Portland’s Inaugural South Asian American Arts Festival will be an all-ages, multi-cultural celebration that showcases and highlights South Asian arts and artists living and working in America.

Poets, musicians, storytellers, dancers, and multimedia artists will present performances, demonstrations, and workshops. The Festival will also host community conversations and panel discussions on topics of social justice, the immigrant life, cross-cultural community and friendship, and youth initiatives.

Curated and Presented by Subashini Ganesan and New Expressive Works

Funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Arts Equity Grant

Space, Subsidized Staffing, and Technical Support donated by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

Events are free unless noted. To buy tickets for individual events, please visit the links listed below. A festival pass is available for all ticketed events with exception to the opening night dinner.

Thursday, March 8th:
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Embodied Inquiry Workshop by Neera Malhotra (PSU) – FREE
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunchtime Panel on South Asians in local and global Social Justice and Activism. Confirmed Panelists Shweta Mooorthy, Muzammil Afzal – FREE
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Art Workshops (Youth Friendly) – FREE
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM: OPENING EVENING AND DINNER ($20, not included in Festival Pass)

Friday, March 9th:
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Intercultural conversations workshop with Pireeni Sundaralingam – FREE
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunchtime panel with artists who have installed visual work in the space (Aruni Dharmakirthi, Sabina Haque, and more TBD) – FREE
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Nepali dance workshop with Prajwal Vajracharya – FREE
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM: “MUTHALAND” by Minita Gandhi ($15 ticket)
9:30 PM onwards: DJ Anjali dance party ($15 ticket)

Saturday, March 10th:
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Panel Discussion on Teaching and Performing South Indian Dance forms in current day America. Moderator: Smt. Vasanti Jayaswal and Panelists Mini Jairaj, Yashaswini Raghuram, Sweta Ravisankar – FREE
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunchtime performance – South Asian youth dances and multi-generational folk dances – FREE
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Offsite at Multnomah County Library
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Family Friendly Dandiya Dance Party ($10 tickets for adults; FREE for all kids and youth under 18 years)
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM: Open Mic with community participation ($10 tickets)
9:30 PM – Late: Dandiya Dance party ($15 ticket)

Sunday, March 11th:
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunchtime Presentation moderated by Priya Kapoor. Presented by Dr. Geetanjali Joshi – FREE
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: “The Fusion Project” presents Indian/Jazz Fusion concert and Community Jam Session – FREE
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM: Excerpt of “This ember state (inside)” by Samita Sinha ($15 Tickets)
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM: Closing Ceremony – FREE

Art Installations throughout the program:
- Chitra Ganesh’s Superhero series – an all-ages interactive installation and space.
- Kolam/Rangoli Community Installation by Portland Community Artists
- Multi-media Installation by Sabina Haque
- Textile and media installation by Aruni Dharmakriti

Presenters and Artists include:
Smt. Vasanti Jayaswal (Petaluma, CA)
Samita Sinha (NYC)
Pireeni Sundaralingam (San Francisco)
Aruni Dharmakrithi (PDX/NYC)
Minita Gandhi (Chicago, IL)
Sabina Haque (PDX)
Prajwal Vajracharya (PDX)
Dr. Priya Kapoor (PDX)
Dr. Neera Malhotra (PDX)
DJ Anjali (PDX)
Kolam/Rangoli installation by PDX Community Artists

Community Partners include:
Multnomah County Library
Young Audiences of Oregon
Muslim Educational Trust
Young Gifted and Brown

Portland Art Museum