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Why Madhubani? Find Out At Our Free Workshop!

Why Madhubani Art?

Madhubani literally means ‘forests of honey’ and refers to paintings in a distinct style that captures viewers’ attention with their vibrancy. ‘Madhubani’, is a folk art handed down over thousands of years from the times of Ramayana. Tradition states that King Janak of Mithila commissioned artists to make paintings for the wedding of his daughter, Sita, to Lord Ram. The womenfolk of the village drew the paintings on the walls of their home as an illustration of their thoughts, hopes, and dreams.

With time, the paintings became a part of festivities and special events. It was unknown to the outside world until the massive Bihar earthquake of 1934. House walls had tumbled down, and the British colonial officer in Madhubani District, William G. Archer, inspecting the damage, ‘discovered’ the paintings on the newly exposed interior walls of homes. Archer was stunned by the beauty of the paintings and their similarities to the work of modern Western artists like Klee, Miro, and Picasso. Slowly and gradually, Madhubani paintings from Bihar, India, crossed the traditional boundaries and started reaching connoisseurs of art at the national as well as the international level. 

Madhubani paintings, done in villages around the present town of Madhubani, were usually done on freshly plastered mud walls of huts. These paintings use two-dimensional imagery, and the colors used are derived from plants. Traditional themes generally revolve around Hindu deities like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. The paintings also depict natural objects, like the sun and moon, and religious plants, like tulsi (holy basil). Other motifs include scenes from the royal court and social events, apart from activities from daily life. 

Madhubani is a unique folk art that is said to beckon the gods every morning who comes invisibly to the household to bless the members of the family and to bring prosperity. Hence my fascination with it!

About Bandiworks and Me

I’m a multi-disciplinary artist who enjoys engaging with folk art from across the world – with a special focus on India. The idea is to share with people the simplicity of these creative forms and my love for them – I find them so empowering. I design and conduct experiential workshops for all age groups, giving a contemporary bent to heritage Arts and Crafts. 

At Bandiworks, one of the artforms we worked with extensively is ‘Madhubani’ of Bihar. We have adapted this folk art to create contemporary custom-made articles of use as well as curated paired experiences which introduce you to Madhubani in different settings. Be it along with the traditional food of Bihar, the Dashavatar rendition in Kathak, or the intricate folds of Origami. This juxtaposition makes for thought-provoking forms of expression and gives rise to unexpected conversations.

India Currents and Bandiworks Connects

Join me, in collaboration with India Currents, for a free LIVE Madhubani drawing workshop on March 31st at 6:30pm PDT and 9:30pm EDT.

Sign up for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/146816172123

Join us from anywhere in the world to celebrate Holi and draw Madhubani art.

This event is for all ages and will run as a 1.5 hr online workshop on Zoom.

No previous drawing skills required!!

You will walk away with the knowledge of an age-old traditional art form, appreciation for it because you’ve drawn it yourself, and an hour of relaxation and fun – much needed during these times.

Materials Required:

  • A4 sized paper (Thicker is better. Handmade paper if you have access to it)
  • Fine tipped gel/fibre tipped pens in black and red (fine-tipped sharpies)

Look forward to seeing you all there!


Bandana Agarwal is passionate about folk art from around the world and hopes to make it accessible!

Bay Area Burmese Americans Protest the Military Coup

In response to the recent military takeover in Myanmar (Burma), the Free Burma Action Committee (FBAC)–a coalition of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Burmese American activists–will stage a peaceful protest on Saturday, February 13, from 1 PM to 3 PM at the UN Plaza in San Francisco.

Ko Ko Lay, a member of the Free Burma Action Committee (FBAC) and a former student leader, said, “We’ve just heard that in Naypyidaw, the police shot into the protesting crowd with live ammunition. As a result, one protester is now fighting for her life in the hospital. The news is of great concern to us. We condemn the Myanmar military’s use of deadly force.”

