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Mandala South Asian Performing Arts Announces New Home on Chicago's Devon Avenue

Mandala will use this space for community classes, open rehearsals, and special programs. Among the first activities will be the Mandala Makers Festival.

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts Announces New Home on Chicago's Devon Avenue

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, which connects audiences and students with the vibrancy, flavors, and colors of the performing arts traditions of South Asia, has announced that, effective June 1, the organization is establishing a new home at 2642 W. Devon Avenue in Chicago's "Little India" community. Executive Artistic Director Pranita Nayar made the announcement at a gathering at the new space on Thursday, May 19.

Nayar said, "Since its inception in 2014, Mandala has successfully engaged Chicagoland audiences in the rich diversity of South Asian performing arts traditions through professional performances, artistic education, and community engagement. Still, we cherished our deep connection to the community of artists, students, and audiences of Devon, where Mandala has steadily increased programming during the last several years. Having established its place as a force in the Chicago arts scene, Mandala Arts is committed to supporting and empowering the South Asian diasporic community and representing its traditions, identities, and practices. Finally, with the opening of this space, we can call Devon home, both in our hearts and in our organizational roots."

Among those in attendance at the announcement were 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez, 50th Ward Alderwoman Debra Silverstein, Mandala Board President Dr. Umang Patel and Paragi Patel, officials from the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Rogers Park Business Alliance, and senior officers from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and the John. D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Mandala will use this space for community classes, open rehearsals, and special programs. Among the first activities will be the Mandala Makers Festival, which runs June 16-26 indoors and outdoors in the Devon Avenue community. The Festival showcases performance disciplines including music, dance, drag, storytelling, community-devised work, and interdisciplinary creations-all responding to specific cultures, art forms, and perspectives from South Asian traditions. All Festival events are free. For more information, visit makersfestival.mandalaarts.org.

Nayar continued, "This 15-block stretch is more than a street-it is a community, a home, a cultural heritage corridor. As I look around, I know that I am in the company of those who value this place for all that it is and all that it can be. By revitalizing the arts and supporting artists of Devon, Mandala strives to be a catalyst of positive change. As director, I speak on behalf of Mandala when I say that we join this historic space in solidarity and partnership with many of you here tonight who are already committed to serving the community of Devon."

For more information about classes and other activities, visit mandalaarts.org.

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts

Mandala connects audiences and students with the vibrancy, flavors, and colors of the performing arts traditions of South Asia, offering powerful engagement with unique and expert dancers, musicians, storytellers, artists, and educators whose origins reach from the Himalayan ranges to the Indian Ocean, from Persia to Indonesia. Mandala's ensemble dancers and musicians, teaching artists, and artistic collaborators and outreach partners bring folk and classical traditions, as well as current and hybrid innovations, to life. Mandala promotes cultural awareness and exchange through entertainment and education.

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts is supported by The Richard Driehaus Foundation, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Shalaka Kulkarni's residency is supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For more information, visit mandalaarts.org.




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