Serendipity Arts Festival announces the curators’ line-up for the 2024 edition

New Delhi (India), April 6: South Asia’s largest interdisciplinary cultural event – Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) 2024 – has announced the curatorial line-up for the ninth edition of the festival which is scheduled in Panaji from December 15 to December 22, 2024. The eclectic set of curators is tasked with the mandate of investigating the possibilities of marrying varied art forms together, pushing their creative boundaries and bringing inclusivity and diversity to the heart of their curatorial ideation. 

In addition to this, the SAF aims to build a robust ecosystem by focusing more on working with local communities and integrating accessibility to various aspects of the Festival. There is also focus on developing dedicated programming for artists across disciplines to meet and build long-term relationships and unique partnerships that strengthen and nurture the arts ecosystem collectively. One of the main highlights of the 2024 edition would be the launch of an AI Lab – that will act as an incubation centre for artists using technology and regenerative art as a tool to develop a new art language. Moreover, the Festival will also add a few new venues that promise to enhance the experience of engaging and viewing art.

SAF is arguably the world’s first interdisciplinary festival that spans across the performing, visual and culinary arts, and craft. This year, the panel of distinguished curators presents some familiar names along with new additions, who become part of its all-encompassing and growing repository of creative minds. Except for Culinary Arts, two curators have been selected for each discipline and all of them will work with the focus to have a “larger impact” on communities and societies through their projects. It will be the ninth edition of the festival, of which two were digitally hosted in the years 2020 and 2021, respectively.

The curators for the Visual Arts section this year are Veeranganakumari Solanki and artist duo Thukral & Tagra. While this is Solanki’s third time stint as the curator of this section, the New-Delhi based artist duo who are known for exploring socio-economic landscape through the lens of experiential activities and public engagement will be making their debut as Festival’s curators. 

Revered globally for his dexterity on the table and being one of the pioneers of experimental fusion music, Bickram Ghosh is back as the curator of the Music section along with Zubin Balaporia, who curated 3 special projects – Celebration, Indus Creed and an Evening of Serendipity with Zakir Hussain – in the 2023 edition. 

Helming the Theatre section are – Quasar Thakore Padamsee and Sankar Venkateswaran. Padamsee has curated two previous theatre editions whereas Venkateswaran was part of Theatre at Home section of the Festival’s 2018 edition. Culinary Arts has been an integral part of the Festival and is often seen as a playground for interactive workshops and engagement. This year, Elizabeth Yorke and Anusha Murthy of Edible Issues will be bringing their knowledge in sustainable food systems to her curatorial framework. They have previously been associated with the Festival in its 2022 and 2023 editions. 

Sandeep Sangaru and Kristine Michael will be curating the Craft section of the Festival. Sangaru will be continuing his exploration on sustainability, this time with a focus on Ladakh, whereas Michael, will be looking at ceramics and glass as an area focus. Padma Shri recipient Geeta Chandran along with Jayachandran Palazhy of Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts will be curating the Dance section. Lastly, writer, poet and disability campaigner Salil Chaturvedi will be exploring and identifying the ways to improve Accessibility at the Festival.

“We welcome the 2024 curators on board to co-create and explore the possibilities of investigating how varied forms of art can come together. The Festival offers them absolute support to push their creative boundaries and showcase projects they might have always wanted to develop but never found support. At Serendipity, we believe art holds immense power to have an impact on how people behave and think. And through inventive programming and curation we can initiate conversations that may have a larger impact on people,” said Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, the Founder Patron of the Serendipity Arts Foundation.

Along with this, Serendipity Arts, a non-profit for the development of arts and culture in the country and the South Asian region, has also announced its series of annual grants that are aimed at supporting young, emerging and distinct voices from diverse disciplines to strengthen and nurture the cultural ecosystem of South Asia.

Serendipity Arts is offering nine grants in research and practice ranging in disciplines with a broader aim of using the arts as a means to impact education, social initiatives, and community development programmes, while exploring interdisciplinarity between the arts to better understand the shared histories of the subcontinent.

These grants are: Public Art Grant, Independent Music Production Grant, Enduring Traditions Grants, Handmade Heritage Grant, Craft Design and Development Grant, Folk Arts Mentorship Grant, Arts Journalism Grant, Food Matters Grant, and Serendipity Arles Grant 2023 -24. An Open Call for most of these grants will be announced on social media.

Besides, the Foundation’s staple residency Serendipity Arts Residency, initiatives and partnerships like British Council x Serendipity Arts: City as Stage, Moving Library, RCA x SAF Senior Artist Residency, B-Side, Serendipity Out and About, and writing initiatives Write | Art | Connect and Projects/ Processes 2024 have also been announced. Additionally, SAF will also be launching the Delhi edition of Serendipity Arts Festival in October. 

“We are excited about having a year-long programming, grants and initiatives calendar in 2024 to nurture creative spaces for artists across disciplines to meet, engage and develop projects that are interdisciplinary in nature and form. Additionally, the focus of the Festival as well as the Foundation this year is to build long-term partnerships and forge unique engagements with all stakeholders for fostering a sustainable, vibrant, and inclusive arts ecosystem,” said Ms. Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation & Festival.

About Serendipity Arts

Serendipity Arts is an arts and cultural development foundation created to encourage and support the arts as a significant contributor to civil society. It aims to promote new creative strategies, artistic interventions, and cultural partnerships that are responsive and seek to address the social, cultural, and environmental milieu of South Asia.

Committed to innovation, SA intends to promote and create platforms for creativity, providing the wider public with a unique source of contemporary art and culture. SAF’s programmes are designed and initiated through collaborations with partners across a multitude of fields, and each intervention uses the arts to impact education, create social initiatives, foster community development, and explore multidisciplinarity forays in the arts, with a special focus on South Asia.

About Serendipity Arts Festival

The Foundation’s primary initiative and largest project, Serendipity Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts event held annually every December in Goa. Curated by a panel of eminent artists and institutional figures, the Festival is a long-term cultural project that hopes to instigate positive change across the arts in India on a large scale. Spanning the visual, performing and culinary arts, the Festival’s programming includes music, dance, visual arts, craft, photography, film, and theatre. The Festival addresses pressing social issues such as arts education and pedagogy, cultural patronage, interdisciplinary discourse, and access to the arts. Serendipity Arts Festival’s intensive programme of exhibitions and performances is energised by spaces for social and educational Engagement. It will be the ninth edition of the festival, of which two were digitally hosted in the years 2020 and 2021, respectively.

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