This protest, led by FBAC, is part of a growing movement among the overseas Burmese Americans and their supporters. FBAC members join the UN Security Council in calling for the immediate release of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other detainees.

They also demand that the Myanmar military:

  • respect the people’s right to peaceful assembly and protest
  • recognize the outcomes of the 2020 General Election
  • restore civilian rule in Myanmar, led by the people’s elected representatives

Ordinary Myanmar citizens and civil servants have been lighting candles, refusing to go to work in mass protests, and noisily beating their kitchen utensils nightly in defiance of the unwelcomed military rule. In response, the Myanmar military has begun using force—water cannon and rubber bullets, among others.

With this protest, we aim to reinforce and highlight our loved ones’ civil disobedience campaigns from overseas; and restore democracy in our homeland.

About FBAC

On February 1, 2021, FBAC is formed with Burmese Americans living in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento region to respond to the current political crisis in Burma.

The committee

  • condemns the Myanmar military’s recent coup in the strongest of terms
  • demands that the outcome of the 2020 November election in Myanmar be recognized
  • calls for the releases of all civilian and political leaders detained in the coup
  • supports the actions of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) in Myanmar
  • urges UN Security Council to take stronger actions to restore democracy in Myanmar

We applaud and stand with the people of Myanmar in their civil disobedience movement and other nonviolent movements to express themselves peacefully. We are committed to protecting and restoring democracy in Burma. We will work with the overseas Burmese communities around the world to end the military rule in Myanmar.

We believe that a single action can make a difference in the community, and collective action can create positive changes.


 

Virtual Slam Poetry to Break Quarantine Monotony

In the midst of a coronavirus outbreak, Tri-Valley residents often feel trapped within their own homes, forced to confront the despair and the anxiety of a global pandemic on a day-to-day basis. Although citizens are separated by facial masks and closed doors, some residents are finding unique ways to bring the community together. Pleasanton’s Teen Poet Laureate Kanchan Naik is hosting the city’s very first virtual Poetry Slam, a safe way to spread love for creative writing. The slam is open to all teenagers from the Tri-Valley, including both middle and high school. Students may compete in two different categories: original, where they share poems that they’ve written; and interpretive, where students perform/interpret work from a poet of their choice. After submitting their work via a private youtube link, these submissions will be evaluated by judges from the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council, Tri-Valley Writers, and the City of Pleasanton. 

The event provides young poets a platform to express themselves and get inspired by other writers. They will also be joined by the event’s virtual Guest of Honor: Teen Esteem, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering students. A slam offers a sense of community identity that is painfully necessary during these difficult times, as teenagers get a chance to be vulnerable and reflective in their writing. As stated by the Teen Poet Laureate herself, “The point of the slam is to put your own personal touch on poetry. When I see a performance that really moves me, I can visibly feel the emotion and the power of the poet. I don’t honestly need to hear a poem that is flowery and intricate, but the rawness and sheer transparency in the words is what matters the most. ” 

Being cornered at home takes its mental and physiological toll, and the best way to fight back is to channel emotion through a creative outlet. For more information and registration details, click here! Spread the word among friends and family by sharing the flyer above via social media!

 

South Asian Literature & Art Festival: Oct 6-13

Montalvo Arts Center and Art Forum in collaboration with UC Berkeley Institute of South Asian Studies will debut a multi-disciplinary event in October 2019, as one of the largest South Asian Literary & Art Festival (SALA) in the US. 

South Asian Literature and Art Festival is one of the most contemporary reflections of the Literature & Arts from the sub-continent in the US and promises to transform the sylvan Montalvo grounds into a Megalopolis. 

Come and spend the day at Montalvo in Saratoga, California, the artist’s refuge, the artist’s atelier and the writer’s studio! And enter the South Asian Wonderland that revels in telling the stories that may find their roots on the banks of the 4000-year-old Indus River but are narrated in the twenty first century. Art that is taking the old soul of the subcontinent and is emerging with defiance, contemplation, and dignity in the modern times. 

