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Philosophy Symposium: Loss & Legacy — How Do We Think About Grief?

April 19, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm MDT

Event Series Event Series (See All)

In this first philosophy symposium in our 2023 Loss & Legacy series, we’ll look at grief and death through the lens of aesthetics, combining art, literature, history, culture and and science into a broad, unified philosophical and humanistic understanding.

Our symposium will feature guests scholars Krys Holmes, Tim Holmes & Ashby Kinch.  Facilitated by Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Julianna Breit, the event will involve a combination of presentation, Q & A, and lively community conversation…all with a touch of theatrical, aesthetic flair.


Date: Wednesday, April 19th 
Time: 6pm-9pm (Doors open at 5:30pm)
Cost: FREE (donations welcome)


Location: Helena Avenue Theater
Address: 1319 Helena Avenue (across from Vanilla Bean in the 6th Ward neighborhood)

Guest Scholars & Facilitator

About Tim Holmes

Tim Holmes is the first American artist ever invited to give a solo exhibit at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, the world’s largest art museum, where his sculptures remain on permanent exhibit. His work has gained notice among some of the world’s peacemakers, from the Chinese dissident students of Tiananmen Square to the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Jimmy Carter, Czech hero Vaclav Havel, and the late Coretta Scott King are among Holmes’ best-known collectors.

Holmes has created many international projects such as the U.N. Women’s Peace Prize and other peace awards. He has worked with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in efforts to create an international peace center on Robben Island, the gulag where President Nelson Mandela and thousands of others were imprisoned during the dark apartheid years and on South Africa’s bid for the Olympics. Though Holmes is most well known for sculpture he works in a variety of media, all pointing toward a more responsive, cooperative and sustainable future. 

About Krys Holmes

Krys Holmes is author of Montana: Stories of the Land, adopted statewide as the Montana history textbook in public schools. Her poems, essays, and short stories have been published in various local and regional literary magazines and anthologies. She lives in the Elkhorn Mountains outside Helena.  Krys is also the Director at the Myrna Loy Arts & Cultural Center and interim director at the Holter Art Museum.

About Ashby Kinch

Ashby Kinch is a professor of English literature specializing in the literature of the medieval period, particularly late medieval literature.  He has published recent articles on neuroscience and literature, as well as word-image relations in both medieval literature and in the work of a contemporary American poet, Cole Swensen. He is a co-PI on a Keck Foundation grant to develop an integrated curriculum in neuroscience across multiple disciplines, and serves on the Institute of Health and Humanities, and the Humanities Institute at the University of Montana. Ashby has extended his research and thinking on death into public humanities projects, including funding from the Institute of Health and Humanities to develop writing workshops on death, and to produce a modern adaptation of a 15th century multi-media art form known as the “Dance of Death.” Since fall 2017, he has served as associate dean of the graduate school.

About Julianna Breit

 Julianna Breit is a 2nd-year Student Scholar Fellow and senior at Carroll College double-majoring in Biochemistry and Philosophy with minors in Ethics and Value Studies, Neuroscience, and Chemistry. Her research interests include Phenomenology of Emotion, Trauma, and Empathy. 

In the first semester of her 2021-2022 fellowship, Julianna examined and wrote about the philosophical underpinnings and consequences of grief on the individual as both a philosophical being and community member.  She was also a regular participant in our philosophy in the community activities.   

In her second and third semesters, in addition to continued research and writing,  she was involved in the philosophical critique and analysis of our community activities, designed & led philosophy workshops in the community on grief and empathy, and headed up the first installment of our new “How Did We Get Here?” series program.  View here work here!

Sponsors & Community Partners

Thank you to our symposia series community sponsors BWP Helena Great Northern Hotel and  Helena Civic Television, to our community partners Helena Avenue Theater, to our grantors the Helena Area Community Foundation, the Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization, and Humanities Montana, and to our donors and the Helena community.

Make a Donation Here

Our philosophy symposia are FREE.  That said, if you have the income to do so, we could use your financial support.  Donations help to cover symposia honoraria, implementation, resource archiving, and more!  You can make a donation by clicking here or on the button above. We greatly appreciate your generosity and kindness & for helping us keep programs like these going!


Helena Avenue Theater
1319 Helena Avenue
Helena, MT 59602 United States
View Venue Website


Marisa Diaz-Waian
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