King Fool's Treasure

As part of our King Fool events, we gathered with our audiences for conversations after each performance.  King Fool’s content sparked discussions about many related topics: elders and dying, caring for people as they move towards death, and how our culture is beginning to incorporate ways to make it a healthier process for everyone. We came away with a number of resources that we are pleased to be able to share with our community.  But this is an incomplete list! Please use the comment feature on this post to add additional resources you’d like to share.
Thank you! -Lauren
 

Hospice of the East Bay Pleasant Hill, CA
Hospice of the East Bay is committed to providing the hospice and palliative care services that support and comfort people and their loved ones through the final stages of life.

Hospice of the East Bay provides compassionate end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, while offering emotional, spiritual, and grief support for the entire family. As a not-for-profit organization, we accept all medically qualified patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. We also offer free bereavement services to the entire community. Since 1977, we have served over 20,000 patients and their families.

A Yelp reviewer says:  “I couldn’t imagine a better place for my father-in-law’s final days. It is located in a converted home that completely melds into the rest of a beautiful quiet neighborhood. My father-in-law had his own large room. Staff were attentive, caring, and respectful.

Most of all the beautiful gardens in the back complete with memory stones is so tranquil and peaceful. It still brings me comfort two years later to remember our own memory stone my son and I left for grandpa in that beautiful place.”

Sobonfu Somé, Dagara grieving ritual
Destined from birth to teach the ancient wisdom, ritual and practices of her ancestors to those in the West, Sobonfu, whose name means “keeper of the rituals” travels the world on a healing mission sharing the rich spiritual life and culture of her native land Burkina Faso, which ranks as one of the world’s poorest countries yet one of the richest in spiritual life and custom.

Dagara rituals involve healing and preparing the mind, body, spirit and soul to receive the spirituality that is all around us. “It is always challenging to bring the spiritual into the material world, but it is one of the only ways we can put people back in touch with the earth and their inner values.”

Zen Hospice Project San Francisco, CA
Our mission is to help change the experience of dying.  We create a space for living that offers the opportunity for individuals, their loved ones and caregivers to find comfort, connection, and healing in this shared human experience. Through our pioneering model of care, we inspire each other to live fully.

Frank Ostaseski and the Metta Institute Sausalito, CA
Metta Institute® was established to provide education on spirituality in dying. Inspired by the Buddhist tradition, we encourage the integration of the spiritual dimensions of living, dying and transformation, through professional training, educational programs and materials.

Our Institute was formed in 2004 as an outgrowth of the Zen Hospice Project (ZHP), nationally recognized as a pioneering model in the movement to improve end-of life care. Our Director, Frank Ostaseski, helped form ZHP in 1987, and guided the program for 17 years.

Currently, the Metta Institute’s primary program is the End-of-Life Practitioner Program. The goal of the innovative training is to establish a national network of educators, advocates and guides for those facing life-threatening illness and the individuals and systems that serve them.

Judith Redwing Keyssar
Judith is the Director of the Palliative Care Program at Seniors at Home, a program of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties. Her book, Last Acts of Kindness (2010), is a collection of her experiences being a self-described “midwife to the dying”—working in both palliative care and end-of-life care and supporting people through their personal dying processes.

Healthy San Francisco
A low-cost health care option for San Franciscans, with elder care protections recently restored via the work of faith groups in the Mission striving for a Covenant of Care

Improv for Alzheimers
Karen Stobbe offers workshops on how to use the tools of improv with people who have dementia.

On NPR's This American Life, Producer Chana Joffe-Walt talks to a woman named Karen Stobbe and her husband Mondy about a plan they’ve recently enacted in their family. Karen’s mother lives with them and she has dementia. Karen and Mondy are actors and they stumbled upon a skill they have that is incredibly useful in communicating with Karen’s mother – improv. You can listen to the story here.  

Advanced Health Care Directives
An “advance health care directive” lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don’t want at the end of life, your desire for diagnostic testing, surgical procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and organ donation.

By considering your options early, you can ensure the quality of life that is important to you and avoid having your family “guess” your wishes or having to make critical medical care decisions for you under stress or in emotional turmoil. This site by the California Office of the Attorney General offers a helpful checklist and additional resources for assembling your own AHCD.

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
The CCCC promotes high-quality, compassionate care for all Californians who are seriously ill or approaching the end of life.

We provide our expertise, tools and resources to families, patients, policy makers and healthcare providers to help ensure that all Californians receive high-quality palliative and end-of-life care. We also lead efforts to train healthcare professionals about Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), as well as cultural diversity and end-of-life care in California. The CCCC helps them develop the skills they need to talk with seriously-ill patients and families facing decisions about goals of care. We work with and support local coalitions throughout the state that provide support and education to healthcare providers and those facing treatment and care decisions.

