To celebrate the start of the International Year of Tibet, the Twin Cities, home to the second-largest Tibetan immigrant population in the United States, will host both Mrs. Jetsun Pema, sister to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and author of Tibet: My Story, and the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, Masters of Chant and Ritual Arts for a series of historic public appearances in the Twin Cities throughout the month of May.
Mrs. Pema is touring the United States to fundraise for the construction of the first national Tibetan University in Southern India while the monks are fundraising for the survival of the Gyuto Tantric Monastery in exile in Dharamsala, India, as well as for the local Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery, established under the guidance of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to share Tibetan culture and spirituality with the West and to serve the growing Tibetan community here in the Twin Cities.
Twin Cities residents will have numerous opportunities to experience the transcendent beauty and awesome mastery of Tibetan chant as performed by this full choir of 20 Gyuto monks (five of whom will join them from the Minneapolis branch of the Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery) on their first U.S. tour in 12 years. The chants draw on Tantric Buddhist texts that, through their intricate harmonic techniques and strong spiritual foundation, offer participants a heightened sense of well-being and peaceful transformation.
The International Year of Tibet is a nationwide campaign designed to heighten sensitivity and awareness to the enduring dispute in Chinese-occupied Tibet and also to secure brighter futures for Tibetan refugees around the world through the continued preservation of cherished Tibetan religious and social traditions. Proceeds will benefit the Tibetan American Foundation of MN, Society for Gyuto Sacred Arts, and the Rime Foundation, which are committed to preserving Tibet’s rich heritage and providing access to its spiritual and cultural resources.
Year of Tibet in Minnesota schedule
May 11-13 – 2007 Twin Cities Tibetan Film Festival (see sidebar this page)
May 12 – The Gyuto Tibetan Tantric Choir, 8 p.m., Basilica of St. Mary, Hennepin at North 16th, Minneapolis, tickets available at the door ($15, $10) or at the Basilica store and online at www.mary.org or call (612) 333-1381 for information.
May 13 – Family Day with the Gyuto Tibetan Tantric Choir, featuring Butter Sculpture, prayer flag assembly and documentary screenings, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis, free.
May 20 – Gyuto Tibetan Tantric Choir, 6:30 p.m. with reception following, St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove, Minneapolis, tickets at door ($15, $10) or at Bookstore at www.religiousenquiry.com or (612) 870-7800.
May 24 – Gyuto Tibetan Tantric Choir, 7:30 p.m., Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, tickets $15 advance, $20 at door. Visit www.thecedar.org. Call (612) 338-2674, or online at Ticketweb.com, sponsored by Tibetan Education Action and Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery
May 27 – Gyuto Tibetan Tantric Choir, 7 p.m., Church of St. Joan of Arc, 4537 3rd Ave. S. Minneapolis, tickets at door ($15, $10) www.stjoan.com, (612) 823-8205.
May 29 – An Evening Honoring Jetsun Pema, opening performance by Gyuto Tibetan Tantric Choir, 7 p.m., Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis, tickets ($28, $22, $15) at (612) 874-0400 or www.childrenstheatre.org
May 31 and June 1 – Jetsun Pema, with opening performance by Gyuto Tibetan Tantric Choir, 7 p.m., Jeanne d’Arc Auditorium, The College of St. Catherine, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, tickets at door ($22), advance purchase $20 through Ticketworks.com