The JSW Foundation believes in the beguiling power of art, and is attentive to the need of preserving the timeless cultural heritage of our country. Creating a platform to restore pride in our cultural heritage and promoting dialogue in contemporary and performing arts is an extension of the overall collective thrust that the Foundation lays on all its endeavours.
Promotion of Traditional Folk Music
JSW Foundation has taken up the cause of conservation of Rajasthani folk music led by Manganiar and Langa community. The main objective of the intervention is to provide platform to the present set of musicians and take the music form to the new generation. Through this a comprehensive music training module has been developed and training is imparted by experienced music teachers. The Foundation is also associated with "Sarwar Lok Kala Sansthan" from Dedadiyar Village, Barmer. The organization is completely dedicated for the music; more than thirty international folk artists are associated with this organization. So far, 40 local Manganiar children have been trained through seven days residential workshop. The residential training also covers Wadhava, Dyodha, Bhavan and Sortha singing style which is unique in itself which are rare and disappearing from the community. The training module includes both vocal and instrumental training. Vocal training guides the students in basic knowledge of raga, swar, laya, alaap and taal. This module will help them practice folk songs, sufi songs and bhajans. The instrumental training sessions covers technical acquaintance to the instruments, laya, jugalbandi, swar milap etc.With the objective to utilize the potential of Konkan coastline, in terms of capitalizing the tourism and giving momentum to local small businesses relying on it, Foundation did an inaugural sand art structure made by an internationally acclaimed sand artist Mr Sudarshan Pattanak at Ganpatipule, at a prominent tourist destination. The three day exhibition was in coordination with MTDC and local grampachyats.
Restoration of the Krishna temple
A UNESCO World Heritage site at Hampi, Karnataka, a national treasure, the temple was built under the royal patronage of the Vijayanagar Empire in 111 Century AD. Under the aegis of the JSW Foundation, world-renowned restorers undertook the painstaking work of restoring the complex, and their tiring works have saved the temple from further deterioration. The efforts has earned the Foundation Conservation Award from UNESCO.
The Foundation has brought out two publications. One, on the Sloth Bears of the Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Bellary and second, on the selected poems of the Chilean Nobel Laureate, Gabriella Mistral.
The Foundation has been a front runner in disseminating critical ideas about contemporary art and initiating dialogue in contemporary culture. This has been achieved through Art India, India’s premier art magazine. Over the last fifteen years, the magazine has been responsible for the promotion of a critical discourse around diverse art forms and disciplines. The magazine has won several national awards for printing and content and is recognized internationally as the most important independent voice on contemporary art from India.
Art India Breakthrough Artist Award
The award aims to encourage fresh talent across India. Launched in 2005, the rigorous screening process makes this award a much-coveted prize in the art world.
Jindal Art Center (JAC)
The Foundation’s cultural wing JAC was formed by Chairperson Sangita Jindal, in 1994. The centre functions as an independent body under the National Centre for the Performing Arts. It provides a platform to promote social change using art and culture. Most JAC events are free of charge to enable people to attend and get awareness about pressing social issues. Film screenings, workshops, beautification of public spaces and public discussions and debates are some of JAC’s main activities.
The Foundation also partners with the Indian Foundation for the promotion of Arts and participates in Mumbai’s famous cultural event - the Kala Ghoda Festival.
Promotion of books
The Foundation uses the publishing space to promote important books that help trigger social change. Iit recently commissioned ‘Daroji: An Ecological Destination’ by Samad Kottur, Vijay Mohan Raj and Ganesh H Shankar. The book details the unique story of how a sloth bear sanctuary near Vijayanagar, Karnataka, has been given a new lease of life because of the million trees planted by JSW Steel plant in its vicinity. The Foundation also released an English version of the compilation of poetry by Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. Published in 2011, the writing of Gabriela Mistral was translated by well-known writer Ursula KLe Guin and illustrated by students of Jindal Vidya Mandir schools in Maharashtra and Karnataka. It has has also published a set of six books for children on climate change in association with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
The Foundation has set up Kaladham (Art Village) on a 10-acre plot within the JSW Township at Vijayanagar, 25km from the Hampi World Heritage Site. It is an art and culture precinct that includes major buildings, dance and performance pavilions, and artists’ studios. It is on its way to become a major hub for art, and is expected to draw in both international tourists and the domestic art enthusiast, who will benefit from the exposure it offers to different genres of art.
The Kaladham also exhibits the Museum called Place Hampi, a unique interactive exhibition of 3D panoramas, initially conceived by Museum Victoria, Australia. It has now been permanently installed at the Kaladham Museum to promote the art and culture of Hampi and the surrounding areas.
The objective behind developing Kaladham is to reach out to artists across the world and provide them with a platform to showcase their unique talent. In the words of Foundation’s Chairperson, Sangita Jindal, the aim is "to make Kaladham a point of reference for the World Heritage Site, to highlight the roots and history of Hampi and the artisans that created it, bringing excellence and creativity worldwide".