On December 15th, 2019, one of our all time favourite festivals comes to town. Inaugurated in 2016, the Serendipity Arts Festival is gearing up for its fourth annual edition and we could not be more pleased to share in the experience.
Taking place across 8 days and with 100+ events throughout the capital city of Panaji, SAF is a multidisciplinary event like none other before in India. One of the largest of its kind in the South Asian region, attendees can look forward to daily exhibitions, performances, workshops, artists talks & conferences encompassing everything from the visual arts, dance, music, craft, culinary arts, theatre, film, photography & more.
Because let's be honest - art is never just one thing, it's everything!
As a designer & art enthusiast myself, I can only begin to describe the joy this festival has given me. Having moved to Panjim in 2012, I can still recall the countless hours spent roaming the streets in those first few months soaking everything in. I was utterly enthralled by its charm and the endless character of brightly painted but often faded & dilapidated buildings. Lost in thought, I would imagine how each empty, forgotten space could be filled and marvel at the incredible potential this little riverside city held.
Friends of course questioned my choice of setting up in Panjim rather than one of Goa's popular beach towns. Wondering why I would bother with such a city wherein many of them had not spent more than a half hour in transit between bus station & their next destination. I'd visited many beaches & cities around the world but something about Panjim made me feel it was a place I could really live. A city that was both inspiring creatively & professionally. All it was missing was a few more artsy cafes, a good wine bar....
Fast forward to 2017 after being away from India for nearly 2 years, I was back in Goa and eager to see what this Serendipity Arts festival was all about. I'd been told of its introduction in my absence but really didn't know what to expect. Staying in the south at the time, I took a day trip up to Panjim and honestly could not believe the city I found. There it was, alive with art & reclaimed public spaces just as I had always imagined. But not with the festive Carnival kind of vibe that often ensues upon every large event in Goa. Rather a real international level art festival vibe with real thought provoking contemporary art and people milling all throughout the city to view exhibitions that filled all sorts of spaces I had never explored before. The Adil Shah Palace, PWD building and even under the Patto Bridge, all places I had walked past a hundred times but never stepped into were now open to the public as galleries & special event spaces.
It suddenly became very clear that while I had been daydreaming, others had already been hard at work.
Registration to the Serendipity Arts Festival is FREE and open to ALL!
And with 100+ projects, 14 curators & 1500 artists, the one thing that's for sure about this festival is that there is something for everyone.
Not to mention that the festival is spread out across a 1.8km stretch of the city making the act of going from one event or exhibitions to the next an adventure in itself. For each of their 12 venues have been "strategically chosen for their historical value, natural settings and affinity towards the arts". Allowing the audience to uncover many of Panjim's most historic and otherwise inaccessible locations. An element of the festival which is almost as fun as discovering the artworks themselves. So if it is your first time to Panjim, this is one tour you don't want to miss. As for those more familiar with the city, it will enable you to see it in a whole other way.
Plus, in order to ensure you get the most of your festival experience and cut down on unnecessary printouts, they've even developed their own #SAFapp available for download from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store now!
The 2019 line-up of curators includes:
Craft: Pramod KG, Kristine Michael
Music: Aneesh Pradhan and Sneha Khanwalkar
Theatre: Atul Kumar and Arundhati Nag
Dance: Leela Samson and Mayuri Upadhya
Culinary Arts: Rahul Akerkar and Prahlad Sukhtankar
Visual Arts: Dr. Jyotindra Jain and Sudarshan Shetty
Photography: Rahaab Allana and Ravi Agarwal.
Additionally, there will be several Special Projects curated by Nancy Adajania, Anurupa Roy, HH Art Spaces, St+art India Foundation, Aradhana Seth and Vidya Shivadas, among others.
You can find a full list of SAF's curator bios by discipline here
Event schedule here & full list of venues & their locations over here
About the Serendipity Arts Foundation
"Committed to innovation and creativity, the aim of the Foundation is to support practice and research in the arts, as well as to promote sustainability and education in the field through a range of cultural and collaborative initiatives."
Founded in 2014 by Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, the Foundation also hosts projects through the year, which include institutional partnerships with artists and art organizations, educational initiatives, grants and outreach programmes across India.
The Serendipity Arts Festival
December 15th - 22nd, 2019 - Panaji, Goa
Register for free at https://www.serendipityartsfestival.com/registrations