We bring together people with a passion for increasing access to palliative care to spark growth of community-based palliative care throughout California.

King Fool and Night Walk this Friday

We Players invites our community to join us in a Night Walk through the Mission in advance of our final San Francisco showing of King Fool, this Friday. Our 9/26 event – including performance, conversation and festive closing reception, will begin at 8pm, in a private warehouse just south of Mission Bay. The address will be revealed upon placing your reservation.

One of the things that has come up in our post-performance conversations is the truth that we cannot know when we will die.

Many of us hope that we will be blessed with a full life and well cared for by those we most love as we age and approach death. In our adaptation, Lear is blessed in this way, and yet his story is still heartbreaking.

It is a far greater tragedy for young people to die from violent crime.

The faith communities in the Mission – with whom we shared our opening performance of King Fool, have been making a positive impact in their neighborhood by being present and peaceful.

Our creative team is inspired to connect the timeless themes of death and relationship with current realities and join these communities for this Friday’s Night Walk.

We welcome your participation.

More info below.


For over a year now, several faith communities have been regularly walking some of the more violent streets of the Mission with a simple three-fold message:

 We care
 Stop the violence
 What do you need?

At this next Night Walk we will also celebrate the re-emergence of an important street-intervention organization in our neighborhood. This organization, called CALLES (meaning “Streets”), has been one of the Mission’s most effective organizations reaching high-risk youth. It has been dormant for the last few years, but makes its comeback as part of our next Night Walk.

When: Friday, September 26, 6-7:30pm

Where: Starting with a short ceremony at Instituto Familiar De La Raza (IFR) // 2919 Mission St, SF, CA 94110 and walking to Centro del Pueblo // 474 Valencia St

Biographies for Alcatraz Restorative Justice Panel Discussion

We Players is honored to facilitate discussion on the transformation of identity, restorative justice, and the methodology of state produced inmate portraiture are the primary themes for the exhibition on Alcatraz this Saturday.  Bios for our participating artists and practitioners of interpretation and restorative justice are below.  We extend our thanks for their talent and dedication to justice and forgiveness.

Reservations are filled for our exhibition opening event this Saturday, but our experience with offering free reservations is that there is usually space for at least a hand full of wait list admissions.  If you’d really like to join us and haven’t yet made your reservation, just arrive at Pier 33 between 12:30-12:45, follow the We Players signs to our reservations table, and add your name to the waiting list.

Sujatha Baliga

Sujatha’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to victims and persons accused of crime.  Sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has held federal clerkships with the Honorable William K. Sessions, III, Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and with the Honorable Martha Vázquez. Sujatha has served as a consultant to the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, and taught Restorative Justice at New College School of Law and at the California Institute for Integral Studies. In 2008, Sujatha was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship, which she used to spearhead a successful restorative juvenile diversion program in Alameda County.

She is the Director of Community Works’ newest initiative, Community Justice Works, where she continues to implement and expand the restorative juvenile diversion program she began through her Soros Fellowship.  Sujatha is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Paragate Project, an organization dedicated to exploring forgiveness. An emerging national voice in restorative justice, she was recently honored as Northeastern University Law School’s Daynard Fellow.  Sujatha’s personal and research interests include victims’ voices in restorative practices, the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, and Tibetan notions of justice.

Evan Bissell

Evan Bissell is a Bay Area artist and educator whose work is a project-based practice of creating structures of collaborative dialogue and expressions of personal and community truths. Working with groups of people, Bissell facilitates educational, auto-ethnographic and contemplative processes of interviews, research, listening, writing and art-making.  In the last five years he has created and publicly installed over 50 original paintings and murals with Bay Area residents on themes ranging from love, to education to incarceration.  He has had solo exhibitions at SOMArts Cultural Center, Intersection for the Arts and Marcus Books, and created the original set for the play Mirrors in Every Corner. Evan currently teaches art at El Cerrito High School in the Teen Alive program – combining art with critical group discussion on masculinity and violence.

Jim Breeden

Jim Breeden has been an Interpreter on Alcatraz for nearly three years. He has done groundbreaking research in what is described as Alcatraz’s first escape attempt, recasting the event in an entirely different light. He is currently preparing for a future display on Alcatraz, which involves comparing Alcatraz to modern American prisons and illuminating alternative approaches to incarceration such as restorative justice.

Monica Lundy

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1974, Monica Lundy spent her childhood between Oregon, California and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. She received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. In 2001 she moved to Florence, Italy, where she studied painting independently under the mentorship of Jules Maidoff, founder of Studio Art Centers International.  Monica received a MFA from Mills College in 2010 and was also a recipient of the 2010 Jay DeFeo Award in painting and sculpture.  She currently lives and works in Oakland, California.