Here's who I'll be interviewing according to the Town of Chapel Hill's press release:
Chapel Hill welcomes the monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery; a window into another culture. The tour begins with an opening ceremony on May 22, 2011 at 523 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. The monks will complete their sacred sand mandala over the course of five days and will hold a deconstruction ceremony on May 30, 2011. The mandala construction site will be open to the public from May 22 until May 30.
The Mandala, Tibetan sand painting, is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism. The mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “cosmogram” or “world in harmony.” Mandalas are drawings in three-dimensional forms of sand. In Tibetan, this art is called dul-tson-kyilkhor which means “mandala of colored powders.” The monks begin by consecrating the site of the mandala sand painting with approximately 30 minutes of chants, music and mantra recitation. This event is visually and acoustically striking.
Throughout the monks visit, there will be classes for children and adults. The classes include sand painting and creating butter sculptures in the Losar tradition taking place May 27-29. 100% of all proceeds go directly to support, educate, house, feed, and clothe nearly 2000 refugee monks living at the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Southern India.