30 Artists from Over 10 Nationalities Convene in Chennai for the Arts for Good Forum held by Singapore International Foundation

The Arts for Good Forum, an international collaboration between the  Singapore International Foundation and NalandaWay Foundation, was held  in Chennai at the Stella Maris College. The forum brought together a  dynamic group of educators, arts practitioners and programmers.  Individuals working with the arts and youth exchanged ideas and shared  best practices to create positive social change in diverse communities.  

An engaging panel discussion was conducted on the topic ‘Empowering  Youth through the Arts’ to an audience of nearly 100 members of the public.  The panel was moderated by Sriram Ayer, SIF Arts for Good  (Fellow) and CEO & Founder of the award-winning NGO, Nalandaway  Foundation.  He shared, “In a world that is increasingly threatened by  growing nationalism, it is imperative for artists to play the role of  peacemakers, connectors and negotiators. The Singapore International  Foundation’s efforts to bring together a diverse group of practitioners,  programmers, educators, researchers, and policymakers through the Arts  for Good Fellowship programme is helping to build an ‘Arts for Good’  ecosystem that is much needed at present.” 

The forum marks the end of the four – day Chennai Exchange Programme of the Arts for Good Fellowship organised by the SIF. Over the four days, 30 SIF  Arts for Good fellows from 10 nationalities only gained insights into the  arts for good scene in Chennai and but also carried out several arts- based collaborative projects. One of these projects saw SIF Arts for Good  Fellows from Singapore, India, and UK collaborate to create a mural in a  high school in Thiruvanmiyur. They co-created the mural with over 100  students from the high school. Portraying dreams, hope, faith, and  creativity, the mural was completed over two days. 

Another collaborative project was the infusion of a Tamil folk song with  Malay dance movements for the students of a weekly Art Lab lessons  conducted by the NalandaWay Foundation. Singaporean Muhammad  Noramin Bin Mohamed Farid, SIF Arts for Good Fellow and Joint Artistic  Director, Bhumi Collective led this effort with music educator Manjula  Ponnapalli. 

He shared, “From my collaborative experience here in Chennai, especially  as an artist working with communities which is not my own, I still found  openness amongst the students to take in what we were trying to  communicate and learn alongside us. This is proof that there is possibility  for intercultural exchange through artistic means. Although this is a very  small example, this is something which can be replicated can be seen in  other ways, through other artistic exchange and collaborations.”  

Author: nammamadrasnews

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