A total of 24 South Asian artists from various disciplines, including dance, visual art, theatre, film and design, have been awarded grants by the The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund (SAARF), an arts project funding program created by the India Center Foundation (ICF), over two rounds since mid-April. A third round is currently underway with an application deadline of June 15th. The Fund, open to South Asian-American artists and arts workers who have been impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19, has already raised about $40,000, which is being rapidly distributed to grantees.
“The money is being donated mostly by individuals who are passionate about the arts and want to support those who dedicate their lives to it,” says Raoul Bhavnani, one of ICF’s Co-Founders. “From filmmakers to performance artists, visual artists, writers and musicians, the grantees hail from across South Asian countries of origin who represent its culture through their art here in the U.S.”
Nepali musician and grant winner Shyam Nepali says, “This grant is very important for me because as a musician from Nepal living in the U.S., I am here not just for me, but as an ambassador wanting to give Nepali music a wider audience. To focus on creative work is not easy without financial support, as gigs have been cancelled. I now have time to work on my Sarangi tutorial materials, and the grant allows me the freedom and time to focus on that.”