Date & Time
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Frank Ostaseski*, Olivia Bareham*, Henry Fersko-Weiss, Leslie Blackhall, Catharine DeLong, Jeanne Denney, Amy Cunningham and Simcha Raphael
When we held the first Art of Dying conference with our friends at Tibet House in the spring of 1995, it was to address the need for cultural awakening around themes of death, how we die, and the consequences for how we live. For 25 years, we have worked to reframe our current conception of dying and reclaim the wisdom, traditional teachings, and practices of the past, pioneer holistic approaches to the end of life, and continue to facilitate new and innovative practices with leading teachers and partners.
Join us on April 26th for a special Art of Dying anniversary event where we will reflect on how our approach to end-of-life care has evolved over the last 25 years, what lies ahead, and where our work and focus is needed going forward. We will celebrate the increasing emergence of spiritual, creative and practical approaches to living and dying and question how caring for the dying can be transformed in necessary, compassionate, culturally-informed and holistic ways; how we, our families, and our communities can best prepare for death, and how we can lessen the fear associated with it; and, crucially, how living with an awareness of the reality and inevitability of death can enhance our ability to live full and connected lives.
The program will provide a unique overview of holistic end-of-life contemplation and care, for anyone interested in a spiritual and scientific exploration of death and dying, and living well. We are gathering some of the most important pioneers and innovators in palliative and hospice care from the Art of Dying program, including Frank Ostaseski, Henry Fersko-Weiss, LCSW, Leslie Blackhall, MD, Rev. Olivia Bareham, Jeanne Denney, Catharine DeLong, Amy Cunningham and Simcha Raphael, PhD, and more.
Join us for this day of celebration, education and conversation. Meet others who share your sense of the importance of these issues and join us in shaping the future of death and dying in contemporary society.
A One-Day Event
Sunday, April 26, 2020, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
$125 Members and Nonmembers
Early Bird $100 by March 30
We will be live streaming the Art of Dying 25th Anniversary Event. Enjoy all of the great information and content right from the comfort and convenience of your home or office.
Proceeds from this event will support the future work of the Art of Dying Institute, an initiative of the New York Open Center.
*Will participate remotely.
New York Open Center
Rev. Olivia Bareham is a certified Death Midwife, Home Funeral Guide and Celebrant. She holds degrees in Education and Natural Theology and Sacred Healing, and is founder of Sacred Crossings – Funeral Home and Institute for Conscious Dying in Los Angeles. The Sacred Crossings Funeral Home is operated entirely by death midwives offering natural, sacred alternatives to traditional funeral home practices. Olivia facilitates workshops and classes in Conscious Dying and a certificate doula training program, ‘The Art of Death Midwifery’ to students worldwide.
Leslie Blackhall M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Humanities at the University Of Virginia School of Medicine and Director of Palliative Care Services.
Amy Cunningham, a progressive funeral director and owner of Fitting Tribute Funeral Services, specializes in green burials in cemeteries certified by the Green Burial Council, simple burials within the NYC metropolitan area, home funerals, and cremation services at Green-Wood Cemetery’s crematory chapels. Previously Amy was a magazine writer until 2007 when her elderly father’s memorial service got her interested in helping folks plan more meaningful end-of-life services. When she’s not directing funerals, she writes a funeral planning blog called TheInspiredFuneral.com. She believes that a good funeral can send everyone in attendance out the door with an altered view of what life’s all about, and the beginnings of a plan for moving forward.
Catharine DeLong is a music-thanatologist in New York City. She delivers music vigils to Visiting Nurse Service of New York hospice patients, to palliative patients at Bellevue Hospital, and to others approaching the end of life. Catharine is a graduate of the Chalice of Repose Project, and is also certified through Music-Thanatology Association International. She is an ordained interfaith minister affiliated with the One Spirit Learning Alliance.
Henry Fersko-Weiss is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), former hospice social worker and manager, as well as the Executive Director of INELDA. He is credited with starting the very first end of life doula program at a hospice in the U.S. He co-founded INELDA to help train doulas and build doula programs in end of life care settings. In 2017, Conari Press published his book on doula work, Caring for the Dying: The Doula Approach to a Meaningful Death, which was recognized by the Library Journal, as one of the best books of 2017.
Frank Ostaseski is an internationally respected Buddhist teacher and visionary cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, and founder of the Metta Institute. He has lectured at Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic, Google and teaches at major spiritual centers around the globe. Frank is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Humanities Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. His groundbreaking work has been featured on the Bill Moyers PBS series On Our Own Terms, highlighted on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and honored by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.
Simcha Raphael, Ph.D., Founding Director of the DA’AT Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training, was ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by the late, renowned Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. A psychotherapist and spiritual director in Philadelphia, he has written extensively on death and afterlife and is the author of the groundbreaking Jewish Views of the Afterlife.