Bud Werner Library: Community came together to make Tibetan monks’ Steamboat stay special | SteamboatToday.com

Bud Werner Library: Community came together to make Tibetan monks’ Steamboat stay special

Jennie Lay
Bud Werner Memorial Library
This photograph shows the finished mandala right before it was destroyed.
Bud Werner Library/Courtesy photo

On behalf of Bud Werner Library, I want to extend the deepest gratitude to our community for your support and appreciation of Mandala on the Yampa, the library’s cultural residency with the Drepung Loseling monks.

Thousands of locals and visitors took the opportunity to observe a beautiful and intricate art form in the creation of the Akshobya sand mandala and learn about Tibetan culture during a busy week of free events. All of this was made possible by folks who pitched in physically and financially in so many essential ways.

Special thanks to our presenting partners, Perry-Mansfield, Strings Music Festival and Yampa River Botanic Park for hosting enriching programs with the monks out and about in our community, and local artist Jill Bergman for designing the beautiful community sand painting that brought joy to so many with a hands-on sand painting experience. Our gratitude overflows for Emily and Luke Dudley for your two live prints at Ohana that raised funds for the residency.

It took an army of volunteers make nine monks feel at home in Steamboat Springs. Special thanks to the exceptional leadership of Toni Quick and gracious culinary skills of John Garrison at Perry-Mansfield. At camp, teams of family and friends volunteered their time, possessions and creativity to transform nine small, rustic cabins into tranquil and cozy homes for the visiting monks. Thanks Cindy Boscoe, Jennifer Grathwohl, Barbara McNary, Elisabeth Mullen, Pam Rolfes, Jenny Shea, Tara Stroman, Julie Tucek, Gigi Walker, Johnny Walker and Cindy Wither. 

In addition, families and friends treated the monks to beautiful food from your kitchens and gardens. Big thanks for delicious meals and snacks from chef John Garrison at Perry-Mansfield, Bar-U-Eat, Bud Werner Library staff, Amber Grace, Sarah Hansen, Mary Lester, Janessa Lomas, Ken Macias, Jane McComb, the McKae Family, Erica Olson, Sugar Creek Farm, Julie Tucek, Edith Weiss and Ann Ross. Off the Beaten Path, kudos to your library café for keeping the monks caffeinated and feeling decadent with tea lattes. Noodles & More Saigon Cafe, thank you for honoring the monks with a delicious dinner and a Friday night out on the town.

Community sand painting takes a village of artists, and we’re thankful to our leaders for your guidance at the Steamboat Mandala: Pam Chewning, Carina Creamer, Angie Gamble, Sarah Hansen, Jennifer Haskett, Merry Lester, Alena Rossi, Shea Rossi, Jenny Gabriel Shea, Jenny Shea, Iris Shunia, Dona Steele and Beth Wendler. Thanks to Rich Lay for designing and building our community sand painting table.

The monks had a busy week and a well-rounded Steamboat experience. Strawberry Park Hot Springs, thank you for sharing your healing waters and immense hospitality with the monks. Thanks to The Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs for assisting with the monks’ guided meditation at the gardens.

Last but certainly not least, the library thanks Linda, Annie and Kate Kakela; Catherine Lykken; and Molly McClure, for thoughtful contributions to this residency in memory of Lama Konchog; and Barb and Jim Ross for your generous financial support. The library is grateful to the Steamboat Pilot & Today for making and publishing such a beautiful photographic record of this beloved community event.

The Akshobya mandala was created for unshakeable conflict resolution and peace. Thank you, Yampa Valley community, for engaging with the art and the messages in sand, smoke, meditation and cultural lessons behind Mandala on the Yampa.

Jennie Lay is the adult programs coordinator at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

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