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Get set for an explosion of art & culture in accessible forms at the Serendipity Arts Festival

December 15, 2018

The historic and iconic Adil Shah Palace in Panaji, is host to the prestigious Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) .

From 15 to 22 December, art lovers will be treated to a range of crafts and visual arts displays as well as workshops that aim to make art accessible for people with disabilities as well as build awareness about cultural inclusion.

This is India's first multi-disciplinary arts festival and is a long-term project that aims to create positive change across the arts in India. The SAF is an initiative of the Serendipity Arts Foundation, founded in 2016 by Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotorCorp.

We have looked at inter-disciplinarily as one of the themes for this festival. The second these is inclusivity. This is a very, very accessible festival. There are no tickets, so everyone is more than welcome to attend every event. It is also physically accessible with wheelchair access; sign language experts present everywhere as well as many important pieces done in Braille format. - Sunil Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotorCorp

The last two festival editions saw great interest from the artists' community across India, with over 1,300 artists creating significant works, many of them in accessible formats. Over four lakh visitors attended the previous two festivals.

This year too, over 1,500 artists are likely to present works that will honour and celebrate the culture of the host state, Goa. Senses 3.0 is an event that specifically focuses on workshops for people with disabilities that includes sensitizing people without disabilities as well.

"This year it is actually even more diverse", says Siddhant Shah, Founder, Access For All, who uses unique, creative ways to make culture, art and history accessible to people with disabilities.

"From tactile prints of Raja Ravi Verma, to photographs, posters to wooden articles from the Museum of Christian Art. There are inclusive art workshops focusing on Goa. We are doing a session on stick puppet-making based on characters from Goa", says Shah.

There are 19 tactile artworks on display at the SAF this year and a wide range of workshops that will make art accessible for children of various age groups. "We attempt to engage and involve as many young people as possible", said Mr Munjal, "because this is a legacy we have got and we have to pass it on. Every day we will get kids and take them on curated walks through the festival".

Festival Director Smriti Rajgarhia hopes this year's festival will engage diverse audiences. "Our vision is to create a strong foundation for arts development across the disciplines and we hope that the rich diversity of events this will inspire diverse audiences from across the country to visit Goa this December."

From blindfold workshops for people, to community focused projects, the festival comes on the 175th anniversary of Panaji, an important moment in the state's history.

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