Share Your Thoughts

Continuing its rich 22 year tradition, India Friends Association (IFA) offers“Archana 2016 – India – Folk Traditions!”, a multimedia experience that builds social consciousness and highlights IFA’s transformational work in India. This lively, cultural extravaganza is a celebration of Indian culture and is IFA’s annual fundraiser held in the spring of each year.  It is an excellent opportunity for people in the community to experience the colors, the costumes, the songs and dances of India, and all of that for a cause that transcends us all.  Community volunteers participate in a range of items featuring beautiful music, colorful costumes, and dance numbers, spanning Bharatanatyam, Bollywood, Bhangra and more. With a talented cast of over 100 volunteer and professional performers, ‘Archana’ is a must see! Every year, over a thousand people in the community come together to raise funds for charity, celebrate Indian culture and food, and enjoy a variety of eye-catching and soul-stirring performances.

‘Archana’, derived from a Hindi word that means ‘blessing’ or ‘offering’, is the hallmark annual fundraiser hosted by the IFA, a Ventura County nonprofit organization started by the Indian community in 1993 to help provide support for that year’s Latur earthquake that killed thousands of people in India. The event embodies the selfless contributions of its growing community volunteer team, be it through cultural performance, funding, commitment of time, or direct involvement on projects supported by the IFA.

IFA’s core mission is to empower people in India to fight corruption, improve governance, obtain employment and healthcare, and protect the environment and more. ‘Archana’ is the primary fundraiser that IFA has used to secure funding over the past 22 years in support of a variety of carefully selected projects all over India. The initiatives include a diverse mix of longer-term transformations and some with a more immediate focus based on the acuity of the need and merit of the cause supported.

“There are so many arms to what the association does,” says Ayappa Biddanda, of West Los Angeles, one of the several volunteers who have been regular supporters. “We hope guests learn the multitude of ways to be involved and the idea of local action having global connections.”

Saturday, April 30, 4 p.m. Fred Kavli Theater, Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. Premium: $125; Preferred: $80;  General: $45;  Students/Seniors: $25, (805) 415-5230;

Vandana Kumar

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...