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i Believe #ArtMatters – By artistes for artistes

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For just between Rs.100/- to Rs. 2000/- you can contribute to alleviate the plight of our artists and artisans reeling under the impact of the pandemic. It’s a small amount to pay for those who have enriched our lives with their talent and expertise. And in return, for 5 hours next Sunday, you will be mesmerised by the who’s who of India’s cultural landscape – 450 artists to be precise! This is i Believe, an event by artistes for artistes, with music, theatre, dance, poetry and comedy. This massive fundraising gala is brought to you by Teamwork to raise funds for their inspiring initiative #Art Matters. Theatre Ink caught up with their team to find out more.

What prompted Teamwork to start #Art Matters?

In the words of our Managing Director, Sanjoy K. Roy, “Artists and artisans across India have been impacted directly by COVID 19 which has led to a loss of work and income. #ArtMatters grew out of a need to focus attention on the plight of this vast sector which spans the Ragis in the Gurdawaras and the Bauls of Bengal to the Kathak and Bharatnatyam dancers, to those who weave magnificent temple and Banarasi Saris, to the toy makers and theatre actors, stage designers, stage hands and more. iBelieve #ArtMatters creates a platform for the arts to resonate and enrich our lives and raise much needed resources to support the artistes, artisans and their families.”

How easy or difficult has it been to raise awareness and donations, especially since money is so tight right now?

It’s been difficult and continues to be so. Two of our earlier initiatives in the areas of visual arts Fables of the Earth, a virtual exhibition of Indian Indigenous art and a collaboration of Kathak dance by Aditi Mangaldas and Sanjay Garg from Raw Mango  have been encouraging .

Could you share with us the impact that #Art Matters has had on artists lives so far?

With multiple partnerships we have provided funds for basic rations to over 280 families comprising of approximately 3340 artistes thus far.

Internationally there has been huge support for artists from their governments and arts councils? How do you feel we as an arts community can convince our government that art does matter, that it contributes to the nation’s economy and must be supported?

The attempt is on! Creating awareness of the plight of artistes and artisans is part of our advocacy campaign and Sanjoy Roy, our MD, has been part of policy groups in government to address these issues.

iBelieve is a huge event to put together…especially in such trying times. How difficult has it been to get this incredible line up together?

You’d be surprised at how the arts community immediately offered to participate in any way possible to make this fundraiser by artistes for artistes a success. There was absolutely no resistance. In fact every artiste was willing to help us by creating performance videos – shout outs for social media – anything to help put the word out.

Can you tell the readers a little more about the show and what they should expect? Will the artists on the show performing live?

This is a pre-recorded show and will be broadcast on Oct 4th, 5 pm onwards. The gala will witness some new and exciting collaborations. Here are just a few –

Eminent music director, composer and singer Shekhar Ravjiani and the internationally acclaimed choir group, Shillong Chamber Choir, along with the multi-talented screenplay writer, story writer, lyricist and film director, Anvita Duttare are collaborating for the first time on a brand-new composition for the fundraiser.

Trayam, a music ensemble made up of classical musicians B. C. Manjunath, Praveen D. Rao and Varijashree Venugopal, will debut their track, 23, in collaboration with acclaimed musician, Pramath Kiran, on our virtual stage. Individually and as a collective, the trio of Trayam have won numerous awards and have recorded with a range of musicians.

Legendary Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer and philanthropist, A. R. Rahman will perform with The Sunshine Orchestra, a symphony orchestra spearheaded by the A.R Rahman Foundation, which is dedicated to life skill development of children from economically underserved sections of the society through music education.

The “Paganini of Indian classical music”, Dr. L. Subramaniam and the much-loved and feted playback singer, Kavita Krishnamurthi, will also come together for a special collaboration, and appeal to the masses to donate and support the arts community.

The Grammy award-winning percussionist, Pandit Vikku Vinayakram, along with his exceptionally talented sons, V. Selvaganesh and V. Umashankar, and grandson Swaminathan will showcase their musical prowess with a breathtaking performance as 3G. 3G is a celebration of Indian classical music with deep roots in Indian culture in which three generations of a gifted family perform together as a testimony to their unmatched musical dedication. V. Selvaganesh will also collaborate with ace percussionist Sivamani.

What do you think the impact of the pandemic will be on the arts community as a whole (as we still have a long way to go before this is over) and how do you see initiatives like #Art Matters helping the community get back on its feet when this ends?

We are in no position to predict the impact of the pandemic on any aspect of life at the moment. We do know this is for the long haul and it is our belief that with all our collective energies we can only attempt to help in any way possible.

#ArtMatters is a platform that is working towards creating awareness about the current reality of various artistes across India and developing support channels for them. We will continue to find ways and partners for initiatives where we can help artistes and artisans.

Tickets for the show are available on https://in.bookmyshow.com/events/i-believe-artmatters-a-fundraising-gala/ET00139201

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