News & Updates

Supporting through sponsorships and welfare activities

Associating with Bangalore LitFest

November 9th - 10th, 2019

The Bangalore LitFest is one of the biggest and talked about art and culture events in the city and the Foundation is honoured to be associated with the Bangalore Literature Festival. The 8th edition was held between November 9-10. SGMF is delighted to be one of the Friends of BLF, which according to the organizers is “a group of individuals who firmly believe that the city comes alive in its public spaces, in its arts and culture events that foster meaningful dialogue, enriching discussions and healthy debates; a group whose support has laid the foundation for an independent, community-funded literary event that the city of Bangalore can be proud of and can claim as 'nammadu'.”

Multi-cultural women’s arts festival

November 2nd - 3rd, 2019

The Foundation is happy to partner with Under the Raintree’s multi-arts women’s cultural festival on Nov 2-3 at the Bangalore International Centre. This festival is a registered partner with the UN partnership for SDGs.

The Foundation is always keen to partner with different genre of artists. Events included dance, music, theatre under Performances; literature, STEM, wellness and leadership under Talks besides having art display, workshops, screenings et al.

Aligning with India Foundation for the Arts

October 30th - November 1st 2019

The Foundation is proud to support Past Forward - Celebrating Critical Practices, a three-day festival organized by the India Foundation for the Arts. The Festival will have a series of Panel Discussions, Exhibitions, Film Screenings and Performance showcasing over 40 art and culture projects from October 30, 31 and November 1 at the Bangalore International Centre.

SGMF’s support of the IFA festival aligns with its principles of promoting art and culture and artists. The IFA runs the national grant making initiative - the Arts Practice programme - which encourages arts practitioners working across various disciplines to question and critique existing norms, break boundaries and imagine new possibilities in their work. The programme seeks to encourage risk taking adventures and experimentations in the various art forms and make new work.

Over 60 artists from across the country and various disciplines will present 40 projects by way of performances, films, workshops, panels, and exhibitions/ installations. They are being presented around six broad themes: interrogating the past, confluence of art forms, engaging communities, making meaning of myths, thinking audiences and imagining the future.

Mandodari comes alive with grandeur

October 23rd, 2019

In tune with its aim of promoting art and culture, SGMF organised an exclusive, and unique Monodrama by performance artist Anjana Chandak at gallery g on October 23.

It was in perfect sync with the festive season and with traditional activities taking centre stage, Gitanjali Maini conceptualised the monodrama “Aaj Bhi Mandodari” with Anjana. It not only brought to fore tradition and mythology, it also threw new light on Mandodari’s character, whose position as the silent, suffering wife of Ravan is grossly misunderstood and underplayed.

Anjana’s performance which lasted almost an hour held the audience spellbound and given that they from the older generation, it was a masterclass in itself.

The gallery g premises bedecked with flowers and other ornate arrangements looked spectacular as Saranya Gogineni’s Aara Design turned it into a breath taking venue. Saranya and her team worked seamlessly and her creativity left the invitees gushing in praise.

After Gitanjali welcomed the gathering, touching base on the Foundation’s diverse outreach programs, it was the perfect platform for Anjana to showcase her show.

For the next 50 minutes, Anjana with her immaculate voice modulation and portrayal of Mandodari’s character kept the visitors glued to their seats. Switching between Mandodari and Manda, the new-age form of the character that she has scripted, Anjana’s performance drew high praise.

Sandeep Maini then thanked the special gathering for the turnout and briefly highlighted the Foundation’s programs and endeavours. As he succinctly put it, Aaj Bhi Mandodari turned out to be all-woman show, comprising five talented women in their fields. Conceptualised by Gitanjali, performed by Anjana, the decoration by Saranya, catering by Sunita Mankani’s Sanchez and execution by Archana Shenoy, it proved to be a memorable evening that would remain in the visitors’ minds long after leaving the venue.

Enthralling Art Forms in association with gallery g

October 13th - November 3rd 2019

The Foundation is proud to partner with gallery g for Timeless Traditions, a collection of Lakshmi Krishnamurthy's spectacular Indian art of different genres in her very first showing in the city.

It includes works done in Thanjavur, Madhubani, Kerala Mural, Pata Chitra, Lepakshi, Fresco besides several other styles.

Partnering with Stree Jagruti Samiti

October 12th 2019

The Foundation partnered with Stree Jagruti Samiti, an organization that stands up and fights for the most vulnerable.

Stree Jagruti Samiti has been working specifically with domestic workers in issues dealing with domestic violence, sexual abuse, workplace harassment and domestic workers’ rights.

On the occasion, SGMF honoured 15 domestic workers from SJS with shawls.

Stree Jagruti Samiti, co-founded by Geeta Mohan a women’s rights activist, in the 80s, has gone on to become the voice of toiling and marginalized women while fighting for the identity and dignity of domestic workers.

The event was held on October 12 at Freedom Park, Bengaluru.