The Montalvo grounds will create a fair-like atmosphere with bookstores and publisher, book-reading, children’s hands on craft activities, writing programs, food stalls, and art related exhibitors, there will be something for everyone and people of all ages. 

The festival will feature highly acclaimed contemporary Indian Art collection and this exhibit will be co-exist along with panel discussions that include Art, Literature, Poetry and Cinema. Plus, local, national and international authors and artists to speak in keynotes, on-panels, and on-stage presentations. 

The Art Walk at Montalvo will feature established artists from its diaspora: 

  • Rekha Roddwittiya, a contemporary and eminent artist whose name is synonymous with a very restrained, yet resounding gaze at feminism 
  • Priyanka Mathew from Sunderlande presents the exhibition Revelations: The Evolution of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art, featuring iconic works by Jamini Roy, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Krishen Khanna, Anjolie Ela Menon, Shobha Broota, G. R. Iranna, and more. Exhibition is opens from Oct 6th to 13th
  • Dipti Mathur renown art collector and a philanthropist from South Bay in conversation with Prof Sugata Ray from UC Berkeley 
  • Elaborate encounter Deepti Naval, a legendary actor, painter and a poet, in conversation with Prof Harsha Ram from UC Berkeley 
  • Revisiting Gandhi artist Shelly Jyoti unfurls her yards of hand spun cloth 

Writers Row at Montalvo will feature established writers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the USA: 

  • Vikram Chandra, Nayomi Munaweera, Minal Hajratwala and Shanthi Sekaran – established authors from the diaspora 
  • Vikramaditya Motwane – Director, Netflix original Sacred Game
  • Varun Grover – Scriptwriter, Netflix original Sacred Games 
  • Vikram Chandra – Author, Netflix original Sacred Games 
  • Raghu Karnad – fire side chat with journalist and the Yale Wyndham Campbell award recipient for Farthest Field in Montalvo 
  • Anurag Kashyap special event featuring highly acclaimed and award-winning director and scriptwriter is scheduled on October 18th
  • The emerging genre of “Children’s & Young Adult Writers” curated by KitaabWorld featuring the South Asian young adult writers, graphic novel writers and children’s Writers, is another festival high light. 

FESTIVAL CREDITS

The literature panels: Moazzam Sheikh

The Art Panels and Booths: Kiran Malhotra

The Content Coordination: Ambika Sahay, Mayuranki Almaula, Vikram Chandra

Presentation and Look: Dolly Parikh, Aloki Design Studio

Blog and Literary Creation: Vrushali Zulfikar

Media & Marketing: MUKTA Advertising, Canada 

Special event on Oct 18th at: Montalvo Art Center, 15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga CA, From 12 noon to 5 pm 

Follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @artforumsf #SALA2019 #artforumsf #SALAfestival www.artforumsf.org 

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Tarangini School of Kathak Dance Presents Parampara

It is my utmost privilege to present the all-time legend Pandit Birju Maharaj-ji with Ustad Zakir Hussain-ji for this very special event.

Twenty-five years ago, I had the blessings of Ali Akbar Khansaab first presenting me in the Bay Area in 1992 when I got married and moved here. That year, I started this school with the blessings of my guruji Padmavibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj. He himself coined the name “Tarangini School of Kathak Dance” and designed the logo. Since then, my students have also been privileged to get Maharaj-ji’s blessings and learn from him in workshops over the years. Today, it is such an honor to celebrate this legendary artist for his 80th birthday.

Parampara is a celebration of Maharaj-ji’s 80th birthday with a performance by the maestro himself, accompanied on tabla by Padmabhushan Ustad Zakir Hussain-ji. The event will showcase the lineage of Kalka Bindadin through five generations – his seniormost disciple Saswati Sen; his youngest son Deepak Maharaj and youngest daughter Mamta Maharaj; grandchildren Ragini Maharaj, Tribhuwan Maharaj, and Shinjini Kulkarni; as well as his legacy here through Tarangini dancers. Whatever Maharaj-ji presents with the legendary Ustad Zakir Hussain-ji will make the evening magical.

