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September 12, 2017 > Indian Classical Arts showcase raises funds for communities in need

Indian Classical Arts showcase raises funds for communities in need

By Zoya Hajee

Among the various forms of cultural music and dances, Indian Classical Arts is a rich part of Indian culture with roots from thousands of years ago; many programs are devoted toward preserving these arts today. Ashwin Srikant, Divya Mohan, Gopal Ravindhran, and Vignesh Thyagarajan founded one such program as high school students in 2012, called Youth Service Through Cultural Arts (YSTCA), which strives to promote music and dance through Indian Classical Arts to raise funds to give back to the community. Ò[These funds] would be used to support and serve the needy community around us... For us, music has been an integral part of life,Ó the founders said, Òand we wanted to share this beautiful art with others.Ó

The organization has come a long way from their inaugural event in December 2012. At that first event, they raised $8,050 for the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, a nonprofit organization that supports music in schools for low-income families and underprivileged students. Since then, YSTCA has raised over $75,000 benefiting a wide range of organizations like Indo-American Seniors Association of Fremont, College of Adaptive Arts, Drivers for Survivors, Boldly Me, and ACT for Mental Health.

Current high schoolers on the YSTCA team, Abinaya Srikant, Akshay Venkatesan, Aparna Thyagarajan, and Ranjani Ravindrabharathy, have organized the 6th annual ÒMusic and Dance ShowcaseÓ on Sunday, September 17 at the Shirdi Sai Parivaar Auditorium in Milpitas, where over 150 performers will showcase a large number of Indian Classical Art forms. These dancers and musicians are from various schools in the Bay Area, including InSyncKathak, India Fusion Dance Academy, Sankalpa Dance Foundation, Kuchupudi Art Center, and Sadguru Vidyalaya.

Throughout the day, there will be 15 to 16 performances, featuring Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Fusion, and Kuchupudi dance as well as Carnatic and Bhajans music. Along with group performances, solo dancers as well as a percussion ensemble will exhibit their talent. The event is free; everyone in the community is welcome to watch these performances filled with rich melodies and graceful dances.

This year, the program is raising funds for West Valley Community Services, an agency based in the West Valley communities of Santa Clara County. Their mission is to provide resources such as housing services, food distribution, financial assistance, and family support to fight homelessness and hunger in these areas of poverty. Funds raised by the event will greatly assist the organization to carry out its vision of every person having food on their table and a roof over their head. Donations are highly appreciated; contact for more information on how to contribute.

YSTCAÕs Music and Dance Showcase is the perfect way to combine the values of preserving culture with the values of generosity and service. Bringing the community together in such a way will enhance the publicÕs knowledge about IndiaÕs evolution in the classical arts, and provide awareness about fulfilling the basic needs of families in underprivileged areas. Through the support and commitment of the audience members, YSTCA will continue to grow and sustain these community values.

YSTCA Music & Dance Showcase
Sunday, Sep 17
9:00 a.m. Ð 6:30 p.m.
Shirdi Sai Parivaar Auditorium
1221 California Circle, Milpitas
(408) 761-5521

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