Mandala Makers Festival is a celebration of artistic perspectives in the South Asian diaspora. In its fourth year, the festival has established itself as an annual platform for multidisciplinary performing artists identifying with South Asian culture, traditions and practices. It is finding its roots in Chicago’s “Little South Asia” around Devon Avenue on the city’s far north side.
Presented by Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, the festival features nationally recognized and emerging artists who reside in the community in and around Devon Avenue, a hub for immigrants and members of the South Asian diaspora. “One of the festival’s goals is to amplify voices and draw attention to the generations of artists, communities, and culture in the neighborhood to promote positive change through better representation of and advocacy for artistic communities of color,” said Mandala Associate Artistic Director Ashwaty Chennat, who is
curating the festival.
Artists and collaborators, who represent performance disciplines including music, dance, drag, storytelling, community-devised work, and interdisciplinary creations, are responding to specific cultures, art forms, and perspectives from South Asian traditions. Artists include Grammy-nominated composer and vocalist, Priya Darshini, renowned Sarod musician, Souryadeep Bhattacharyya, and acclaimed dance artist Anjal Chande (Soham Dance Space) and her contemporary company.