I have been blessed with a long relationship with Maharaj-ji and Didi (Saswati Sen). To me, Maharaj-ji is not just an artist – he is a profound human being. The world knows Maharaj-ji as a great artist, but I have also seen him for more than three decades as a student. I have never seen him express anger or raise his voice. Teaching is his passion. He has tremendous patience and keeps explaining the intricacies of the movements, always finding simple examples of day-to-day life to make it easy for us to understand. One would think that an artist of his caliber would only enjoy teaching experienced and mature dancers. But he actually comes down to the level of whatever age or experience level the students may have.

Maharaj-ji is also an acclaimed vocalist, expert percussionist, and painter; recently, he has also taken up writing poetry. From morning until night, during every waking hour, Maharaj-ji’s creative genius is always at work, always doing something constructive. His creativity emerges from things around him.

We are looking forward to you joining us to celebrate the great maestro.

 

 

Silicon Valley Forum’s 2018 Visionary Awards

On May 17th, 2018, Silicon Valley Forum’s annual Visionary Awards returns for its illustrious 21st year—four of Silicon Valley’s brightest stars and leading founders will take the stage in celebration of their achievements, work, and contributions to Silicon Valley’s renowned business and technology ecosystem. The Visionary Awards invite the Valley’s thriving community—from up-and-coming entrepreneurs to lifelong company leaders, from seasoned investors to service providers—to come together for this singularly inspiring evening. The 2018 Visionary Awards will be held at Domenico Winery in San Carlos, California.

The 2018 Visionary Award recipients are:

  • Kimberly Bryant– Founder and CEO, Black Girls Code; visionary entrepreneur and speaker
  • Caterina Fake– Cofounder, Flickr and Hunch; author, entrepreneur, and angel investor
  • Astro Teller– Entrepreneur, scientist, and author; Captain of Moonshots, X
  • Vivek Wadhwa– Author, entrepreneur, and Carnegie Mellon Fellow

“Every year at our annual Visionary Awards, we look forward to the opportunity to celebrate the absolute best of the best of Silicon Valley—the leaders whose work is synonymous with what makes this region so magnetic,” said Denyse Cardozo, Silicon Valley Forum CEO. “We’re proud to invite the Valley to join us this year as we celebrate the achievements of this extraordinary group.”

Tickets are available at the event page both individually and in tables of 8 for attendees who want to enjoy a shared client or team experience. The evening begins at 6 pm with a wine reception, followed by a seated dinner and speeches from each of the Visionary honorees. Cocktail attire is encouraged.

At Silicon Valley Forum, we believe in the transformative power of entrepreneurship. We’ve dedicated the last 35 years to helping people learn how to build a business the Silicon Valley way, with a focus on creativity and innovation, using technology to bring society towards a better future. Whether you’re trying to create a company here or build your own Silicon Valley at home, our events and our online portal light the way for you to learn and grow as a 21st century entrepreneur.

Throughout our 35-year history, we’ve created thousands of successful events, programs, and conferences that educate, train, inspire and connect technologists, entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, innovation and startup hubs, and students—in Silicon Valley, throughout the U.S., and globally. We organize over 70 different activities per year, have over 20,000 subscribers/users, and work with over 40 countries worldwide.

Our partners include global leaders like Accenture, IBM, Microsoft, Mercer, and SAP, just to name a few, as well as leading venture capital firms and service providers. Silicon Valley Forum is a fully independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

For more information, visit our website at http://www.siliconvalleyforum.com.

Vidhya Subramanian’s Still I Rise, a Premiere

Vidhya Subramanian, the acclaimed Bharatnatyam dancer, will premiere her latest piece “Still I Rise” in Palo Alto on May 18th, 2018.

Subramanian is part of the shining mecca of Indian classicalism here in the Bay, where a vastrange of artists and teachers are shaping Northern California’s arts culture, and producing an accomplished next generation of classical dancers and musicians.

