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South Asia’s biggest interdisciplinary art festival brings together a diverse array of creative energies and dynamic programming

Once Upon A Time, Curated By Mayuri Upadhya for the Serendipity Arts Festival 2019.

Spanning across disciplines of the Performing, Visual, Culinary and Performance Arts and Craft, Serendipity Arts Festival 2023 is a showcase of India’s multifaceted cultural heritage that will unfold through captivating projects, immersive experiences, engaging workshops and interactive programmes. The 6th physical edition of the Festival, scheduled between the 15th to 23rd of December 2023 in Panjim, Goa, features over 150 events, incredible works of more than 300 artists, 10 curators and over 15 special curators. 

Anchored with the mandate of making art accessible to everyone, the programming of the nine-day inter-disciplinary festival rests on the pillars of creating an environment of engagement, participation and amplifying local interaction, with a key focus on supporting artists and creative expressions from the South Asian region. Over the years, the Festival has built a strong foundation for commissioning artistic creations across disciplines. In the 2023 edition, there are around 15 commissioned works that will explore diverse practices and artistic creations through a different lens.

Curatorial Framework

The curation line-up of the 6th physical edition brings together a diverse set of individuals. Sandeep Kumar Sangaru and Anjana Somany are curating the Craft section on Craft. Quasar Thakore Padamsee, who curated last year’s theatre section of the festival, is helming the Theatre segment that will showcase an eclectic selection of plays. Food is an indispensable aspect of the festival, and for this edition, Chef Thomas Zacharias and The Locavore Team, will take visitors through a gastronomical journey that ties people and cultures. Bickram Ghosh along with Ricky Kej are curating the Music section with a wide range of concerts covering diverse genres. Geeta Chandran and Mayuri Upadhya have curated classical, experimental, and contemporary dance performances and workshops. The Visual Arts curators for this edition are Veeranganakumari Solanki and Vidya Shivadas.

The 2023 edition also features a set of special curators including Zubin Balaporia (Music), Elizabeth Yorke & Anusha Murthy with Edible Issues, who be the special curators for culinary arts, while Bhagyashree Patwardhan is returning to curate a project around local Goan design practices. 

Serendipity Arts Festival’s endeavour has always been to make the arts – in all its forms – accessible to all while ensuring the programming informs and engages the audience in a meaningful manner. Spread across multiple venues, important cultural spaces such as the Old GMC Complex, the Art Park, Azad Maidan, Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir ESG Complex, and Nagalli Hills Ground, among others, will be home to creative stimulation.  This is the 8th edition of the festival, of which two were digitally presented in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

“This year, a key emphasis is on giving South Asian artists a platform to amplify their voices and to create a community where young minds can engage, ideate, and co-create. Also, inclusivity and sustainability have been at the heart of previous editions, the 2023 festival has independent and collaborative projects that highlight these features,” says Sunil Kant Munjal, the Founder and Patron of the Serendipity Arts Foundation.

Speaking about the upcoming edition, Ms. Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation & Festival said, “The festival’s core philosophy is rooted in the belief of making art accessible and a part of people’s life. Each year, our programming is structured around exploring new ways of engagement, amplifying young voices, engaging with local culture, revisiting history and presenting it with a new perspective.”

Collaborative Approach

The Festival will also continue to be a celebration of community with region-specific projects, as well as workshops for people with special needs, and a dedicated segment with children’s programmes. The festival is an amalgamation of creative collaborations with cultural institutions and cultural departments of foreign embassies. The 2023 edition has several project and institutional partners, such as Institut Français (India), the British Council, Boxout, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, Sampad, Paper Boat Collective, Japan Foundation, Art South Asia Project, JCB Literature Foundation and more. 

Since its inception, the festival has established itself as a platform for creative exchange across the artistic spectrum. Being an engagement-driven, public arts outreach initiative, the festival focuses on bringing together traditional and contemporary, multidisciplinary arts practices, through dynamic programming, consisting of projects curated by a line-up of eminent curators and long-term collaborators. With each edition, the festival has been exploring disruptive programming, collaborations and special projects that reflect the sociocultural dynamics of South Asia’s changing landscape.

The official hashtag for the 6th Serendipity Arts Festival is #CometogetheratSAF, as a sign of celebration and sharing of a vision that has been widely supported. This is the 8th edition of the festival, of which two were digitally hosted in the years 2020 and 2021, respectively.

To know more about the festival and register for free, please visit www.serendipityartsfestival.com

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