“You are making a huge difference in your community - through your work, through your insight and through your natural generosity.”
- Juliette Carrillo (Director)
ArtWallah's mission is to empower voices of the South Asian diaspora by creating a platform through which new and established artists can express the expanding frontiers of South Asian culture, politics and identity through their art.
Founded in 1998 by a group of artists and activists, ArtWallah was an annual festival that expressed the multidimensionality of the South Asian diasporic experience through music, dance, theater, literature, film, the visual arts, spoken word, comedy, and workshops.
In 2018, Sheetal Gandhi directed and curated "ArtWallah LA: THRIVE". The festival was presented on June 1st & 2nd at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA. The two-evening performance showcased the work of dance-theater artists Danish Bhandara, Sheetal Gandhi, Lionel Popkin, Richa Shukla, Shalini Bathina, Reshama Damle, poet Aruni Wijesinghe, theatre artist and stand-up comedian Jimy Shah, music and multi-media artist Paul Livingstone and The SoulForce Project, Rajib Karmakar, Sheila Govindarajan, and bands Elephants with Guns, The Musical Doc, Rusty Rickshaw, and more!
ArtWallah also showcased the work of talented South Asian artists Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed, Adnan Hussain and Sona Shah in Highways’ Gallery and featured a special Saturday daytime workshop called “KidWallah”, with Desi Family Fun and the Dancing Storytellers.
Many of ArtWallah’s initial founders are thriving artists in California and at large... and all of them have a deep and profound adoration for what ArtWallah once was and what it can be again. Check out artwallahla.com for more info and stay tuned for the next event!
As a part of the festival, ArtWallah presented a special Saturday daytime workshop called “KidWallah”, with Desi Family Fun and the Dancing Storytellers. Kids and their families joined in a multi-disciplinary arts experience with hands-on art making, live performance, and dancing. Kidwallah 2018 featured a sneak preview of "The 'Summ' of All Things," a new performance by the Dancing Storytellers illuminating cycles in nature through contemporary South Asian dance, music and stories. KidWallah offered visual art activities by Bollynatyam, music with Robin Sukhadia, and a guided dance party!