She is also part of a rising movement of trans-national artists, spending half of the year in the Bay Area and the other half in Chennai.

“Still I Rise” is a dance-theatre piece. The title is inspired by Maya Angelou’s scintillating 1978 poem. Speckled with dance, spoken word, poetry, and music, in five languages, Subramanian’s piece gives voice to the controversial mythological figure of Draupadi.

“I will not be retelling her story,” says Subramanian, in describing her piece. Rather, this will be an attempt to “reshape” a mythological story and channel its deep relevance to our life and times today.

Subramanian’s performance style poses crucial questions towards the fight for gender justice. “I want to underline that nothing has changed since Draupadi”, she insists. “And, that she is not a forgotten myth, or worse, a myth placed on a pedestal, but is as current and relevant to today.”

“Still I Rise” will feature recorded music by Chennai-based composer Rajkumar Bharati, and a script co-written by Priya Das, creative director at Sangam Arts, and Vidhya herself. The evening will be presented by Narika, a non-for profit, Berkeley-based organization that actively works against domestic violence in the South Asian American community.

In collaborating with Narika, Subramanian felt a deep alignment with the organization’s mission and purposes. Last year alone, Narika advocates fielded over 1500 calls to their toll-free helpline, servicing the greater Bay Area. Research shows that 41% of South Asian women in America report experiencing domestic violence at least once in their lifetimes, compared to about 25% of women in the general United States population.

But beyond the statistics of the issue, Subramanian claims that it is the “individual stories” of domestic violence which are more haunting for her.

“There is a Draupadi in all of us,” notes Subramanian. With her work, she aims to appeal to every woman in the audience, to assure them that they are not alone in the fight for gender justice.

“Still I Rise” tackles a complex and rampant issue facing our communities through the medium of dance, music and poetry. The sound and music production has been done by Sai Shravanam, costuming by Sandhya Raman, and lighting design by Kaveri Seth.

“Still I Rise” presented by Narika at the Cubberley Theatre, Palo Alto on May 18th, 2018. Tickets $35 for General Admission and $50 for VIP. For tickets and information, please visit: https://narika.brownpapertickets.com/

 

South India Fine Arts: Spring 2018 Season

South India Fine Arts (SIFA), is the premier organization in San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and presentation of South Indian fine arts. SIFA is proud to present its Spring 2018 Season artists.

We started off the Spring 2018 Seasion in February by celebrating Saint Thyagaraja’s Aradhana. A lot of talented local Bay Area artists and Bay Area Music/Dance Schools presented their tribute by presenting various Kritis of Saint Thyagaraja. Check out our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/carnaticmusicbayarea/ for photos/videos from this program.

We kick off April with a concert by the dynamic duo – Dr. Krishnakumar and Smt. Binni Krishnakumar, followed by amellifluous Flute concert by Shri. Shashank Subramanyam.

In May, we have a blockbuster Vocal concert by one of the giants in Carnatic Music — the great Shri T. V. Sankaranarayan, followed by a scintillating performance by the dynamic duo – Shri Ganesh and Shri Kumaresh on the Violin.

In June, we present a grand Vocal concert by Shri Palghat Ramprasad, the grandson of the legendary Mridangam player Palghat Mani Iyer.

In July, we have a divine Harikatha / Music Discourse by Harikatha exponent, Shri. Dushyanth Sridhar. We have also planned for an enchanting evening with a Vocal concert by Kum. Pragathi Guruprasad, who was the runner-up in the third season of the reality-based singing competition Airtel Super Singer Junior.

SIFA is super excited to present the above line up of artists and hopes that all rasikas would attend and enjoy the above concerts. We also would like to remind that SIFA sponsors get FREE admission to most concerts.

Please signup for Sponsorship here: https://care.way.com/#/public/13492

For the latest Concert information, including artists information, venue, timing and other details, please check our website http://www.southindiafinearts.org.