Spring Update 2016

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



Our spring calendar at The Final Acts Project is full of wonderful programming and events, and we hope you will find time to attend or participate in one of our programs. This past winter was a busy time for The Final Acts Project. We hosted numerous Bucket List Parties and launched several collaborations with new partners. We are already filling the rest of our 2016 calendar with powerful exhibits, panel discussions and productions. We are finally taking our programming on the road to the Dallas and Ft. Worth areas in late March! The Cancer Support Community of North Texas has invited The Final Acts Project to collaborate with them on a three-evening event. Our team is looking forward to working with our partners at the Cancer Support Community of North Texas!



This past February, Rev. Patrick Gahan invited The Final Acts Project to participate in a conversation at Christ Episcopal Church with other faith leaders in the San Antonio community. Guest speakers, Ferne Burney, a Board member of TFAP, and Helen Emmott, a visiting RN and bioethicist from Kansas City, Missouri, lead the discussion on the need to promote advance care planning within our diverse faith communities. Their inspiring talks were not only well received by our attendees, but will no doubt continue to serve as a source of light for those in the faith community wishing to become more involved in helping congregants complete advance directives. Faith leaders are embracing the idea that advance care planning conversations belong in the faith community, as well.

Our second collaborative event was hosted by the Oblate School of Theology’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Spirituality on the topic of Spirituality and Healthcare: Cultivating Compassionate Care. Working in partnership with The Ecumenical Center, the San Antonio peaceCenter, Compassionate San Antonio, Christus Santa Rosa , Haven for Hope Spiritual Services and NASW-Alamo Branch, The Final Acts Project was honored to be a part of this important program. Professor Philip Sheldrake’s compelling speech was on Contemporary Spirituality: Promoting Models of Care”. His talk was followed by a thoughtful and thought-provoking speech by Shastri Linda Mockeridge, LCSW on “Spiritual Competency: Mindful Inquiry”.


Beyond performances and programming, the first quarter of 2016 was very productive for The Final Acts Project.
  • THE TFAP TEAM IS GROWING!  The Final Acts Project has welcomed four new Board members to the team: Meriam Good, Ferne Burney, Rebecca Gonzalez and Dr. Kristin Keefe. Special thanks to each one of you for joining the Board and supporting our mission.
  • STRATEGIC PLANNING: Deborah Vollmer Dalhke and Karen Torges lead the way with a strong strategic planning session with The Final Acts Project’s Board. A special thanks to them for making this important next step happen.  We will continue the journey with a much keener focus. 
  • PODCASTS: We are looking at the future and know that podcasting will be an effective way to promote our work in the communities we work in. Thanks to Ron Aaron, The Final Acts Project has been able to participate in several recorded sessions at SOS Caregiver, sponsored by WellMed. You will find links to our podcasts once our new website is completed.
  • APRIL HUMANITIES EVENTS: Dr. James Doty, a neurosurgeon from Stanford, will be reading from his new book, Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, at Book People on Sunday, April 3rd at 4:00pm.  On April 7th, 6:00pm, Dr. Margaret Overton will be hosted by TFAP and Book People in Austin and will be reading from her new book, Hope for a Cool Pillow. She makes a passionate argument for planning end-of-life care.
  • MAY HUMANITIES EVENT:  Dr. Alan Warren Friedman, Thaman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, specializes in modern British, Irish and American literature, the novel, and Shakespearean drama. Dr. Friedman wrote Fictional Death and the Modernist Enterprise, which examines the cultural and literary attitudes toward death. Dr. Craig Hurwitz, and one other guest panelist, will discuss with Dr. Friedman the cultural evolution of attitudes towards death in both literature and healthcare. This event is scheduled for early May.

Our performing arts and humanities programming continues to move the conversation forward.  The goal of the Final Acts Project is to continue to expand the conversation through our diverse collaborations in the coming years.

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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