The Cultural Conservancy - Tibetan Cultural Preservation Project
From 1998 to 2003 the Tibetan Cultural Preservation Project worked to preserve and restore the rich cultural traditions of Tibet and provided cultural resources for Tibetans living in exile in the San Francisco Bay Area. This project connected Tibetan youth and elders from Tibet, India, and America and supported the teaching of traditional song and dance to Tibetan youth living within the San Francisco Bay Area. We also support the important role of Tibetan women in cultural preservation and Tibetan Buddhism.
Under the direction of Tibetan singer/author/chef/activist Tsering Wangmo, we documented the traditional stories, songs, and dance styles of Tibetan elders who were the last generation of Tibetans to live in a Free Tibet. We produced numerous events, performances, and in 1999 supported the Nuns of Kathmandu in performances and in creating a Sand Mandala in the Presidio of San Francisco. We supported Colin Farish and Stillwater Sound in producing Tsering Wangmo’s beautiful musical CD, “Forbidden Voice.”
Our final big project was producing the “Kongpo Songbook and CD” compilation, that documented in written and audio format nearly one hundred traditional songs from the Kongpo region of Tibet, songs never recorded before and in danger of being lost with the passing of the elder population from that region. The traditional arts and culture of this area are a reflection of the rich agricultural environment. Song and dance have been an integral part of the daily life of the Kongpo people. In Tibet, these songs and dances have been eradicated by the Chinese authorities and the distinct cultural and ethnic identity is disappearing. This special region of southern Tibet is renowned for its pastoral beauty and its people famous for their artistic genius.
Tsering Wangmo - Biography
Tsering Wangmo was born in a refugee camp in southern India and is a second-generation exile Tibetan. Educated in a local Tibetan school, she studied traditional Tibetan music, dance and opera for seven years from 1982 to 1989 in the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala in northern India. His Holiness the Dalai Lama set up the institute, shortly after China's occupation of Tibet in 1959, to facilitate the preservation of Tibet's unique cultural heritage in exile. In 1989, Tsering came with Sonam Tashi and Tashi Dhondup on a performance tour of nine different American cities. Two years later, the three of them founded Chaksam-Pa, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization dedicated to preserving traditional Tibetan performing arts.
In 1995, Tsering opened a Tibetan restaurant, Lhasa Moon, the first and only one of its kind in San Francisco. She also wrote a Tibetan cook book, Lhasa Moon Cook Book, and was the recipient of the prestigious Chef's 2000 Award and the Gold Medal Chef Award in 2001, conferred by the National American Tasting Institute.
Tsering has performed throughout the world in Europe and Asia beside the United States and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has performed at the Lincoln Center in New York, the Warner Theater, Berkeley Greek Theater, the Marin Civic Center, Carnegie Hall in Yew York, among others.
In 1999, Tsering founded the Tibetan Cultural Preservation Project through The Cultural Conservancy. Through this project Tsering has organized and hosted dozens of cultural programs including a sand mandala ceremony by Tibetan Buddhist nuns and a Tibetan New Year (Losar) celebration with Tibetan elders from southern India.
Although TCC no longer actively works on Tibetan issues we continue to have a strong connection to Tsering Wangmo and the Tibetan community in the bay area. For more information and to get involved, please contact: