4th Annual Eye on India Festival to Kick Off 6/5

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4th Annual Eye on India Festival to Kick Off 6/5

The Eye on India festival, a unique and colorful extravaganza of Indian culture, returns to Chicago June 5 - 29, 2014. The fourth annual festival honors the wealth of India's cultural heritage by showcasing the best of traditional and contemporary Indian art, literature, theater, film, music and dance. Programs will take place throughout the city and suburbs in venues including the Field Museum, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Chicago Temple, Chicago Cultural Center, Reva and David Logan Center at the University of Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music, Evanston S.P.A.C.E. and the Chicago Park District.

The Eye on India Festival 2014 opens on Thursday, June 5, with a gala event at Open Secrets Studio, 401 N. Racine, Chicago. The full schedule of events that follows includes a South Asian community event at the Field Museum, author conversations at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, a fashion exhibit at Willis Tower, music performances by Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project at the Chicago Temple and a theatrical production of "Hamlet - The Clown Prince" featuring leading Indian theater personalities at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago.

Programming is subject to change. For more information about the annual Eye on India festival and programming updates, visit www.eyeonindia.com.

Many events are free. For the ticketed events, tickets may be purchased by visiting www.eyeonindia.com or by calling 630-886-0817 beginning early April, unless otherwise noted below.

Current Schedule of Events
Thursday, June 5, 6:30 - 9 p.m.
Opening Gala
Open Secrets Studio, 401 N. Racine Ave.
Tickets $125 in advance at www.eyeonindia.com or $150 at the door
The opening gala kicks off the festival with appearances by Natya Dance Theater, musical performance by Zeshan Begewadi and Zamin and contemporary artwork from Veranda8 gallery. A special fashion show will feature designs by Muzaffar Ali, jewelry by Ritu Boorgu's Charisma India collection, which will be shown on fashions by Maria Pinto, and the five finalists of the Sew Sari Fashion Design Competition, in which Columbia College Chicago students were each given a sari from which to create an original garment.

June 7 - 13
Eye on India Fashion Week
The first annual Sew Sari Fashion Design Competition gives saris to Columbia College Chicago student from which they create an original garment. Sixty students participated in this year's competition, and the winner will receive an internship with Maria Pinto at her new company MP2057.

June 5 - 29
Columbia College Chicago Fashion Showcase
Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Dr.
Free
A public showcase of designs by Columbia College Chicago students, including designs from the Sew Sari Fashion Design Competition.

June 6 - 29
Columbia College Chicago Fashion Showcase
Columbia College Chicago, 618 S. Michigan Ave. & 33 E. Congress Pkwy.
Free
A public showcase of designs by Columbia College Chicago students, including designs from the Sew Sari Fashion Design Competition.

Saturday & Sunday, June 7-8, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Eye on Innovation: Creative Entrepreneur's Weekend
Open Secrets Studio, 401 N. Racine Ave.
$10/day Tickets available at www.eyeonindia.com or 630-886-0817
A two-day series of talks, interactive sessions and panel discussions in a showcase of innovative South Asian entrepreneurs working in the Chicagoland area. Participants include Raaja Nemani of Bucketfeet, Rajiv Nathan of Idea Lemon, Nihal Advani of Georama, Jay Savsani of Meal Sharing and Nisha Sutaria of The Campaign for Better Banking, among others.

Saturday, June 7, 8 p.m.
Film Screening of "Patang" & Indoor Picnic
Open Secrets Studio, 401 N. Racine Ave.
$20 Tickets available at www.eyeonindia.com or 630-886-0817
An indoor picnic and screening of the acclaimed film "Patang," followed by a fireside chat with director and Chicago native Prashant Bhargava. "Patang", which means kite-flying in Hindi, weaves the story of six people during India's largest kite festival in the old city of Ahmedabad. Bring your own blankets and chairs. Refreshments will be available for sale or bring your own.

Tuesday, June 10, 11:30 am
Curry and Conversation: A Photographer's Journey with Susan Aurinko
Jaipur Restaurant, 847 W. Randolph St.
$25 Tickets available at www.eyeonindia.com or 630-886-0817
An intimate lunch and conversation with award-winning photographer Susan Aurinko moderated by Veranda8 curator Monica Badlani. Aurinko will discuss her photograph series "Still Point, India" which toured India in 2011, among her other work that currently hang in France, Italy, Monaco, the United Kingdom and across the United States. Space for this event is limited.

Saturday, June 14, 1 p.m.
Film Screening of "Umrao Jaan"
Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington St.
Free Event
Directed by Muzaffar Ali, this award-winning 1981 Bollywood classic is set in Northern India in 1840. Known for its lavish traditional costumes and beautifully sung ghazals (a poetry form similar to the Petrarchan sonnets), the film follows the life of young Umrao Jaan, a young woman trained in the skills of a courtesan to gain the attention of wealthy men.

Sunday, June 15, Sunset
Night Out in the Parks: "Patang" film screening and kite flying
Midway Plaisance Park, 1130 Midway Plaisance North
Free Event
The Chicago Park District hosts this outdoor film screening of "Patang," the award-winning film by Chicago native director Prashant Bhargava. "Patang", which means kite-flying in Hindi, weaves the story of six people during India's largest kite festival in the old city of Ahmedabad. The evening will be accompanied by kite-flying in the park. For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Tuesday, June 17, 6 p.m.
Saag Your Paneer and Gulab Your Jamun: An Evening with Prashant and Ranjana Bhargava
Private Residence to be announced
$35 Tickets available at www.eyeonindia.com or 630-886-0817 in advance only
Acclaimed filmmaker Prashant Bhargava will present a private screening of his unreleased documentary film "Ammaji", profiling his grandmother. His mother Ranjana, an expert and teacher of Indian cuisine, will then give a demonstration of vegetarian Indian cooking. Space for this event is limited.

Wednesday, June 18, 5:30 p.m.
"The Idea of India: Imagination, Attachment and Diaspora"
Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Free Event
Experts, immigrants and artists will reflect on their experiences and present related artifacts in this event co-presented with the Field Museum, the Indo-American Heritage Museum, South Asian American Policy & Research Institute and the Smithsonian Museums.

Thursday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.
Music: Saxophone Sisters
Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Rd., Lemont
$25 Tickets available at www.eyeonindia.com or 630-886-0817
Saxophone-playing sisters Lavanya and Subbalaxmi may have inherited music ability from their very talented family, but their personal performance journey took a twist when they picked up saxophones at the age of 15. Now certified by the Limca Book of Records as the only women saxophonists in India, they have performed more than 5,000 concerts in 17 countries with their eclectic musical repertoire covering Canatic, Hindustani, Western and jazz music.

Saturday, June 21, 1 - 5 p.m.
Author Conversations: "Words on Water"
The Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan Ave.
$15 Tickets at Columbia College Chicago, www.colum.edu/Dance_Center/ or 312-369-8330
"Words on Water" presents a series of author conversations with three prestigious Indians - Rana Dasupta, Ravi Venkatesan, and Indira Freitas Johnson - discussing current topics related to arts and literature. Rana Dasupta is a British Indian novelist and essayist, whose book "Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi" is a haunting nonfiction account of the city gripped by an intoxicating mix of ambition, money, power and rage. Ravi Venkatesan is the former chairman of Microsoft India and the author of "Conquering Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere," where he offers advice to multinational companies looking for success in emerging markets. Finally, Indira Johnson, one of Chicago Magazine's 2013 Chicagoans of the Year, will lead a discussion of art and activism with a panel of Columbia College Chicago faculty and members of the Chicago art community. Johnson has been at the forefront of the Ten Thousand Ripples Public Art and Peace Initiative, which works to show the power of the arts as a catalyst for social change.

Sunday, June 22, Sunset
Night Out in the Parks: "Patang" film screening and kite flying
Revere Park, 2509 W. Irving Park Rd.
Free Event
The Chicago Park District hosts this outdoor film screening of "Patang," the award-winning film by Chicago native director Prashant Bhargava. "Patang", which means kite-flying in Hindi, weaves the story of six people during India's largest kite festival in the old city of Ahmedabad. The evening will be accompanied by kite-flying in the park. For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Sunday, June 22, 7 p.m.
Chicago, The Cultural Crossroads: An Evening of World Jazz with Fareed Haque and the Saxophone Sisters
Evanston S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston
Fareed Haque, named "Best World Guitarist" by Guitar Magazine in 2009, is steeped in classical and jazz traditions. Born to a Pakinstani father and a Chilean mother, he was exposed to an eclectic variety of world music that continues to inform his music to this day. Saxophone-playing sisters Lavanya and Subbalaxmi may have inherited music ability from their very talented family, but their personal performance journey took a twist when they picked up saxophones at the age of 15. Now certified by the Limca Book of Records as the only women saxophonists in India, they have performed more than 5,000 concerts in 17 countries with their eclectic musical repertoire covering Canatic, Hindustani, Western and jazz music.

Tuesday, June 24, 6:30 p.m.
Documentary Screening of "Unbroken Glass" with filmmaker Dinesh Sabu
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St.
Free Event
In partnership with Kartemquin Films and SAAPRI, Eye on India shines on light on the often misunderstood, scorned and taboo topic of mental health in the South Asian community. Documentary filmmaker Dinesh Sabu, in conversation with health experts, will reflect on how he and his siblings have pieced together and understood the mental illness in his family. This is a free event, but donations will be accepted.

Wednesday, June 25 12 p.m.
Music Performance by Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project
Hamdard Center, 1542 W. Devon Ave.
Free Event
The Hamdard Center present this afternoon of spiritual and folk music by Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project.

Wednesday, June 25, 8 p.m.
Music Performance by Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.
Free Event
World Music Wednesday presents an evening of spiritual and folk music by Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project.

Thursday, June 26, 5:30 p.m.
Music: Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project
Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St.
Tickets available at www.eyeonindia.com or 630-886-0817
Proving that many expressions of "Hallelujah" can exist in harmony, the Sufi Gospel Project finds the common language of faith in music. Traditional western gospel melds with Indian classical sounds, while Indian spiritual texts find their counterparts in Western poetry to create a sound that touches every soul. Presented in this special venue, the Chicago Temple in downtown Chicago, this event is a ticketed event for $15.

Friday & Saturday, June 27-28, 6:30 p.m.
Theater: "Hamlet - The Clown Prince"
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan Ave.
Tickets available at Columbia College Chicago, www.colum.edu/Dance_Center/ or 312-369-8330
To be or not to be...a clown? Actor and filmmaker Rajat Kapoor, best known to international audiences for his portrayal as uncle Tej Puri in Mira Nair's "Monsoon Wedding," has directed this comedy about a group of clowns putting on a production of Shakespeare's famous tragedy. The clowns, stymied by misinterpreted text and mishaps, find their own meaning within this great piece of literature. Tickets are $30.

Sunday, June 29, Sunset
Night Out in the Parks: "Patang" film screening and kite flying
Paschen Park, 1932 W. Lunt Ave.
Free Event
The Chicago Park District hosts this outdoor film screening of "Patang," the award-winning film by Chicago native director Prashant Bhargava. "Patang", which means kite-flying in Hindi, weaves the story of six people during India's largest kite festival in the old city of Ahmedabad. The evening will be accompanied by kite-flying in the park. For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.

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