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    India Foundation for the Arts

    Map Academy

    Articles are written collaboratively by the EIA editors. More information on our team, their individual bios, and our approach to writing can be found on our About pages. We also welcome feedback and all articles include a bibliography (see below).

    A Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation that funds art practitioners and researchers in India, the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) was registered in 1993. The IFA launched their grants program in 1995 and has financially supported over 600 projects, mostly concerning under-represented socio-cultural issues and marginalised communities, while also fostering public engagement with the arts. The IFA is funded through donations by patrons including Jamshyd Godrej, Abhishek Poddar, Rashmi Poddar and Rahul Bajaj. Over the years, several institutions such as the Tata Trusts, Goethe-Institut, the Rockefeller Foundation and Citibank India have also provided funding for the foundation. Gieve Patel was commissioned by the IFA Board of Trustees to create their logo and he created it using the upper right section of his painting Water Tank at Nargol: Boy Bathing Buffaloes.

    Grants given by the IFA are divided into five programme categories: Arts Research, for projects that study the history of the arts in India, especially those that involve Indian languages other than English; Arts Practice, for practitioners from any field in the arts working on novel projects; Arts Education, for supporting projects that involve teaching art forms in government schools, creating awareness of Indian art history, or building resources for public art education; Archives and Museums, which facilitates the study of museum collections and archives related to the arts, encouraging public engagement with such institutions and the art practices that revolve around them; Project 560, a series of annual grants given to artists, scholars and performers in Bengaluru for art projects that engage with public space in the city; and Strategic Management for the Art of Theatre (SMART), a collaboration with Junoon and India Theatre Forum that funds arts management training for theatre practitioners in India. The IFA periodically reviews and restructures its programmes over time following the changing trends in the arts, public discourse and donations. Project 560 underwent some modifications between 2016 and 2018, as did the Archives and Museums programme in 2018 and then in 2020 in light of COVID-19. Artists and researchers that have received support through IFA’s grants include Desire Machine Collective, Annapurna Garimella and Rosalyn D’Mello.

    In early 2017 under its executive director Arundhati Ghosh, IFA began the process of archiving various projects it has supported. This was made possible through a four-year grant of one crore rupees from the Lohia Foundation. So far, the IFA archive consists of projects funded between 2006 and 2015 and while the full archive is stored at the IFA’s physical headquarters in Bengaluru, a large portion of it has been digitised and is available to the public.


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