Home » Festival of Faiths helps set stage for Dalai Lama visit to Louisville

Festival of Faiths helps set stage for Dalai Lama visit to Louisville

Event takes place through Sunday, when Dalai Lama arrives for three-day visit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 16, 2013) — As an enthusiastic show of support for the May 2013 Festival of Faiths, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is serving as honorary co-chair of the event, which is taking place through May 19 at Actors Theatre of Louisville and The Galt House Hotel.

The Dalia Lama will arrive in Louisville on Sunday.
The Dalia Lama will arrive in Louisville on Sunday.

The Festival of Faiths is hosted by the Center for Interfaith Relations (CIR) and normally takes place each November. However, Fischer asked the CIR to host a special Festival of Faiths in May to help set the stage for the Dalai Lama’s visit to Louisville and message of “Engaging Compassion,” May 19-21. On May 19, the Dalai Lama will present a public talk at the YUM! Center to an expected crowd of 16,000.

“The Festival of Faiths and the Dalai Lama’s visit will showcase our city’s strong commitment to compassion as a core value,” Fischer said. “Between the two events, Louisville will offer a week-long celebration of compassion and interfaith awareness for our citizens and for visitors from around the world.”

Programming for the Festival of Faiths has been carefully planned to reflect its dedication to the historic meeting of the Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton in 1968. The festival will feature renowned experts on meditation and compassion, representing the faith traditions of the world and recent scientific research on compassion. Programs will include daily, guided public meditations, keynote speeches, films, and a dedication to Thomas Merton “in his own voice.”

As the festival’s honorary co-chair, Fischer will host a Compassionate Governing Roundtable and Banquet on Saturday at the Galt House. It will feature mayors, elected leaders and other distinguished officials from around the country who will share their thoughts about the role of compassion as the foundation for effective governing. Guests include Farah Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the U.S. State Department, Mayor Scott Smith (Mesa, Az.) and Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, S.C.).

“The Compassion in Governing event will illustrate how we bring to life our collective responsibility to promote compassion as a universal principal through government,” Fischer said. “I strongly encourage everyone in the city to take part in the Festival of Faiths, the Dalai Lama’s Engaging Compassion public talk and public teaching and the many related events going on throughout our city over the next two weeks.”

Information about Festival of Faiths events, speakers and tickets is available at www.festivaloffaiths.org.

On Monday, May 20, the Dalai Lama will give a two-part public Buddhist teaching in the morning and afternoon. This event is expected to draw a large crowd of people wishing to explore and deepen their understanding of the Buddhist faith. The teaching is called “Attisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment”. Both events are open to all.

On Tuesday, May 21, His Holiness will address middle, high school, and college-aged students at the Kentucky Center. Educating young people on the path of non-violence and compassion is dear to the Dalai Lama’s heart. In addition to His Holiness’ speaking engagements, organizers are planning the three-day event to include a rich program of music, arts, cultural performances, dialogue and discussions that will touch the entire community of Louisville and raise awareness around the topic of compassion and kindness.

For more information about the Dalai Lama’s visit to Louisville, go to www.dalailamalouisville.org or visit the DGI Tibetan Buddhist Center at 411 N. Hubbards Lane, Louisville, 40207.