Keystone to host The Gathering

Posted: 07/01/2013


La Plume, Pa.For the seventh consecutive year, Keystone College will host “The Gathering” from July 18-21 on campus.

The Gathering, which has received national recognition from presenters and attendees alike, is an annual conference for people of diverse backgrounds who share the idea that imagination can help solve problems that threaten our communities, large and small. Through lectures, workshops, performances, and discussions, participants explore creativity through the sciences and arts of diverse cultures around the world.

The theme for this year is “The Art of the Living Moment” which is derived from the Buddhist practice of living entirely in the present. The intent is to consider how focusing attention on each moment as it unfolds can enhance imagination and creativity and improve problem everyday solving.

In addition to several renowned writers, poets and artists, the 2013 edition of The Gathering will feature a unique twist. Tibetan Lamas (spiritual teachers) of the Drepung Loseling Monastery will demonstrate their belief in the living moment through art, music and dance. In the opening ceremony, the lamas will consecrate a space where they will create a mandala, an intricate sand painting, during the three days of The Gathering. In the closing ceremony, the lamas will sweep the mandala into Nokomis Creek, which runs through the Keystone campus, as a symbol of the transience of all things, including beauty and virtue. The Gathering will feature a mediation room in the Theatre in Brooks where there is space for quiet reflection and lamas will work on their mandala

The Gathering supports the cause of the Tibetans, who have lived in exile since 1959, when their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled the Tibetan capital of Lhasa under threat from the advancing Chinese army. Tibetans have lived in a diaspora around the globe ever since. The Tibetan people who remain in Tibet have lived under tremendous scrutiny from the Chinese government.

Each speaker during the three-day event will address their work as it relates to the overall theme of “The Art of the Living Moment.”

Principal speakers include poet, essayist and naturalist Diane Ackerman. Ms. Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including the highly acclaimed The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. Her most recent book, One Hundred Names for Love, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and received the Orion Book Award as a “groundbreaking work of nonfiction.”

Main speaker, Ilya Kaminsky, is the author of Dancing in Odessa, which won the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, Whiting Writers Award, Lannan Fellowship and other honors. Mr. Kaminsky was born in Odessa in the former USSR, and came to America in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the United States’ government.

Another principal participant in The Gathering will include Greek artist Ioannis Glykokokalos. After earning an engineering degree in Athens, Mr. Glykokokalos moved to New York City in 1959 and obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1975. He has sold more than 800 paintings, both figurative and abstract, and is represented in many private collections around the world.

Other presenters include authors Whitney Stewart and Trebbe Johnson; Keystone art professor Judy Keats, Penn State Worthington-Scranton English and literature professor Philip Mosely and yoga and fitness expert Donna Fetzko.

For more information, please visit The Gathering web site or contact Charlotte Ravaioli at (570) 945-8510.