Supporting Sajnani’s Crossing to Talikota

October 2nd to 6th, 2019

Keeping in tune with the Foundation’s ideals of supporting art and artists, of different genre and in different mediums, SGMF supports Crossing to Talikota, a world premiere performance of the late Girish Karnad’s English play by well-known theatre personality Arjun Sajnani. Sajnani is a dear friend of the Founders and their association goes back several years. Sajnani had supported Gitanjali Mani at the opening of gallery g back in 2003, by performing Karnad’s play Tughlaq, 16 years ago at the gallery inaugural. Continuing their association, SGMF is honoured to support Sajnani’s and the late Girish Karnad’s collaboration. It is significant and poignant given that it is Karnad’s final play before he passed away in June this year and also the fact that it marks the return of Sajnani to theatre after a sabbatical. The play will open on October 2 at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall followed by five other shows on October 3, 4, 5, 6 & 20.

Sudhir shines ‘light’ on photo artists

September 7th, 2019

The Foundation conducted its second outreach program for the Mallaah series, an exhibition by well-known photo-artist Shibu Arakkal.

It wasn’t just another event, on the contrary, this outreach; a special talk by award-winning photographer Sudhir Ramchandran was unique in several aspects. Supporting and commissioning an artist is one thing, to promote and spread awareness of the work amongst a different cross-section of the society is entirely another.

This is where SGMF deviates from the established norms, breaking down barriers and bringing the artist closer to the general public, discerning or otherwise. Now, photography is something that is inherent in all of us, or so we believe. Aim, shoot, click, and use all the editing software up for grabs and lo and behold, we believe we can produce the most telling photographs. How untrue! Or if only life was that simple!

Truth be told, photo artists don’t always get the recognition or appreciation as artists of other genre. Painters usually take the limelight and this is exactly why SGMF opted to bring in someone of the caliber of Sudhir to throw light, no pun intended, on the ‘art of photography’.

Being involved in photography for more than four decades, Sudhir is widely respected as a visual strategist and brand photographer. Having closely followed Shibu’s works over the years, who better than Sudhir to talk about his style and delineation of the Mallaah series?

Founder and Managing Trustee Gitanjali Maini set the stage for the show, welcoming the select gathering, specially invited by Geetanjali Nagappa, before going on to reveal the Foundation’s purpose in commissioning Shibu for the Mallaah series. “As an end result, the (Kumbh) project as we visualized it and hoped for, has done the expected… Introducing a small part of India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage to an audience like myself, who perhaps never knew this community existed even,” said Gitanjali Maini.

Shibu then took the audience through a photo-artist’s journey, detailing the differences in depth and technicality of photographers and photo-artists. It was the cue for Sudhir, who took centrestage with his 45-year passion for the medium.

Having seen changes over the years and sublimely evolving with it, Sudhir connected supremely with the audience talking about his experiences in the field and as a brand strategist. The attentive audience lapped up every word and when Sudhir opened himself to an interaction, they came up with several interesting questions all of which Sudhir answered through an interactive slide show.

The audience was varied and discerning and SGMF even had a special visitor from Pune, Mrs. Urmila Rau Lal, the great grand daughter of Sir Tanjavur Madhava Row, one of the finest administrators of our country in the early 20th century. At 88, Urmila Rau is sprightly with a sharp bent of mind, is a medical biologist by profession, has worked as a Research Assistant at the Rockefeller Foundation as well as at the Virus Research Centre which is now the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Artistic community in thrall of Mallaah

August 11th, 2019

It was a great launch for the SGMF-commissioned Mallaah series by award-winning photographer Shibu Arakkal on August 11.

A project that is close to the hearts of the Founders and the ideals of the Foundation – to help preserve India’s intangible heritage – the photography series showcases one of the most talked about and well-chronicled events in Indian history: the Kumbh Mela.

Yet, that’s where the Foundation differs from the norm, and exactly why someone of the caliber of Shibu was chosen for the project. With Shibu what you see is not what you get, it’s how he perceives. Travelling to the Ardh Kumbh at Prayagraj earlier this year, Shibu captured the untold story of the Kumbh, the lesser-known facet of the humungous event, which captures and captivates not just our countrymen, but visitors from all over the globe.

It’s phenomenal; yet, Shibu has managed to unravel a mystery that’s been waiting to be revealed. The Mallaah are the boatmen who are intrinsically connected to the Kumbh, plying visitors and pilgrim’s day in and day out to the holy bathing site. They are a community that’s forever entwined with the Kumbh, but in the same context, they are seldom talked about.

There’s also the fear that they are a fast-vanishing community; the tricks and nuances of the trade having been passed on from generation to generation, from father to son there is this overwhelming fear - to those in the knowhow – that a day may come when the younger generation may move from the boats into the big, wide world.

