With a deep passion to expose mainstream and Diaspora audiences to Indian arts and culture and a board of directors committed to cultivating and promoting Indian-American artists, The India Center Foundation (ICF) is quickly becoming a premier arts destination for South Asians around the country because of its innovative programming and ground-breaking collaborations.
Founded in 2016 by a group of friends and colleagues who noticed a gap in the Indian-American cultural scene, ICF is quickly becoming the epicenter of cross-cultural collaborations, curated salon events and quirky, artist pop-ups. Founding Director and Board President Raoul Bhavnani states: “There are so many talented artists living and working in the U.S., particularly in the New York City area, and we felt many were not being noticed and supported by the community-at-large. Artists from India already have a lot of organizational support; thus, we created the India Center Foundation to fill that void for Indian-American artists and cultural organizations and serve as a platform to encourage their creativity and help them build share of voice and influence on a larger stage.”
Priya Giri Desai, Founding Director and Board Secretary, adds: “To date, there has not been a single, stand-alone organization in this country dedicated to the cultural life of Indians in America. ICF’s mission is to create and foster programming that speaks to Indian-Americans in a vocabulary and context they understand and that resonates with younger generations. We are also seeking to galvanize the next generation of philanthropy to support this vibrant sector.”
ICF’s programming centers around conversations and collaborations between artists, institutions and experts, as seen at their recent string of events: a book reading in conjunction with the New York Public Library with author Chandrahas Choudhury in conversation with noted journalist and author Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan; a studio tour with Assam-born artist Natasha Das in conversation with Darielle Mason, Department Head of South Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and a storytelling, musical production held at a rooftop in Downtown Brooklyn with Kavita Das, writer and author of Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar and the STARR Ensemble, an ensemble of talented women musicians. ICF has also had long-running collaborations with presenting organizations like The Lincoln Center, Museum of the Moving Image, Asia Society and The Rubin Museum.
Future initiatives include one-of-a-kind pop-up events, the development of new musical work and a partnership with the inaugural New York City South Asian Film Festival (NYC SAFF). ICF is also launching a web series titled, The Road Less Traveled, which is a series of short films on interesting and emerging South Asian leaders in creative fields.
For more information about these and other events, please visit theindiacenter.us and follow us on social media @theindiacenter.