WHERE DO WE GO WHEN WE DIE

(An exploration of how human consciousness exists outside of the body.)

Presenter: Ben Riggs         Dates:  Thursday, 1/21, 2/18, 3/18, 4/15, 5/20         Time: 5:00 pm          Cost:  By Donation

Description:  This program is conducted by the Rhode Island Chapter of the International Association for Near Death Studies (“IANDS”, at www.iands.org) . 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. 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. This is not connected with any organized religion or religious belief. Much of the information will be provided by IANDS and various guest participants. The group’s facilitators, Ben Riggs and Lee Thornton, are active members of IANDS who have personal experience and knowledge in this area: www.heavenslight.net. In addition, Ben is President of the Newport Circle of Scholars and has been co-teaching the course on International Current Events for 15 years.

If you would like to attend, please register with EKH promptly. If you would like additional information, please contact Ben Riggs at rmcriggs@earthlink.net. There is no course fee required, but donations to EKH to cover costs are gratefully accepted.  For the present, the meetings are conducted on Zoom, which still facilitates live discussion among all participants. 

Bio: 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.

The Genius of Frank Lloyd Wright 

Presenter:  Timothy Totten          Dates:  Wednesdays, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10          Time:  2:30pm          Cost: $15 Mem/ $30 Non-Mem

Description:  Utilizing hundreds of photos and dozens of first-person anecdotes, storyteller Timothy Totten brings you an exciting 3-part series about the life and work of famous and infamous American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright.   The first one-hour presentation, titled “The Prairie Years” details Frank Lloyd Wright’s early Wisconsin upbringing and his entry into turn-of-the-century Chicago architecture and society.  The second hour, titled “The Wandering Architect” intimately chronicles Wright’s flight to Europe with his mistress and later, to Japan, as well as his personal journey to regain his artistic voice following tragedy and scandal.  The triumphant final hour, called “The Modern Reinvention” highlights the busiest and most artistically-fulfilling chapter of Wright’s career and personal life, culminating in the revolutionary spiral of the Guggenheim Museum and installation in the pantheon of notable American figures.

Bio:  Timothy Totten has studied the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright for over 30 years, visiting more than 300 Wright-designed buildings across the country.  Totten has brought his energetic storytelling style to packed rooms at museums, theaters and Wright-designed venues throughout the United States.    In addition to his dynamic storytelling sessions, Totten also serves the community as the founder and race director of the annual Amazing Race for Charity and is the co-organizer of TEDxEustis.  Totten is a parallel entrepreneur and co-owner of several businesses, including Final Embrace, FunVenture, Communitas Holdings, Celebrating Heroes, Artisan Laser Guild, and Architecture Travel Companion.

Classic Lit: William Shakespeare’s Richard III (c. 1593)

Presenter:  Eileen Warburton          Dates:  Tuesdays, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/2          Time:  1:00pm          Cost:  $35 Mem/ $60 Non-Mem (fees include hard copy of the play)

Description:  William Shakespeare was an emerging playwright in 1593 Elizabethan London when he wrote this exciting, chilling, and (occasionally) funny character study of an ambitious, manipulative, amoral tyrant. Join us as we follow the rise and fall of this fascinating, brilliant, frightening king and help us kick tyranny to the curb in our discussions. Class meetings are online and participants must have access to a computer or iPad. Materials will be sent out by the Edward King House. Class format will encompass: reading the script, act by act, and watching a video of a classic stage performance of the play, act by act: viewing videos prepared by Eileen Warburton, covering each act plus some context. Do not fear Shakespeare’s language! We will work through it together. Thus prepared, we will gather on Zoom each Tuesday afternoon for a rollicking discussion of one of the most unforgettable pieces of English theatre.

Bio: Eileen Warburton holds a PhD in English and American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of many books and articles, and has taught literature at several regional universities. She has been a theatre critic, the Producer of TRIST (The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre), and for 16 years was the humanities scholar and essayist for 2nd Story Theatre. 

Newport’s Common Burying Ground and God’s Little Acre

Presenter: Lewis Keen          Dates:  Thursday, 2/11           Time:  1:00pm          Cost:  $5 Mem/ $10 Non-Mem

Description:  While Newport has numerous burial sites The Common Burying Ground is likely the most important.  It covers 10.2 acres, includes about 8000 burials and is the final resting place of 85% of colonial Newporters. While it includes many important historic individuals, the northern section of the site, known as God’s Little Acre, is of national importance.  It is home to the greatest number of pre-1800 gravestones for people of African heritage in the country.  Colonial era gravestones are remarkable historic artifacts and early American art.  Learn more about this site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bio: 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

Presenter: Ron Becker, Ben Riggs, John DelNegro          Dates: Wednesdays, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7

Time: 12:45pm          Cost:  $40 Mem/ $80 Non-Mem

Description:  Currently in its 15th 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.  This course will be conducted on Zoom.

