"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

- Kurt Vonnegut

Back in 2004, the series finale of Friends inspired James to create a holiday that celebrates art that inspires us and the power within each person to be creative. While it was, at first, a lighthearted day to poke fun at a show disliked by the Riley brothers and give gifts to friends, it has become an important part of our annual celebrations. We both believe that art has the power to make things better - for all of us, not just a precious few - and that all of us can harness that power of art.

We believe that in an era where division, anger and meanness seem to go unchecked, this is more important than ever. We'll be continuing our new tradition of hosting workshops, led by our friends, where people can hone their creativity. Friends' End Day is a chance for people to step back from the demands of work and life and spend time learning new skills and building something together. As we prepare for this year's celebration, we want to know what you're hoping to do using this form. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, email the Riley Brothers.

April 28 Update: Final Details

Friends' End Day is a week away, and we hope you're as excited as we are for this annual celebration of art and creativity. A big thank you to those non-Rileys leading workshops: Jill Connolly, Sarah Cormier, Patrick Brower, Will Wiggins, Ethan Grosso and Jon Harrington. Below, you can find final details, including the schedule and items to bring. Let us know if you have any questions - we can't wait to see you next week!

1:00 pm - Friends' End Day begins!

1:15-2:30 pm - Workshop 1
Oh, Y'all Got Jokes, Huh? An Intro to Stand-up Comedy (James Riley)
The Improv of Crafting (Jill Connolly)

2:45-4:00 pm - Workshop 2
Mash and Brew: Making Guacamole and Brewing Great Coffee (Sarah Cormier, Patrick Brower)
Become a Super Hero (Will Wiggins)

4:15-5:15 pm - Workshop 3
Theater (everyone!)

5:30 - 7:15 pm - Stone Soup Dinner

7:30 - 8:45 pm - Workshop 4
Painless Painting (Ethan Grosso)
Calling all Adventurers! An Intro to Role Playing Systems (Jon Harrington)

9:00-10:00 pm - Gift Exchange
Here's how it'll work: bring one wrapped gift of something artistic (whether it's visual art like a painting or sculpture, musical art like an album or CD, or media art like a movie or TV show on DVD/Blu-ray, or something else). These gifts will be randomly selected by others. Once the gift you brought has been unwrapped, you can explain why you think it's great.

10:00-11:00 pm - Showcase

What To Bring a wrapped gift of something artistic (see explanation for "Gift Exchange" here) one food item (ex. a squash, ground beef, parsley, pasta) a willingness to try something new (For those interested in painting) $3 for materials (Optional) donations for various arts-related charities (Optional) one appetizer ready to (h)eat (ex. chips, cubes of cheese, grape tomatoes, buffalo chicken dip)

April 7 Update: Schedule and Workshops

We wanted to share our placeholder schedule with you, as well as information about our workshops. As we've done in the past, we'll be pairing workshops together and you'll have a choice to make in each block. We encourage you to let us know which ones pique your interest so we can create a schedule that works for as many people as possible. Please visit this page to share your thoughts on which workshops most interest you!

1:15-2:30 pm - Workshop 1

2:45-4:00 pm - Workshop 2

4:15-5:30 pm - Workshop 3

5:45 - 7:45 pm - Dinner and Informal Workshops

8:00 - 9:00 - Workshop 4 (full group)

9:15-10:15 - Gift Exchange

10:30-11:30 - Showcase

Save the Date

In 2018, Friends' End Day will be celebrated on Saturday, May 5.

If you are interested and able to come, please complete this form. We'd like to know your suggestions for planning Friends' End Day, and we'll send you updates as the day approaches.

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