Fall Update 2016 from TFAP

The Latest News and Happenings for The Final Acts Project.
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Theatre, Creative Arts and Humanities Supporting End of Life Education and Planning

Logo Design by Laura Hirono

Our summer calendar at The Final Acts Project was filled with planning for the fall season of programming, Bucket List Parties and new partnerships! We also were able to attend the 2016 Aging in Texas Conference, thanks to the support of The Patient Institute. The conference confirmed what most of us already know – that aging will continue to be a challenge for our society as we experience increased longevity, limited housing options, shamefully underpaid caregivers, and a growing need for long-term care. The good news is that there is growing support for a new paradigm shift that will change the way we think about aging, and how we plan for each stage of our lives. It was energizing to see so many smart and compassionate professionals working in the field. They are creating better opportunities for people to live more fully and healthfully throughout the entire aging process.



Special thanks to the St. David’s Foundation and to the Humanities Texas Foundation for making our programming possible in 2016, and to the Texas Institute for Literary & Textual Studies (TILTS) at the University of Texas at Austin for their collaborative support and expertise. Our dear friends at the Longhorn Village helped to make our summer exceptional, hosting a Bucket List Party for the residents in June, and then inviting San Antonio tenor, William Chapman, to give a virtuoso performance in August!


Our fall programming includes a September Summit at Oblate School of Theology on Spirituality and Health Care with numerous stakeholders, and with planning partners, Theresa Galan-Bruce and Rev. Ann Helmke of Haven for Hope and the San Antonio peaceCenter. Integrating spiritual health and wellness practices into all levels of care is especially important to patients facing a life-threatening illness, and to those contemplating their final wishes. We are honored to be a part of this effort and know the process of shared conversations will reveal new pathways of care.

In early October, actress and story-teller, Bernadette Nason will give an encore performance of The Dead Giveaway: A Comedy in One Final Act at the Longhorn Village. 

Sowing and Harvesting:  A Life’s Work of Giving Creative, Artistic Expression to Jewish Texts, Values and Ideas – The Final Acts Project is hosting a series of events in Austin, San Antonio and Houston with artist David Moss, one of the leading Jewish artists in the world. He will be traveling from Israel to Texas to provide powerful workshops, lectures and small group sessions around his art, which is based on the Torah, and the preparation for end of life. Please watch for additional information about our fall events on our website.
In late October and early November, artist David Zamora Casas and filmmaker Laura Varela, will spearhead a series of workshops in the community for an Altar build in honor of El Dia de los Muertos. The workshops will be in two locations with facilitated discussions around the importance of also honoring the living by having the end of life conversation with those we love. 

Please be sure to attend the wonderful events our friends at TILTS are providing this fall!

We are asking our local businesses to get behind our efforts at The Final Acts Project by hosting talks and Bucket List Parties at their venues. Tui Steppi’s Restaurant has made the first commitment to help encourage advance care planning conversations at their wonderful restaurant. Please watch our calendar for the next Bucket List Party at Tui Steppi’s and plan on enjoying great conversation and some delicious food!


A hearty welcome to our newest thought partner, The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. We look forward to working together in the future!


The Final Acts Project will offer our first advance care planning workshop in the fall of 2016 for those who wish to complete their advance directives with the support of an expert. The workshops are free and open to the public. As of September 2016, planning workshops will be provided as a follow-up to all events. We are building a volunteer corps to help The Final Acts Project meet its goals. If you are a social worker, nurse, physician or attorney and would like to volunteer a few hours to workshop planning, please reach out to us through our website, www.finalactsproject.org.  Our communities need your gift of support and expertise!

Whew! 2016 is not far from becoming a distant memory. The Final Acts Project is already making plans to launch city-wide conversations with key stakeholders from all sectors of the community. We hope to have a summit in every city and township beginning in 2017. This statewide effort will need the support of everyone. Please get involved and help us build the momentum for the advance care planning and palliative care conversations!

With Warmest Wishes,
Craig Hurwitz, M.D. and Deborah J. Kaercher, MPH, Ph.D.


The Final Acts Project is a humanitarian effort to produce lasting changes in the way our society approaches advance care planning and end-of-life conversations. This work cannot be done without the support of individual philanthropy. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to support this most important mission. Click here to donate online or mail your donation to: The Final Acts Project, PO Box 115, Helotes, Texas 78023. Let’s all work together to make the end-of-life conversation a priority for each one of us. Every person deserves to write their own life script.


The final acts project needs you! The growth of a non-profit requires the steadfast support of volunteers, and TFAP is growing! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with TFAP in the areas of facilitation for Bucket List Parties, art exhibits, performance, blog writing, fundraising, office support and grant writing, we have a spot just for you.  Learn more about volunteering with TFAP by contacting Deborah Kaercher through one of the methods below: 


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The Final Acts Project is a community-based health education initiative that serves as a catalyst to stimulate end-of-life discussion, planning and legacy-building, through the theater, creative arts and the humanities in all sectors of society.  

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