Bio: 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.

Staying Connected and Building Community In The Time of COVID 

Presenter:  Val Walker          Dates: Thursday, 2/25          Time:  2:00pm          Cost:  $5 Mem/ $10 Non-Mem

Description:  Even before COVID-19, it took courage and initiative to break out of isolation and rebuild our support networks. We may have already been strapped in isolating situations such as illness, caregiving, living alone, divorce, relocation, or the death of a loved one.

Please join us as we explore ways to:  1) Stay close to others and deepen our bonds, despite social distancing. 2) Build our communities, expand our networks, and pave the way for our future social lives. 3) Understand how loneliness and isolation have affected other vulnerable groups in your community (such as people with disabilities, people in recovery, seniors who live alone) and learn how to advocate to help reduce social isolation.

Bio: Val Walker is a contributing blogger for Psychology Today, exploring the topics of loneliness, grief, breaking out of isolation, and building community. She is the author of The Art of Comforting (Penguin/Random House) which won the Nautilus Book Award. Her new book, 400 Friends and No One to Call, was recently released with Central Recovery Press. A former rehabilitation counselor with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University, Val teaches and speaks throughout New England and contributes to the Health Story Collaborative in Boston.  

A Virtual Tour of Trinity Episcopal Church

Presenter:  Harle Tinney          Dates: Tuesday, 3/9          Time:  2:00pm          Cost:  $5 Mem/ $10 Non-Mem

Description:  Trinity episcopal Church built in 1726 is the embodiment of Newport “society” from 1698 to today. Its architecture by Sir Christopher Wren still stands out on the Newport skyline.  Take a virtual walk through Rhode Island’s oldest church with expert docent Harle Tinney.

Bio: Harle Hope Hanson Tinney is the last of the Tinneys of Newport. Now an accomplished author, tour guide, actress with stories that might otherwise be lost to the ages, Ms. Tinney brings her memories to life. Tales of castle women and her own stories of a full and varied life from a carefree girlhood at the seaside to the ownership of Belcourt Castle on Bellevue Avenue may change your perspective on the City by the Sea.

Designed by Nature: The Life and Work of John La Farge

Presenter:  Maria Mack D’Amario          Dates:  Thursday, 3/18          Time:  1:00pm           Cost:  $5 Member/ $10 Non-Member

Description:  Born in 1835 and trained in Europe, John La Farge became one of the leading pioneers of the American Renaissance movement. He settled in Newport in 1859 and worked under the tutelage of American landscape painter William Morris Hunt. It was here that La Farge began to develop a naturalistic style and a handling of color, which would shape his entire career. His response to light, color, and nature resulted in his revolutionary innovation of opalescent glass and we will explore his stained glass window commissions from many of his Rhode Island patrons. We will also consider his watercolors and mural work.

Bio: Maria Mack D’Amario is an art historian specializing in European decorative arts and the American Gilded Age. A graduate of Denison University, Maria holds a post-graduate diploma in The History of Art from the University of Oxford. She also holds an M.A. in the Venetian Renaissance from the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K. Maria has worked with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Royal Collection Trust in London. She currently works for The Preservation Society of Newport County. 

Burials and Religion in Colonial Newport & Colonial Religious Burial Sites

Presenter:  Lewis Keen          Dates:  Thursday, 3/25          Time:  1:00pm           Cost:  $5 Mem/ $10 Non-Mem

Description:  When established in 1636, Rhode Island was a place of refuge for religious groups unwelcomed in neighboring colonies.  By the time of the revolution there were nine separate congregations that disagreed on numerous religious ideas but death was not one.  This presentation will focus on how burial practices and gravestones were affected by differences in religious beliefs.  

Bio:  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.

 Comforting Others: What to Say and Do

Presenter:  Val Walker          Dates:  Tuesday, 3/30          Time:  2:00pm          Cost:  $5 Mem/ $10 Non-Mem

Description:  When called to comfort others, we may feel empathy and care deeply, but sometimes what to say or do can elude us. We will explore how to put compassion into action with practical examples of what to say and do to provide comfort to people in distress. We will review recent research on empathy, grief, and social support, and examine best practices for how to be helpful. Finally, we will share our stories of comforting others, and learn from each other’s experiences.

Bio: Val Walker is a contributing blogger for Psychology Today, exploring the topics of loneliness, grief, breaking out of isolation, and building community. She is the author of The Art of Comforting (Penguin/Random House) which won the Nautilus Book Award. Her new book, 400 Friends and No One to Call, was recently released with Central Recovery Press. A former rehabilitation counselor with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University, Val teaches and speaks throughout New England and contributes to the Health Story Collaborative in Boston.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book your tickets