$250,000 will support establishment of an annual multicultural festival in San Jose and year-round programming
San Jose, Feb 11, 2020: Sangam Arts, a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen American communities through multicultural arts, today announced that it has received $250,000 in funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The funding will power Sangam’s Mosaic Silicon Valley initiative that curates and commissions collaborative performances between artists of different traditions at venues throughout the community. Specifically, the grant will enable the establishment of an annual multicultural arts festival in San Jose.
Since its launch, Mosaic has worked with more than 150 artists locally practicing artistic disciplines from 30 traditions, connecting thousands of community members at 15 venues across Silicon Valley.
“Sangam Arts brings a unique and inclusive vision for arts in San Jose that embraces all artistic traditions and works to cultivate a robust arts ecosystem. We’re proud to support Sangam Arts’ vision and work to help the arts thrive in the community,” said Priya Sircar, Knight Foundation director for arts.
The need for such initiatives is highlighted by research published in May 2019 by UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute that found the Bay Area is more segregated now than in 1970. Significant portions of the population live along racially dominant boundaries, creating silos. This cuts off residents, artists and funders from each other.
The timing of Knight Foundation’s support is particularly important, since San Jose is experiencing rapid growth that comes at the cost of alienating its residents from each other. Corporate campuses appear to be walled off, artists face an increasingly tough battle to sustain their arts; the population at large lives, eats, and plays along racial divisions. Knight Foundation’s funding is part of a recently announced major investment in four San Jose arts organizations.
“Rapid demographic changes have significantly changed the arts landscape in Silicon Valley. We are now home to dozens of vibrant artistic traditions that are being practiced in cultural silos by independent artists and small organizations working hard to reach an increasingly fragmented audience. Mosaic commissions diverse artists to collaborate on new intercultural works and presents them at accessible community venues such as libraries and museums.
We are grateful to Knight for having recognized that this model has the potential to build community in rapidly diversifying regions,” says Usha Srinivasan, founder and president of Sangam Arts.
“We believe that visibility paves the way for inclusion and a sense of belonging comes with appreciative acknowledgement. The arts are a beautiful and meaningful way to include complete communities; not just at a specific point in time, but continually. Thanks to the Knight grant, we are able to do this year-round and welcome everyone from around the world to the annual Mosaic Festival,” says Priya Das, Co-founder of Mosaic Silicon Valley and Creative Director.
About Mosaic Silicon Valley
Mosaic Silicon Valley aims to help create sustainable revenue streams for its artists while bringing innovative multicultural performances to community settings. At any “Mosaic” one can expect to see multiple cultures harmoniously calling and responding to one another. To participate or experience a Mosaic near you, please visit https://sangamarts.org/.
About Sangam Arts
Founded in 2013, Sangam Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides an innovative platform for artists from diverse backgrounds to come together to collaborate and co-create world-class music and dance performances. Using a wide range of cultural and artistic expressions from Folklorico and Tap to Kathak and Hula, our presentations are carefully curated to that help us see our common humanity while allowing us to celebrate the traits that make us unique. Sangam Arts unique approach and reputation for quality programming have helped us gain support grantors and foundations such as Office of Cultural Affairs, City of San Jose, SVCreates and Knight Foundation. For more, visit sangamarts.org.