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WSEC-TV program to feature recent visit to UIS by the Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery

July 30, 2007

Contact: Bryan Leonard, 217/206-8284, leonard.bryan@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD -- Making Conversation, a locally produced, Emmy-nominated program that airs on WSEC-TV (Springfield's PBS station), will feature footage captured last spring during a memorable residency exhibit at the University of Illinois at Springfield by the Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery.

During their three-day visit, the monks constructed a mandala sand painting in the lobby of Sangamon Auditorium.  The sand painting construction was in conjunction with a stage performance presented by UIS’ Sangamon Auditorium of sacred Tibetan music and dance.  Over the three-day period, excited crowds and on-lookers watched as the monks peacefully constructed, from scratch, the mandala, which is believed to have healing qualities and help support world peace.  The final product -- a vibrantly colored work of Tibetan art -- was dedicated to the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings, displayed momentarily, and then dismantled during a ceremony of sacred chants and music.  Those who attending the closing ceremonies were invited to take small amounts of sand from the painting with them; the remains were introduced into a local body of water.

Making Conversation, featuring the Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery, will air Friday, August 3, at 8 p.m. and again Sunday, August 5, at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.  The program will also feature local spectators as they describe their first-hand experience of watching the process.

Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, the auditorium hosts more than 120 performances annually.  Home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area with a seating capacity of 2,018.

With a staff of 11 full-time employees, graduate assistants, more than 400 volunteers, ushers, and local stagehands, Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to the audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas.  The Auditorium administrative offices can be reached at 217/206-6150 or by e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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Sangamon Auditorium at UIS

More about the mandala and the monks' performance

See a time-lapse video from the UIS MediaQuad

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