fall update

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



This past summer was a busy time for The Final Acts Project. We hosted numerous Bucket List Parties and launched fall planning. We took the summer to work on our fundraising campaign and grant writing, and our programming for the fall season and 2016, and it has paid off!



The Final Acts Project will be co-hosting a Bucket List Party with the Twig Book Shop on December 4th at 6:00 pm. San Antonio Tenor, William Chapman will bring his beautiful voice to the party! 

Professor Eve Browning at the University of Texas in San Antonio has invited Drs. Craig Hurwitz M.D. and Deborah Kaercher MPH, PhD, to speak to her medical humanities class on November 4th. 

2016 Humanities Events in Austin, Texas are in the works.
We will be co-hosting with The Mind Science Foundation. Dr. James Doty, a neurosurgeon and Director of CCARE at Stanford, will be reading from his new book, Inside the Magic Shop. A photo exhibit and historical retrospective of Mark Menjivar’s grandfather will be held in the fall of 2016 – location to be determined.  In the spring, we will host a panel discussion on the historical, cultural and literary traditions and themes around the end of life.  Please watch for The Final Acts Project’s Winter Newsletter for more information.




This September, Dr. Raymond Barfield M.D., a pediatric oncologist, philosopher and writer from Duke University, from Duke University, returned to Texas to visit the great city of San Antonio for a book reading, The Book of Colors, at The Twig Book Shop on the 14th followed by a keynote and panel discussion on the 15th.  Great events don’t happen without the help of many dedicated people, organizations and sponsors, and our September events were no exception.

The Final Acts Project wants to give a special thanks to the Twig Book Shop (a San Antonio treasure!) for hosting Dr. Barfield’s reading, and to Nan Cuba (another San Antonio treasure!) for introducing Ray to event attendees. The Final Acts Project’s September 15th event was also a great success as a result of our collaboration with members of the ABODE HOME; the San Antonio Peace Center and the Episcopal Church of Reconciliation. Dr. Barfield also gave a moving keynote in the beauty of the church sanctuary and then participated in a thought-provoking panel discussion and reception with Rev. Ann Helmke, Dr. Craig Hurwitz M.D., and Rev. Edwin Sasek.


https://scontent.fden3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/v/t35.0-12/12084897_10207856217593436_1819126487_o.jpg?oh=3f8e141cbb0ef06a1b19c6014b504e8f&oe=56130512      https://scontent.fden3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xla1/v/t35.0-12/12124215_10207856217073423_189549390_o.jpg?oh=d412b8df7ebeca29d336c0886f93b95a&oe=56130148

https://scontent.fden3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t35.0-12/12116625_10207856215993396_93001284_o.jpg?oh=8bad9590d94b1b79cda07af98a844081&oe=56121AC5        https://scontent.fden3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t35.0-12/12062508_10207856216633412_1434164756_o.jpg?oh=b5e57bb52d0c7929c8a6c867469e5d5e&oe=56120B56

Behind the scenes, our work could not have been done without the generous support of Friends of The Final Acts Project: James Sanders, a wonderful videographer and filmmaker; Deb Richmond, The Final Acts Project’s marketing support; Phyllis Kline, a gifted cello musician; and the members of the Church of Reconciliation who provided the lovely space and delicious food.  The Final Acts Project was also fortunate to have the sponsorship support of Rusty Biechlin, Drs. Robert & Kelly Lemke and Nancy Ray. Thanks to all for helping us make these two important events happen!


A Special Ask - The Final Acts Project is working with the Austin Public Library Foundation’s Badgerdog Program to provide programming for First Acts, our program for the medically fragile children we serve. Michelle Mirsky is spearheading this effort on the Board with the help of Rev. Molly James and Dr. Javier Kane M.D.. We are asking for sponsorship support to help us meet our goal of $3,500 to build this highly replicable program for medically fragile children.  Please consider making a donation to this most important program for the children.
  • Welcoming Molly James to TFAP! In the third quarter of the year, The Final Acts Project recruited a new member to the Board of Directors: Rev. Molly F. James holds a PhD in Theology from the University of Exeter (UK) and a Master’s of Divinity from Yale Divinity School.
  • The Final Acts Project’s Bucket List Parties continue to inspire great conversations for groups of all sizes. We want to thank the following groups for hosting a Bucket List Party in recent months: The Cancer Alliance of Texas; the GAGA organization in San Antonio; and Taste Elevated; and Chateau La Fayette in Castroville, Texas. Our last Bucket List Party was at Seton Hospital on October 1st with a wonderful group of engaging health care professionals. We hope to continue working with them in the future on TFAP events. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a Bucket List Party in your community or circle of friends and colleagues. We are learning from our participants that these informal events inspire great conversations that continue long after the party is over!
  • Dorothy Day Conference, October 29th, 30th and 31st - The Final Acts Project is honored to participate in a conference celebrating the life work of Dorothy Day. She was a journalist and progressive activist who dedicated her life to social justice, core values of social action The Final Acts Project values as an organization. Laurie Dietrich and Arthur Dawes will work with The Final Acts Project on two separate workshops with conference attendees.

Our performing arts and humanities programming continues to move the conversation forward.  The goal of the Final Acts Project is to expand the conversation through our diverse collaborations in the coming years.  Watch for our December newsletter and please reach out to contribute in any way you can.  2016 is already booking up very quickly!

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



The Final Acts Project is a humanitarian effort designed 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 donations. Philanthropy does not have to be big to be effective. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to support this most important mission. Click below 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.  Contact us today to learn more about volunteering with TFAP!


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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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