Death over Dinner & Design Thinking for Experimental Contemplatives Workshop

You are invited to a most unusual dinner and remarkable experience…
Death Over Dinner Artist and Host: Mel Day

April 25th, 7-10pm at Manresa Gallery
Located inside St Ignatius at 650 Parker Ave
Ticket Sales and RSVP through Eventbrite
Sliding Scale $65-100.00 and seating is limited to 25

Update: We were fully booked! Here is some feedback from the evening:

“I can safely say that it was the best time I’ve ever had inside a church!”

“I have the prototype that Frank made. The more I look at it, the more I’m amazed that something so simple could have so much resonance. I’ve been meaning to email him to tell him that.”

“Very much of the event resonated in my heart: understanding how we connect with those we love, be them strangers or intimate connections, over a mutual reconciling with mortality–such a big big topic. How do we move forward in life knowing it will end?  How can this realization be freeing and help to cultivate more love and openness?”

“Thank you for a very interesting evening.  I have been thinking about what we discussed Friday evening and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated our evening together. I did join a Grief Group at Kaiser in Hawaii after my husband died four years ago.  I go occasionally when I can and it always amazes me how much I learn from others. Thank you again for your efforts — you have given us a lot to think about.”

More about the evening…

Through my work with OpenIDEO, I recently stumbled upon the work of a group of healthcare and wellness leaders who are committed to breaking the taboo regarding conversations about the end of life. They launched the website and interactive adventure,

Let’s have Dinner and Talk about Death.

I have since hosted my own customized version of these dinners at various locations (including an OpenIDEO meet-up and with a class of UC Berkeley students). The most recent event will take place at Manresa Gallery on April 25th and you are invited to attend.

For this special dinner event, I’ll lead us through a menu of conversation prompts. Through a guided collaborative design thinking process, we’ll make memorial objects in honor of those no longer with us.

This is not meant to be a morbid experience, but instead a very human one. Over dinner we will raise a generous glass to each other and our loved ones, we will consider what we want, both in life, and during its closure. Poetically pragmatic, the objective is to transform and empower seemingly difficult conversations about the unknown—about absence, ambiguity, and uncertainty—into an experience of generous engagement, radical empathy, and presence. We will be joined by the artists (Taraneh Hemami, Lynn Marie Kirby, Cara Levine, and Ali Naschke-Messing) of Thresholds of Faith: Four Entries into the Beyond exhibition. We will gather and break bread together inside the resonant space adjoining Manresa Gallery, St. Ignatius Church. You will leave with a thoughtful-sacred-object-in-the-making and an unusually intimate collaborative experience.

***No previous art or design experience required***

dinner link if you missed it above 

Thank you to all who joined us for this unusually intimate collaborative event. Special thanks also to curator Joyce Grimm, director James Blaettler, and interns from Manresa Gallery, USF and to St. Ignatius Church for co-hosting and furnishing us with this truly amazing space for our dinner. A shout-out once again to textile artist Miriam Dym, for the customized stunning Yellow Coat for our ongoing Instructions for Perpetual Light