His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and Pico Iyer will participate in a free, virtual conversation at 8:30 p.m. May 18 to keynote the new Creating Hope initiative sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures.
“Creating Hope programs will strengthen human connection, bridge our partisan divides, promote well being, joy and compassion and envision positive change,” said Celesta Billeci, Miller McCune executive director of Arts & Lectures. “We can create hope, but only if we do it together.”
Other virtual spring events in the Creating Hope series include a presentation by Bryan Stevenson, attorney and author, on April 30 and a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Scott on May 5.
“We look forward to the opportunity to hear a message of encouragement from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, especially at this challenging time, and to the hope and inspiration that each of our guest speakers and performers will impart through their unique stories and talents,” said Dr. Henry T. Yang, the UCSB chancellor.
The new initiative evolved from discussions within A&L that date back to 2019, said Ms. Billeci, “when we began to look at emotional health and mental wellness, and with it, the need to experience joy, to give and receive kindness and compassion — especially within the increasingly rancorous national conversation — as possible topics for public lectures and education programs.
“As we began to explore the concept of hope, presenting programs by Dr. Vivek Murthy on loneliness as a public health issue, and author Anne Lamott on the stubborn nature of hope, we realized that Creating Hope would be the umbrella for A&L programs from now into 2022.
“For decades, our mission has been to ‘educate, inspire and entertain,’ and
this is certainly a time that calls for inspiration. But hope happens through education and entertainment, too . . . We are living through a moment that calls for optimism, resilience, courage and vision— a tall order!” Ms. Billeci added. “Creating Hope is how Arts & Lectures is answering the call.”
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.