About the organization
rasika is a dynamic nonprofit, organization, incorporated in the State of Oregon with federal exempt 501(c) (3) status. rasika was founded with a mission of promoting and educating Indian arts and culture in the state of Oregon. In addition to presenting premier Classical Carnatic music and dance concerts by celebrated artists of India, rasika ‘s goal is also to introduce Indian arts, crafts and culture, to the children through lectures, demonstrations by visiting artists, workshops and summer heritage camp. The distinguishing feature of this organization is its mission to reach out to the local community and bring both entertainment and education/outreach of the Indian arts and culture to the State of Oregon.
History of the organization (as of 2007)
rasika was founded and incorporated in the State of Oregon in April 1999. In additional to presenting premier Classical Music and Dance events by celebrated artists of India, rasika has chosen to bring the “educating Indian arts & culture” as its chief focus. rasika expanded its operation and started a chapter in Seattle in 2000 mirroring only the “concert” presentation and lecture demonstration series at Seattle, WA. Seattle chapter was hugely successful, and was much more financially successful than Portland, with Microsoft Foundation also providing funding support. This helped grow the organization from a $45k budget in 1999 to almost double the following year. In 2003, rasika undertook sponsoring artists on a national tour. rasika presented touring of some of the great classical artists from India which helped grow organization even further with gross approaching $200K. In 2004, with the national touring presentation on Gajamukha, rasika ’s financial picture peaked to $270k gross income, outpacing all Indo American cultural organizations in the US. Gajamukha, choreographed and directed by Portland Dancer Dr. Jayanthi Raman was presented in almost 35 cities at premier performing societies and cultural centers with NEFA grant. This event was presented at Arlene Schnitzer concert hall, PCPA for Portland audiences with critical acclaim. In 2004, rasika started presenting certain premier concerts in Dallas, TX. During the 2005-06 season, rasika conducted 3 premier tours including the hugely successful national tour of famous artist Mandolin U. Shrinivas. Over the past years, we have been fortunate to receive funding from various sources including RACC, OAC, Oregon Council for Humanities, Washington State Arts Commission, (WA), Cultural Development Authority of King County (WA), Microsoft Foundation, Westaf, NEFA and NEA. In fall 2006, rasika principals decided to take a sabbatical and therefore limited the presentations only in Portland and not at other cities or touring major artistic groups. Despite the many challenges faced by most organizations in a small city like Portland, with rising artists cost, theater rental, less funding, increasing travel cost and administrative expenses, rasika has been able to sustain due to the untiring effort of its volunteers especially devoting time to bring artists on national tours which help to sustain their concerts in Portland. We hope to get continued funding support from the regional and national organizations as well as our members to pursue our dream of presenting culturally diverse performing art events to our audience.
Mission and Goals
rasika presents concerts by India’s recognized and internationally acclaimed performing artists, as well as younger artists of exceptional talent. rasika promotes local talented artists and teachers through summer camp ‘Gurukulam’ and presenting them along with visiting artists.
- Promote Classical Indian Music, Dance, and Culture in the state of Oregon.
- Present high quality Indian concerts by leading artists: music and dance events.
- Support upcoming talented artists of India arts
- Encourage local musicians/dancers and performing arts enthusiasts in the community to collaborate on projects with visiting artists/teachers.
- Facilitate education/outreach of the Indian arts through lectures and demonstrations by leading visiting master artists.
- Organize music and dance workshops, and summer camps with a focus on introducing the various aspects of Indian culture to all interested children.
- Teach children of Indian origin the value of their Indian heritage and culture and also educate local children about India, through educational camps.
- Provide a cultural bridge between India and the US.