What happens then? What happens to the Kumbh without these Mallaah? True, there is still time for that but for now we can be in a state of flux as the Mallaahs, so brilliantly captured by Shibu – from the wizened old ones in the trade to the innocent, young ones with hope in their eyes and hearts.

This is the fascinating story that Shibu has captured in the exclusive single-edition photography series.

The evening was well-attended one with artists from different genre making their way to the exclusive preview of the show. Senior artists and photographers like Milind Nayak, Sudhir Ramachandran, Gurudas Shenoy, and Waseem Khan had high praise for Shibu’s storyline and technical expertise.

Sandeep Maini welcomed the gathering and touched base on how the Foundation, the brainchild of Gitanjali Maini, endeavours to promote art and culture and how projects such as these are fulfilling. The founders were also highly appreciative of the artistic community that turned out in good numbers, giving the artist and thereby the Foundation the conviction and belief to pursue and execute projects of varied nature to preserve our country’s rich and intangible heritage.

RANGASHANKARA Theatre festival for children

July 14th-20th, 2019

Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation is proud to support the RANGASHANKARA theatre festival for children to be held between 14th and 20th July 2019 at Rangashankara.

Three Bestsellers In A Row

July 4th, 2019

Author Manu Pillai launched his 3rd book titled 'The Courtesan, The Mahatma and The Italian Brahmin: Tales from Indian History' on 4th July 2019, at gallery g. The event that was hosted by Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation (who supported the author in publishing his second book 'Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji') saw a packed house with an audience of more than 175 people in attendance.

The author was in conversation with novelist Anita Nair from Bangalore and Lakshmi Pratury, Founder of INKTalks. After reading a short excerpt from his book Manu took the audience through various instances and incidents from history that have featured in his stories.

There was much excitement in the audience as they peppered the author with questions ranging from history to politics and then some.

Supporting Art at the Florence Biennale

April 10th, 2019

Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation will support Bangalore-based artist Sangeeta Abhay for her participation in the upcoming XII Florence Biennale, to be held between 18 and 27 October 2019 at Florence, Italy. The Biennale, one of the most prestigious art events held in Europe, draws much participation from Indian artists. This year Sangeeta Abhay plans to display one work of art, based on The Buddha and his message of Peace, at the Biennale.

"Sangeeta has always thought differently and has strived to create a niche for herself in the world of art. She puts her heart and soul into her work, and it reflects clearly in the work she creates. I personally lover her style, her eye for detail and her penchant for perfection. It speaks highly of her integrity as an artist. The Foundation is very happy to support her for the Florence Biennale and we look forward to seeing her special creation that she has planned for display there," said Gitanjali Maini, Founder.

Gallery of Cultural Legacy of Raja Ravi Varma

April 2019

Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation has formally adopted the Gallery of Cultural Legacy of Raja Ravi Varma at Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village, Manipal. The museum, which houses the chromolithographic press equipment that was salvaged by Sri Vijayanath Shenoy from the Ravi Varma Press in Malavli, also has a collection of original chromist-made prints from the press, along with litho stones that were used in the printing press.

Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village is one of most well-maintained private museums in the country and the Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation is proud to have partnered with them to preserve this heritage gem.

The Lives of Freda

March 19th, 2019

The Foundation supported the Bangalore launch of 'The Lives of Freda', a biography of Freda Bedi, written by Andrew Whitehead.

The author was introduced by Ranga Bedi, the older son of Freda Bedi to the audience who went on to ask the author several questions about his experiences while writing the book. The eminently readable book by Andrew Whitehead brings alive the multifaceted personality of Freda and the many lives she could pack into a span of 66 years. Interestingly, the author bears some similarity with his subject.

Both were born in Britain and married into India, which they made their home. Whitehead was the BBC’s India correspondent and his rich journalistic background shows in the crisp style and tenor of the writing.

Innovation in Education — The New Responsibilities of Teachers

February 2019

Sandeep and Gitanjali Maini Foundation was proud to be associated with the Centre for Cultural Resources Training, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, in the 445th Orientation Course for ‘in-service teachers’ in Bengaluru in February.

The 17-day long Orientation Program at the District Institute of Education and Training witnessed a sizeable participation from elementary and primary school teachers from across the country.

CEO TS Prasad gave an interesting talk on Innovation in Education — The New Responsibilities of Teachers. Given the current scenario and the changing dynamics of society which is moving at a fast pace there is an intense need for teachers to embrace the new-age philosophy with the children’s technological quotient being at an all-time high.

His talk centred around the fact that classroom teaching is no more a passive learning scenario and children being inquisitive in nature have to be dealt with a different approach.

The primary stakeholders, he felt were the institutions and he also urged the need to revisit the policy, curriculum to help both the educators and the students. Educators need to keep the instructions simple and provide real-time examples with graphics. Honing language and computer skills for the educators are necessary to keep up with the demands of the society.

“Innovation is not always expensive or larger-than-life initiative; on the contrary, the essence lies in creating maximum value from minimal investment of scarce resources,” said Prasad.

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