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A Finished Heart: Performance at the Holocaust & Human Rights Center

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October 11, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Pre-Performance Reception at 6 PM
Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine,
Michael Klahr Center
University of Maine
46 University Drive, Augusta, Maine

When his husband of sixteen years became ill, author and composer Eliott Cherry cared for him at home. He also recorded their conversations in his diary. After Chris Chenard died in 2007, Eliott wrote poetry, prose, and music to express his loss and combined these with his journal entries to create A Finished Heart.

A Finished Heart will be presented by the University of Maine at Augusta at the Holocaust & Human Rights Center (Michael Klahr Center) on October 11, 2012, with a reception at 6:00 PM and performance at 6:30. Eliott Cherry will present dramatic story and poetry accompanied by a musical score, with Martin Perry at the piano. The audience is invited to attend a discussion with the author at the conclusion of the work.

Cherry hopes that A Finished Heart will stimulate participants to discover compassionate ways to be with dying individuals and their loved ones, and to broaden their perspective on dying, care-giving, and grief by sharing the intimacy of two men who have committed their lives to each other. The piece expresses an experience of losing one’s spouse and the complexity of end-of-life experience. Cherry writes:

“Being with Chris as he died and losing him focused me on how vulnerable we are in critical situations. Our last days together spurred us to reach pinnacles of devotion and care. It is fitting that this performance takes place on National Coming Out Day at the Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine.”

This performance is co-sponsored by the UMA Nursing Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Cultural Events Committee, and the Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine.

A Finished Heart has been performed at the University of Maine/Orono, the University of New England, the University of Southern Maine, and the Cambridge, MA Public Library as well as for many faith congregations. The work has also been presented at the New England Consortium on Life Stories. Performances have received support from the JSL Foundation and the Maine Humanities Council. Eliott Cherry, a composer and performer, is working to bring A Finished Heart to diverse audiences. Martin Perry, a freelance pianist and recording artist, specializes in music of the 20th century.

For more information, please visit www.afinishedheart.com or call 207.621.3530.