Fox 24 News At 7: 2016 Death Fest: A Celebration!


It’s a subject that no one wants to discuss, but it most certainly will happen to all of us.

Death. And can you believe that a festival will take place in October that will exploring society’s evolving arts, laws and philosophies of Death. 2016 Deathfest: A Celebration

Thursday, October 27
The Kickoff Gala
6:30 PM Fayetteville Senior Wellness and Activity Center, 945 South College, Fayetteville
Dessert Reception and Musical Entertainment by Walter Schmidt & friends
A Reading of the Proclamation “Green Burial Education Days”
Who We Are & What We’re Doing – Meet the Board of Directors of 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.
Friday, October 28
Death Café: drink tea, eat cake and discuss death
6:00 PM   Senior Center, in the Art Room    Facilitator: Pamela Ramsfield
“Where you can safely explore your thoughts and feelings about death and dying.” 
Reception/Meet & Greet
7:00 – 7:30 PM   Senior Center, in the Great Room
A Will for the Woods   
7:30 PM   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?
In Tribute: Poems and Stories of Death and Remembrance
Spoken Word Performance –  Featuring Slam-Poet Houston Hughes & Friends 
7:30 PM   Bear’s Place, 504 E 15th Street, Fayetteville      $5 Entrance Fee
Saturday, October 29
Remembering Our Friend – – A Story for Kids
10:00 AM   Senior Center –  Art Room
Jo Anne Kaminsky will host an interactive puppet show for kids on the topic of Death and Loss from a child’s perspective, with a hands-on creative opportunity.
“Teen Angels Knocking on Heaven’s Door” – Death as a Recurring Theme  
in American Popular Music      
10:00AM – 11:00AM      Senior Center –  Meeting Room 
Walter Schmidt will survey the ways death has been treated in American popular music from colonial days to the present. 
Round-table Discussion
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM    Senior Center – Great Room    Led by Kathy Skaggs
Information and discussion on the evolution of memorial services, alternative means of disposition, and funerals that take place outside the dictates of the conventional funeral industry.
Honoring Your Pets’ Passing
11:00 – 12:00       Senior Center –  Meeting Room    Led by veterinarian Dr. Viki Cyphers
We will deal with the stages of grief leading up to and beyond their passing and the varying rituals of mourning and burial. (Note: Natural cemeteries allow pets to be buried in family plots.)
Annual Membership Meeting           Senior Center, in the Great Room 
1:00 pm Welcoming Reception/Meet & Greet   1:30 Introduction of the NSBA Board of Directors 
2:00 pm “A Natural Alternative” Michael Stephens from Green Tree Burial Grounds, Mead, OK
2:30 pm “We are here to help, and we are not from the government!” 
With Jim Bates from the National Home Funeral Alliance and Funeral Consumers Alliance
Home Funeral Workshop
4:00 PM   Senior Center – Great Room  Jim Bates, National Home Funeral Alliance, Region 6 
Showing 15 minutes of a National Geographic Special on natural burial, basic hands-on training of how to do a home funeral, with an overview of the paperwork process.
Exploring the Physical, Emotional, Mental, Social, and Spiritual Aspects of our Dying    
4:00PM – 6:00PM     Senior Center – Meeting Room   Presented by Jan Huneycutt Lightner
By being courageous enough to ponder some of our greatest fears and hopes about each aspect of dying, we can find profound meaning in our individual preferences.
Everyone is Dying to be Fully Alive!
4:00 – 5:30 PM at the Arkansas Yoga Center, 1949 No. Green Acres Rd, Fayetteville 
Led by: Andrea Fournet     An opportunity to deeply relax through Savasana (corpse pose), yoga nidra (guided meditation), Gong bath, and gentle adjustments.
In Memoriam: A Performative Dialogue on Death and Dying
6:30 PM   Senior Center, in the Great Room     $5 Entrance Fee     Artists Laboratory Theatre will facilitate a collaborative conversation on death and burial, including theatre and storytelling.
