time: 5:00pm- 6:30pm

Fee: $5 General Admission

Format: In Person at EKH

Description: This program began in March 2016, and is conducted as the Rhode Island Chapter of the International Association for Near Death Studies (“IANDS”at The aim of the group is to explore and deepen our understanding of what has been learned about human consciousness from people who have had near-death experiences (“NDEs”) and have reported an amazing journey after they have been revived, along with the lessons they learned.  We will review and discuss actual documented experiences along with the findings of various researchers and scientists, all of whom have various theories about how this happens and what it can tell us about the transition from life as we know it, and what lies beyond. Some videos and guest speakers are utilized. This is not connected with any organized religion or religious belief. Some of the group’s current members include persons who have had NDEs, “after death” communications with loved ones, and related experiences of their own.

This session will feature special guest speaker Mary Volk.

Presenter:  Ben Riggs is a retired Naval Aviator and later business executive who has served as chief executive of several manufacturing companies. His knowledge and interest in NDEs evolved from the experiences of friends and family and subsequent participation with IANDS, which has included numerous national conferences, workshops, extensive study, and close collaboration with leading experts in the field.


Colonial Stone Carvers Tour of the Common Burying Ground

Date: Monday, September 20

Time: 1:00pm

Fee: $30 (includes accompanying book A Guide to Historic Burial Grounds in Newport)/Members

          $40 (includes accompanying book A Guide to Historic Burial Grounds in Newport)/Non-Members

Format: In Person at the Newport Common Burial Ground 

Description: Newport is an outdoor museum of artistically carved gravestones mostly dating to the 1700s. While the stones exist in many locations, the Common Burying Ground is the most impressive site to explore. This tour will showcase the colonial-era carved stones and the men who created them. The stones reflect the era and the people who lived and died in Newport.

Presenter: Lew Keen is a teacher, tour guide and local historian. 10 years after relocating to Newport he continues to enjoy learning about the city, the people, and the history. His goal is to present illustrated, fact-based history clearly and concisely.


Current International Events in Review

Dates: Wednesdays September 22, October 6, October 13, October 20, October 27, November 3, November 10, November 17

Time: 1:00-3:00pm

Fee: $40 Members/$80 Non Members

Format: In Person at the EKH

Description: Currently in its 16th year, we begin with country, region and political organization reviews, mostly by guest lecturers from the Naval War College and other sources, with Q&A after. This is followed by a workshop-style survey and discussion of current international events of the week by class members who want to participate.  Winter 2021 topics will add to an understanding of the current events being discussed.

Presenters: Ron Becker, a graduate of Reed College, is a retired actuary with over 35 years of technical and administrative experience in the life insurance industry and a life-long interest in history and politics.  Ben Riggs, is a retired Naval Aviator and business executive who has served as chief executive for U.S. divisions of several foreign-owned conglomerates.  His knowledge and interest in international affairs arose from both his military career as well as numerous business dealings in Europe, Japan and the Middle East. John Del Negro is a retired attorney who is a graduate of George Washington University and the Cornell Law School.  He is a frequent traveler to Europe and has taught several NCOS courses on the Italian Renaissance. 


History of Japanese in America — World War II and Today

Dates: Thursdays October 14, 21, 28, and November 4

Time: 2:00pm-3:30pm

Fee: $20 Members/$40 Non Members

Format: In Person at the EKH

Description: We will examine the history of people of Japanese ancestry living in America, especially the impact of WWII on this community, and the social and constitutional questions that emerged.  A central part of this discussion will be the incarceration of 120,000 of these Japanese by the US Government. We will ask if examples of this history are echoed in America today.

Presenters: Ken Nomiyama, a retired businessman, has developed a strong interest in the history and plight of the Japanese American. He is Japanese American, born during WW II at Tule Lake, California, one of the ten “internment” camps established by the U.S. Government. He is on the board of the Tule Lake Committee and is involved in issues relating to race and minorities. He lives in Newport.  James T. McIlwain, professor emeritus of neuroscience, Brown University, is a student of Japanese-American history with a special interest in the service of Japanese Americans in the U.S. Army during WWII. He is a life member of the Japanese American Veterans Association and an honorary member of Fox-Company Chapter of the 442nd Veterans Club of Honolulu.

Book your tickets