Friends' End Day

"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 2017, 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. Read below for the schedule and what to bring! If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, email the Riley Brothers.


1:00 pm - Friends' End Day begins!

1:15-2:45 pm - Workshop 1
Sing A New Song: Collaborative Songwriting - Paul Riley
Making Shit Up: A VERY Brief Writer's Workshop - James Riley

3:00-4:15 pm - Workshop 2
Oh, Y'all Got Jokes, Huh? An Intro to Stand-up Comedy
The Improv of Crafting - Jill Connolly

4:30-5:50 pm - Workshop 3
Become a Super Hero - Will Wiggins
The Craft of Improv - Dave Davis

6:00-7:00 pm - Workshop 4
Salsa Dancing - Allison Loring

7:00-8:00 - Dinner and Smaller Workshops

8:30-9:30 - Workshop 5
Narrative Portraiture - Ethan Grosso

9:30-10:30 - 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 have to explain why you think it's great.

10:30-11:30 - Showcase

What To Bring

Workshop Preferences

Here are the workshop descriptions. Please read them over and let us know how interested you are in participating in each one. This will help the Riley Brothers create a schedule that works for most people.

Save the Date

We are excited that Friends' End Day, which takes place on May 6th, will be observed on its true day. Save the date - May 6, 2017!

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.

Back to the main Hootenanny page.