“I’ve Been Dying to Share This with You!” – A Death Fest Open Mic
7:00 PM Nomads Music Lounge, 1431 So School Ave, Fayetteville
Songs and stories about death and dying, spirits and ghosts, and visions of the great beyond! 
Sunday, October 30
ARORA – Organ Donation “The Gift of Life as a Part of Burial’
10:00 AM     Senior Center – Meeting Room Led by Mary Hess
How to Write Your Own Obituary
 “In Lieu of Flowers, I Request That You Don’t Vote for . . .”
10:00 – 11:00 AM      Senior Center –  Art Room    Led by Walter Schmidt
A good time for reflection, assessment, and some candid humor; or how to get in the last word.
How to Build Your Own Coffin
11:00 AM -12:00 PM           Senior Center – Great Room    Led by Cindy Jones
Discuss coffin building plans and construction methods; explain ways alternative coffins can be decorated and customized and the idea that doing so can be helpful in the grieving process.
Death-Themed Sunday Services
Area churches cover the topic of mortality and death, funeral traditions, and burial options within their faith traditions.
Guided Tour of the Evergreen Cemetery 
11:00 AM Located at 112 North University St, Fayetteville   (Park at Powerhouse Seafood) 
Led by William Mayes Flanagan, long-time caretaker & board member of this historic cemetery.
Plenary Session and Keynote Address
Senior Center, in the Great Room 1:00 PM Welcoming Reception/Meet & Greet 
2:00 PM Abby Burnett, local historian and author of Gone to the Grave presents
“Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Death in the Ozarks”
5 Wishes Workbook
4:00 – 6:00PM   Senior Center – Great Room  Led by Pamela Ramsfield
The “Five Wishes” document is a legal advanced directive that allows you to plan ahead and make your own end-of life wishes known in the event that you are unable to communicate. 
Transitions & Thresholds: Stepping Through and Crossing Over
4:00 PM   Senior Center – Meeting Room
Kathy Skaggs will lead a workshop describing the experience of singing at the bedside of someone nearing their time of death; also known as Threshold Choir. Performance by Joy Fox, ‘Maiden, Mother, Crone’
DIY Cemeteries
4:00 – 5:00 PM     Senior Center – Art Room    Led by Cindy Jones
Learn local requirements for burying a human body on private property – – Join us for a step-by-step guide for creating your own family cemetery.
“The Last Meal, a Tasting” – – a Fundraiser event for Natural State Burial Association
Teatro Scarpinos 329 N West Ave, Fayetteville   Doors open at 5:00PM   Meal Tickets $45 each  
“Waters of Healing”- Concert with Harmonia and Broad Daylight
Senior Center, in the Great Room                                                     
6:30 PM  Reception/Meet & Greet      Concert begins at 7:15 PM 
Monday, October 31 
Halloween Trick-or-Treat on the Square
3:00 to 5:00 PM   Fayetteville Downtown Square – Plaza in front of the Town Center
Face painting, photo ops with logo cutouts, fun games and nifty prizes. Music provided by
The Clarke Buehling Carousel Orchestra
Cajuns, Costumes, & Comedy: One Wicked Halloween Party
5:00 to 9:00 PM   Parish Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church,   $15 Entrance Fee 
Beverages & BBQ plates, Raffle Tickets, and Costume Contest prizes
Phunbags! You’ll Die Laughing! – Comedy improv troupe address all things Halloween – graveyards, funerals, dead things, and candy.
Music & Dancing with 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
7:00 PM Teatro Scarpino, 329 North West Ave, Fayetteville $15 Entrance Fee
Yao Angelo and the Afrique Aya Drum & Dance Company debuting:              
Drums of Passing:
Funeral Rhythms, Dances, and Processions from the Ivory Coast Tradition 
Raffle Drawing – for 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 
For more information on Deathfest 2016: A Celebration, click HERE.

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