Chicago IL: The Indo-American Heritage Museum’s Sunday, April 23 presentation of “Unstitched: The Art of Sari Draping” at Ashton Place, 341 75th Street, Willowbrook, IL, was a winner on all counts, judging by the audience reaction. IAHM, a non-profit educational organization, was established in 2008 and is the only institution of its kind in the country. The event is among many the museum organizes throughout the Chicago area as part of its efforts to preserve the history of Indian Americans and promote understanding of their diversity, culture and contributions to American life.
Morning cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music by The Red Line band greeted arrivals and set the tone for the fascinating program that followed. Following a vandana by Geetanjali Maru of Raag ‘N’ Rock, IAHM Board member Amita Banerji spoke about the museum and its work. Padma Rangaswamy, also an IAHM Board member called for the community to participate in the upcoming exhibition, Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, from the Smithsonian Exhibition Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibit, which will open in July with support from the Chicago Community Trust, is being co-presented by the Field Museum and IAHM in Chicago. The Smithsonian exhibition is being augmented with the Chicago chapter of the Indian American story by IAHM.
Dr. Rangaswamy pointed out that IAHM as a grass roots organization welcomes community participation in helping tell the Chicago story. Community members can send in videos and images for a video portrait of community life that will be showcased at the Field during the exhibition. They can sign up for a docent training session and guide visitors through the exhibition. They can volunteer to help with the programs IAHM is organizing during the 5 months the exhibition will be running. Interested persons can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.iahmuseum.org for more information.
After IAHM President Madhoolica Dear’s address and Guest of Honor Indian Consul General Neeta Bhushan’s remarks, renowned textile expert and sari historian Rta Kapur Chishti took over with a kaleidoscopic multimedia presentation of the history, design concepts and varieties of saris from the different regions of India. Women from the community modeled saris draped in various regional styles, wearing pure silver jewelry from Amrita Kar’s Vintage2Mod jewelry as they walked the runway to music by DJ Kollision. The event concluded with a lunch buffet from Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine.
Unstitched was sponsored by OROCHEM, Club of Indian Women (CIW), Geetanjali & Abir Maru of Raag ‘N’ Rock Entertainment, EbyN: Events by Nisar, Harp arte Photography, Patel Brothers, Vinni’s Salon and Spa, Wanda Willmore Schlafly of Sunshine Video, Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine, DJ Kollision and The Red Line band. Information about the Indo-American Heritage Museum is at www.iahmuseum.org