Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Briefly with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage

Along similar lines of Arts Management, NGOs like Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) have taken awareness, education and conservation of Indian arts and cultural heritage miles ahead. Taking care of four main domains, Architecture Heritage, Art Heritage, Natural Heritage and Intangible Heritage; INTACH has more than 150 chapters across India. INTACH also deals with the documentation of each and every detailed aspect of the Indian heritage through its chapters and has been successful in preserving several endangered languages, traditions, literature and history throughout the country. These are then revived and exposed to the society of that region through various means such as insistence on incorporating these languages in the primary education system and usage of local script of the area. The documentation also offers means to the universities to research upon these traditions for their various art courses. INTACH has also developed short term internship and research programs with universities and colleges. It also encourages schools across the country to organize heritage clubs and host workshops. Tourism circles of INTACH not only convey the facts about a tourist site, but also revive the culture and living heritage of the site. The funding for all programs by INTACH is facilitated by the MHRD, zonal cultural centres, various cultural foundations and trusts and corporate (However corporate collaborations are avoided as far as possible).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Briefly with the India Foundation of Arts

With a vision of enriching the practice, knowledge, and public access to the arts and its experience, the India Foundation of the Arts is playing a pivotal role in providing the strategic support for innovative projects and capacity building across the arts. Through its grants to the individuals and organizations, IFA fills up gaps in private and public assistance for culture and arts in India. By providing awards, fellowships and workshops to school teachers IFA strengthens the study of arts in the education system; and through Arts Research and Documentation it supports documentation and archival initiatives in arts (necessary for revival and evolution of arts and culture over time) which were perceived to be at a lower priority at the universities. Under arts education IFA jointly with Goethe-Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan has initiated a program ‘Kali Kalisu’, which envisions a series of arts capacity building workshops for school teachers in the state of Karnataka. Having employees from various backgrounds such as cultural studies and management, IFA supports activities such as art education, art research and documentation curatorial practices, performance infrastructure and new performance through its grant programs and publishes art journals to promote the arts and reach out to the public.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Truth

Reworked theosophical symbol
There is no religion higher than Truth

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Need For Conventionality (as per my research essay)

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute; we read and write poetry because we are members of the human race and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering; these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love; these are what we stay alive for” words from the Dead Poets Society. Indeed there are two parts to the human brain; the rational and the irrational, which is the artist. As we know our society runs on rationality; perhaps to an extent that it doesn’t give enough room for the counterpart to develop. But isn’t it still important to promote all that makes us feel human; to feel what we are living for? But how is this possible when the stream of Arts isn’t as industrialized as it should have been, when the employment facilities are not as wide as they could have been.

Even though career prospects have increased over the years; students at +2 school level are still dissuaded from opting Arts as it is still seen non-conventional by the society. This observation is backed by the fact showing more boys in Science stream and more girls in Arts. The social perspective towards Arts and Humanities affects the standards of colleges at under-graduate and post-graduate level as well, with very few Colleges/Universities across India that maintain relatively good standards. However in general, the central universities are considered much better of than the state universities since they are directly affiliated with the HRD Ministry and Ministry of Culture. Due to relative independence central universities are seen to be more successful in producing artists with critical thinking.

Employment facilities are more dependent on the market situations. The funds mainly pour in from the Cultural Ministry, Arts and Cultural Organizations, and Corporate; which suggests that whenever there is a market boom, corporate has surplus money to spend on Art functions, Art galleries and promotion of Art and Culture across India. During this period, more designers and artists are recruited by the multinational companies for the aesthetics in their infrastructure. In today’s world of Information technology freelance opportunities are widely available on web, through which cross country services are available too. However these networks can be organized much better, making them more user friendly. In competition to the electronic media performing arts such as theatre has reached a standstill with very few professionals in the field. Lack of good theatres for performing arts and non-ticketing of shows has affected theatre culture adversely and has resulted in scarcity of quality audience and quality performance.

Industrialization of the streams such as Arts and Humanities can solve the problems of employment in the same. Just like any other industry it also requires managers and entrepreneurs adept at arts management, where they are familiar with the aspects of arts alongside the market available for it. Arts management is the brokership between the needs of arts and the required audience for it. It deals with creating market opportunities for the artists across the country to interact with their audience though their works.

For example ‘Evam’ a Chennai based theatre arts group comprises of theatre artists as well as MBA post graduates who are marketing their shows by pricing them along with their brand promotion. Similarly websites like gives the users an opportunity to design their own merchandise personally or use an existing design from Myntra’s large database. The website has around 12,000 designs posted by thousands of designers who receive 10% of the revenue on each sale of their design. Hence the website is gaining attention from the designers looking for a platform to exhibit their work.

As the times change and so do the career avenues, and it seems necessary for India to have a standardized and well organized system for arts and cultural activities with enough scope for the youth today to seek employment or freelance opportunities. Arts management being an important aspect for it and focus should be laid on creating a market for various art activities. Introduction of various workshops at primary and secondary school to enhance the artistic skills of the students can accelerate the process of developing a wide range of skilled talent. Arts management however, should seek to create a competitive industry for arts and cultural innovation and free practice rather than an industry just for art application. Thus, it shall be necessary for good and educated art manager to market arts innovatively without allowing the market rationality to affect the creativity of the artists.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The First Choice

Well, my life has always revolved around choices. For that matter everyone's life is based on choices. You choose this and you face the repercussions. They may be rewarding, ironical, damned or even a joke by the almighty. My life in past few years has developed a fascination towards the choices we make, and what we learn from them. Of how we really deal with the options and opportunities available. In my Introduction to Economics I learnt one important principle:

You always face trade-off while dealing with opportunities. You have to let go of one to take the other one.

For some choices you are brave, and some you always succumb to cowardice. The most amusing fact I find is how we care so much that a choice may govern our entire life. And I realized that we don't have one choice to live our lives. You can't turn back, but a choice is built on choices and you lead your journey on. Yet why is it so strange, if we want to deal with trade-offs. There is always going to be a choice to make your life better once you have ruined it. The following posts are various experiences built on the choices i take.