The International Buster Keaton Society is exciting to be preparing our 25th annual convention in Muskegon, Michigan. 

But this year, we want to provide MORE for our attendees and charge them LESS.

YOU can make that happen!

By lowering the cost of the convention, we will increase our numbers, and ensure Buster Keaton’s legacy will live long into the future.


Last year, the incredible international community of Buster Keaton fans donated over $18,000 towards the creation and placement of a 4’ x 4’ bronze plaque to mark the former location of The Buster Keaton Studios in Hollywood, California.  

In 2018, we honored the past. In 2019, we look toward the future.

The theme of our 25th anniversary convention is THE NEXT STAGE, and our presentations will center around:

  • THE NEXT STAGE in Buster Keaton research and discovery

  • THE NEXT STAGE in Buster Keaton restoration

  • THE NEXT STAGE in Buster Keaton appreciation

  • THE NEXT STAGE for today’s artists who are inspired by Buster Keaton’s work

  • THE NEXT STAGE in the Buster Keaton Society and convention

  • A time when Buster Keaton moved into THE NEXT STAGE of his life and career

As we launch our second quarter century, we want to have the largest turnout in our history. But there is always one impediment for attendees: Cost.

We host our convention in Muskegon, Michigan to honor the place where Buster and his parents spent their summers during their years in Vaudeville. Living such a life on the road as they did, it was the one place that Buster truly considered to be a childhood home.

Travel to Muskegon is a considerable cost, as is food and lodging; these costs are, of course, unavoidable. The one price that we can control is how much we charge our attendees. The price has remained constant at $117 for members and $135 for non-members. This helps cover some of the considerable costs of the convention to the society. 

Simply put: This year, we want to provide MORE for our attendees and charge them LESS.  (Buster loved the absurd; so — it seems — do we.)

The way we will be able to provide more, charge less, and have a huge turnout is if YOU, our fantastic supporters, can contribute to this fundraiser and support the convention, investing in the future of Buster Keaton research and fandom.  

Also, (since it looks like this internet thing is here to stay) we are launching an overhaul to our Keaton Chronicle, and will soon offer an expanded, full-color DIGITAL edition. Part of the proceeds of this fundraiser may be used towards the initial investment in that effort.


The International Buster Keaton Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is entirely volunteer-run. Our funding comes solely from membership and convention fees, donations, and sales from our Buster Stuff Store. Proceeds go towards Keaton research, obtaining rare Keaton materials, hosting the convention, investment in new merchandise, and our newsletter and online presence.


We hope to have 120 attendees this year, which would set a new record.  The approximate cost to the society of that turnout would be about $14,000.  We hope to charge $99, which would leave a shortfall of $2120.  We are looking to invest $2000 in new merchandise. The lower membership rate will cost the society $1500 if 100 people join or renew.  Additional 25th anniversary costs will include development of the digital chronicle along with new and unpredictable costs for the convention.  Finally, these perks don’t ship themselves, so we need a little for that. 

All told, we would like to raise (at least) $6000 in this 2019 fundraiser.

If we are able to surpass our goal and raise the full amount, The Society will be able to use its funds for additional member and attendee discounts, additional convention opportunities, and regular society operations.

As a thank you for your generous donation, we have some amazing perks for you, including

  • Keaton Blu-ray Grab Bag (10 films on 9 blu-ray discs)

  • Keaton DVD Grab Bag (17 films on 14 DVDs)

  • Keaton Goodies Grab Bag (playing cards, tote, buttons, key tags, magnets)

  • Brand-new 2019 Keaton Convention T-shirts

  • “Damfino” T-shirts

  • “Enjoy the Buster” T-shirt

  • Complete Keaton Chronicle PDFs (100+)

  • Baseball Hat

  • Custom Porkpie Hats

  • Society Membership + Complete Keaton Chronicle PDFs

We are also offering five CONVENTION PACKAGES:

  • Virtual: Donate to help us purchase the equipment needed to record and archive our convention presentations.

  • Bronze: Convention Registration

  • Silver: Convention Registration + Convention T-Shirt

  • Gold: Convention Registration + 1 Year Society Membership + 100 Chronicle PDFs

  • Platinum: Convention Registration + Convention T-Shirt + 1 Year Society Membership


Vice-President, International Buster Keaton Society
Coordinator, 2019 25th Annual Convention
Alek Lev is a director, writer, actor, and American Sign Language interpreter.  (He has interpreted for three presidents, two Broadway shows, and one Beatle.)  Alek first discovered Buster Keaton in the public library near his alma mater, Wesleyan University, where the three-VHS set of A Hard Act to Follow appeared to him as if out of a Day Dream.  Alek directed the feature film Ready or Not, co-starred in the Independent Spirit Award-winning film Conventioneers, created the highly edited improv sketch show No Plans This Weekend, and was the new media director for the CBS show How I Met Your Mother. He is the host and producer of the Talking Buster Keaton podcast, and the host of The Speechless Podcast with Zach Anner, the official podcast of ABC’s hit sitcom, Speechless. Visit for all your Alek Lev needs.

President, International Buster Keaton Society
Besides being an avid researcher of the American film industry, Eryn Merwart spent the last 23 years as owner and head designer at Take to the Sky Jewelry. She is also co-chaired more than 5 of the Keaton society's annual conventions and has happily volunteered for over 20 years. She is extremely grateful for her new role in the Society and looks forward to connecting Keaton fans and sharing the laughter of Buster's work

Treasurer, International Buster Keaton Society 
Beth Pederson first encountered Buster Keaton at a live organ theater performance in 2004. She has a BS in accounting, but went on to more entertaining pursuits, such as managing a board game store and later, starting Buster Stuff.  She has been a member of the Keaton Society for thirteen years, and lives in Layton, Utah with Mark, the love of her life and husband of nearly years, and their three large Poodles. She has two grown and married children, but alas, no sign of grandchildren yet.  Recently retired from Netflix DVD, her obsessions outside of Buster are camping in her pop-up trailer and building with Legos.

Director of Merchandise, International Buster Keaton Society
Valerie was born in Arizona and loved growing up in an area so rich with history of the old west. She now lives in central Texas where it isn't anything like Arizona but rich in its own history. After discovering Buster, like so many of the friends she has made since, she fell in love with his films and life story. She began researching his vaudeville years and with a small group of newly found friends, and started a chronology of all of the performances of the Keatons starting with Myra when she was with her dad Frank Cutler in his show. Valerie has also helped with the research for his family tree. She has a particular fondness for Go West because it takes her back home... and who doesn't love Friendless? Valerie helps plan the annual convention and runs the Damfino merchandise site,