In through the 19th-century archway, across the ivy-covered courtyard, and up worn stone steps sits the Refectory of the Desmond Tutu Center, located on the campus of the oldest operating seminary in America, in the heart of New York’s vibrant Chelsea neighborhood. The wooden Gothic architecture of the hall provided the backdrop for a special performance by Jakob Dylan and his band, the Gold Mountain Rebels, in celebration of his first solo release, Seeing Things.
The son of music legend Bob Dylan, Jakob Dylan earned wide musical success in his own right with his platinum-selling band the Wallflowers, whose breakthrough 1996 album, Bringing Down the Horse, yielded several hit singles – including “Sixth Avenue Heartache” and “One Headlight” – and two Grammy Awards. Guided by uber-producer Rick Rubin, Jakob Dylan released his first solo album, Seeing Things, in 2008.
The Desmond Tutu Center, in the Chelsea Historic District of Manhattan, greets its visitors with an urban garden and a massive entrance lobby. The redesigned interior includes a variety of rooms, for everything from conferences to guests. The new amenities and modern style are blended with the preserved 19th-century details of its nascent days. The Desmond Tutu Center’s objective is to create an environment for scholarly engagement through research and exchange amongst individuals, institutions and networks for the purpose of furthering global justice. The “Tutu Fellows” program provides the training of these justice researchers at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary.