WHEN: The inaugural Before I Die ABQ festival was held Friday, October 20, 2017 to Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at various locations around Albuquerque.
WHAT: Before I Die festivals are part of a growing social movement to foster reflection about how we as individuals and as a society manage death and dying. By providing space and opportunities to openly discuss end-of-life issues, we can improve the percentage of those who plan ahead and take actions to address our mortality.
The Before I Die ABQ festival has educational, entertaining elements such as field trips, art, movies, theater, panel discussions and Death Café conversations. Before I Die festivals have drawn thousands to events in Cardiff, Wales (UK), Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY. At Indianapolis’ festival in 2016, 800 people attended 28 activities over three days.
WHERE: Events take place at multiple locations and venues around Albuquerque, New Mexico during Before I Die ABQ. They include:
- A kickoff party, “Prelude to Eternity,” on Friday, October 20 at Sunset Memorial Park
- Daily Death Café discussions at venues around Albuquerque
- Tours of local cemeteries, funeral homes and crematoria
- OASIS panel discussion, “What You Need to Know Before You Go,” with funeral directors fielding your questions on October 20, 10:30 a.m. to noon
- A Yoga class, “From Child Pose to Corpse Pose: Life, Death, Yoga and Spirituality,” in partnership with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, on Saturday, October 21, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- Artist show “Earth, Air, Fire & Water: A Celebration of Cremation and Art” on Saturday, October 21, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 22, noon to 4:00 p.m.
- Take an Albucreepy Ghost Tour around Downtown on Saturday night
- Panel discussions on end-of-life issues with leading local doctors and professors on Sunday, October 22 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
- Tour Fathers Building Futures, a local casket-making shop, and enjoy lunch on October 23
- Guild Theater matinee showings of The Seventh Seal, Ingmar Bergman’s classic 1958 film that wrestles with the idea of death, and Harold and Maude, the 1971 cult classic comedy that reflects on living fully and dying without fear, both on October 21 and 22
WHY: We’re all going to die, yet less than 30% of adults do any end-of-life planning: wills or trusts, advance medical directives or preneed funeral planning. It’s better to talk about our wishes well before death becomes a grim reality and our loved ones can be informed.
WHO: Before I Die ABQ appeals to baby boomers who are beginning to face their own mortality. The festival also provides the opportunity to engage younger generations on end-of-life issues. Sponsors connect to participants through this unique experiential festival that educates, excites and fosters planning for the inevitable.
- A Good Goodbye, funeral planning for those who don’t plan to die;
- French Funerals & Cremations, Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company;
- The Neptune Society, America’s most trusted cremation service;
- Lasting Legacy, Inc., providing Estate and Trust services to New Mexico families;
- Express Legal Solutions, LLC, documents you need at a price you can afford;
- Retirement Extender®, a team of specialists making the most of your finances;
- Morris Hall, PLLC, a premier estate planning law firm;
- LifeIZShort.com, publishers of practical guides for dealing with the inevitable by Peter Callan;
- The Old Pine Box, specializing in pine and cedar coffins and caskets, and specialty urns;
- My Final Checklist, a master file for personal information;
- Zia Trust, Inc., serving clients in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and 38 other states;
- 1-800-AUTOPSY, a thanatology specialty service company.
Before I Die Albuquerque festival partners include the nonprofit organizations Albuquerque Oasis, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of New Mexico, Fathers Building Futures, the YMCA of Central New Mexico, and the Jewish Federation of New Mexico. Central New Mexico Community College, the Guild Cinema and Randy Cooper Art Studio are also valuable partners in this endeavor.
Part of the proceeds from Before I Die ABQ will be donated to charitable partner Oasis Albuquerque, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that promotes successful aging through lifelong learning, healthy living and social engagement, offering over 150 programs and distributing 12,000 course catalogues per trimester. A portion of sponsorship fees may be tax-deductible as charitable donations.