Speakers Bureau

Ben Casey will speak at Central Carolina Community College at the Sanford Campus on March 23 at 2:00 p.m. He will address an array of demographic developments in coastal communities that are creating a forecast for cultural changes, where in years past, fishing and boat building have mostly defined their heritage. The program will include a slide show and video.

A Speakers Bureau is a key initiative for NCCHA to fulfill its mission: supporting and encouraging an appreciation for the history and cultural heritage of North Carolina’s sound country communities. The Bureau provides a resource of educational programs for non-profits, civic clubs, school or college groups, and church organizations.

With radical changes in the forecast for centuries-old coastal lifestyles, traditions, and occupations, knowledge about the state’s coastal heritage could be an an endangered commodity. Diversity is invading the coast; technology is transforming traditions into obsolescence. While it may not be practical to preserve old ways, it is certainly prudent to preserve the cultural history of generations of people who have lived on or by the sea.

Presentations by members of the NCCHA Speakers Bureau will complement efforts to preserve a history of coastal culture and lead to a better understanding of how coastal people and the coastline are weathering the forecast changes.

Individuals with knowledge on cultural heritage topics are invited to submit a proposal about their expertise and availability to present programs. The list of speakers and a brief description of their credentials and program will soon be on this page of the NCCHA website.

Non-profit organizations can request a program of their choice from this list. Programs should last about 30 minutes, including powerpoint, video, or slide show if applicable. A Q&A or discussion time after the program should also take about 30 minutes.

NCCHA will be conducting fundraising that will create a fund to pay honorariums and modest travel expenses. If possible, organizations requesting programs will be encouraged to augment honorariums while NCCHA grows this program.

Learn more. Become a member of the Speakers Bureau or request a speaker’s presentation by emailing info@nccoastalheritage.org.

Programs/Speakers Currently Available

Presenter: Heber Guthrie
Program: History of Rack-of-the-eye boatbuilding techniques
Description: Guthrie, a native of Harkers Island, grew up in a boat building family. He has built 99 boats and is considered to be not only an expert on building a boat with no formal plans or blueprints, but also on how rack-of-the-eye boat building is a defining characteristic of Core Sound heritage.

Presenter: Ben Casey
Program: All in One River
Description: With canoe, sailboat, outboard, and camera, Ben Casey interviewed the 240 miles of diversity along the Neuse River. From its small stream headwaters in Wake County to its confluence with the Pamlico Sound at marker NR #1 where the river is 6 miles wide, the widest river mouth in the United States, Casey discovered the array of life living in fresh water, brackish water, and salt water, all in one river.


Ben & Carolyn Casey will present a program Monday evening at 7, March 27, discussing highlights from their almost two years of research interviewing residents of the communities surrounding Core Sound. The program will include a slide show of images of people and scenes from Down East gathered for their book, Sound People.