New multi-arts festival looks at turning Goa into artistic hub of India

New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) A new multi-arts festival with a focus on community building, local impact and raising awareness about social issues, is all set to be added to Goa's cultural calendar.

The inaugural edition of The Goa Open Arts festival will be held from February 13-16, 2020.

The organising committee of the Goa Open Arts festival includes photographer Prashant Panjiar, co-founder of People Tree Collective Gurpreet Sidhu, visual artist Gopika Chowfla, artist Diptej Vernekar and curator Sitara Chowfla.

Organisers said the festival will contribute towards establishing Goa, which hosts several arts and music festivals round the year, as an artistic hub of India.

'Goa has a large pool of resident creative talent - artists, musicians, photographers, designers, writers, chefs. This includes people who are native to Goa, as well as those from other parts of India and around the world who have chosen to make Goa their home.

'The vision of this new initiative is to invigorate and connect this Goa-based community with the belief that cross-pollination of ideas will catalyse new creativity, and that a creatively engaged population benefits society at large,' they said in a statement.

The 'artist-driven' festival will be an all-inclusive platform and will see participation by first-time artistes as well as established art practitioners.

Some of them include eminent Goan artist Walter D'Souza, visual artist Nandita Kumar, photographer Bharat Sikka, chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar, the Travelling Library Project, Alakananda Nag, Orijit Sen, Nikhil Chopra, Sonia Shirsat, Adrien Roche, Ayesha Seth, and Bharath Ramamrutham.

Among the emerging names are Shilpa Mayenkar, Rujuta Rao, Mustafa Khanbhai, Dheer Kaku, Bhisaji Gadekar, Rajendra Mardolkar, Okedo & King Prawns, Nishant Saldanha and others.

Alongside the primary visual arts exhibition, the festival will feature performing arts events including dance and music, spoken word and poetry, a series of panel discussions featuring prominent Goan voices, and a selection of artisanal Goan eateries. The four-day event will also host a parallel program of activities highlighting issues of sustainability and environmental impact, which will be addressed through specially commissioned artworks, programs with children from the local community, as well as public talks.

The festival will be held at Don Joao Lawns & Heritage House in Calangute. PTI TRS MAHMAH