image3

224-577-8338

UNCOMMON PROGRAMS

image4

 This is a list of current ‘experiences’, i.e. programs. All are designed to be lively, entertaining, informational, and above all respectful and sensitive to audiences. As much as possible, these are designed to be interactive, with time during and at the conclusion for questions and comments.


As these experiences may be scaled to fit your requirements, please contact me to discuss possibilities, parameters, logistics, and fees.


Thank you for your kind consideration of what I have been told by previous venues are noteworthy, highly detailed, and entertaining and engaging programs. I look forward to providing such offerings to you and your audiences.


Please contact me regarding booking of any of these programs.


Thanks!

GET THE DETAILS

AVAILABLE PROGRAMS

TRENDING ENDINGS Re-imaging the funeral for the way we live today

image5

NOT a gloomy presentation. A ‘lively’ look at North American funeral trends, how and why they are changing, and how to understand what it all means. With anecdotes, stories, scenarios, and yes, even some fun along the way.

Undergirded with a history of funeral practices which shape what we do today, this program looks at current trends, including cremation, alkaline hydrolysis (water cremation), final disposition options, green burials, home funerals, scatterings, columbarium, rites and rituals, celebrations of life, living funerals, ‘smart’ tombstones and monuments, and prognostications about the future of death care.

Lots of photos, trend reports and analysis, and best practices

THE VICTORIAN ART OF DEATH Or “How We Got the Living Room”

image6

The funeral and cemetery as we know it today is the product of Victorian and Edwardian times, spanning a period from the American Civil War to the Armistice of World War One. This program looks at the traditions, superstitions, practices, and ideals of that period. Includes the home settings for body preparation and embalming, visitation, and services there, at the church, and at the cemetery; symbolism, and art.

Supported by many images, readings from the publications and practitioners, and families of the time, and local legend and lore.

A great springboard for discussion, memories, and comments

BODY SNATCHING AND PREMATURE BURIAL

image7

Victorian society was haunted by two grim specters: Premature Burial, and the Body Snatchers.

The history of medical science relied from an early age on the abundant supply of bodies of research. However, very few such bodies were legally available in the 18th and 19th centuries, and this gave rise to the shadowed cottage industry of the ‘Resurrection Men’, the body snatchers.

And because medical science could not advance easily in that age, the reality of premature burial was a constant deathbed companion.

This program delves deeply into both of these daily concerns, and is supported by rare images, readings and reports from the time, and the off-the-charts methods Victorians used to prevent both of these unseemly occurrences.

Ample time provided for questions and comments.

Highly visual and descriptive and not for those of a more impressionable and sensitive nature

MEMENTO MORI: The Victorian Art of the After-Death Photography of Loved Ones

image8

 An in-depth look at the Victorian practices of the post mortem photography of their loved ones. While it seems beyond comprehension to us now, it was a regular occurrence for the people of that time and place. And with the rise of cell phone cameras and video, it is on its way back to us.

This program is replete with:

Countless photographs from the period

Photo techniques from the masters themselves

Notable local photographers of the time

Poignant reflections on its value

PLUS tips on how to deal with it respectfully in the times in which we live today

Highly visual and descriptive and not for those of a more impressionable and sensitive nature

MESSENGERS OF THE UNSEEN: MARY TODD LINCOLN AND SPIRITUALISM IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

image9

 The funeral and cemetery as we know it today is the product of Victorian and Edwardian times, spanning a period from the American Civil War to the Armistice of World War One. This program looks at the traditions, superstitions, practices, and ideals of that period. Includes the home settings for body preparation and embalming, visitation, and services there, at the church, and at the cemetery; symbolism, and art.

Supported by many images, readings from the publications and practitioners, and families of the time, and local legend and lore.

A great springboard for discussion, memories, and comments

CEMETERY PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP AND FIELD TRIP

image10

 A practical workshop for those interested in photography in cemeteries and mausolea. Filled with images, photographic techniques, choice of equipment, safety, best practices, and most importantly: what not to do.

This program lends itself to a follow-up excursion to area cemeteries to put into practice the techniques discussed in the workshop. And then, another session can be offered for people to share the results of their photography in this specialized artistic and cultural niche.

This field trip involves a lot of walking, standing, crouching, uneven lighting conditions, unpredictable weather, and uneven terrain.