The Mandala Makers festival presents multidisciplinary artists

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, which connects audiences and students to the vibrancy, flavors and colors of South Asian performing arts traditions, presents its fourth annual Mandala Makers Festival from June 16-26, returning to in-person performances on the Devon Avenue community and ending with an Artist Showcase June 24-26 at Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Avenue, Chicago, including indoor (Cultural Center) and outdoor (Nature Play Area) ). All events are free and open to the public.

The festival features emerging and nationally recognized artists who reside in the community of and around Devon Avenue, a hub for immigrants and members of the South Asian diaspora. “One of the goals of the festival is to amplify voices and draw attention to generations of artists, communities and neighborhood culture to promote positive change through better community representation and advocacy. artistic colors,” said Mandala’s Associate Artistic Director, Ashwaty Chennat. , which organizes the festival.

Artists and collaborators, who represent performance disciplines such as music, dance, drag, storytelling, community-designed work and interdisciplinary creations, respond to specific cultures, art forms and perspectives South Asian traditions.

Programming, some of which is site-specific, takes place throughout the neighborhood and in unusual spaces, such as street corners and social service agencies like Mandala’s partner, the Indo-American Center. Mandala also collaborates with Aao Mil Baithen, a community initiative that brings people together through arts and culture and supports the programming, curation and production of Mandala Makers Festival events. Aao Mil Baithen is a project by the Space Shift collective, created by Chicago artists who seek to activate spaces in unusual and exciting ways through the arts.

The programming for the culminating Artist Showcase is as follows:

friday june 24

5 p.m.: Aao Mil Baithen-DJ set with South Asian accents

6 p.m.: Masood Haque-comedian, actor, writer

6:20 p.m.: Vik Pandya – national tour stand-up comedy

6:45 p.m.: Ishti Collective-radical dance acts, storytelling, artistic risk-taking, moving forward in a polarized socio-political world

7:15 p.m.: Shalaka Kulkarni – Classical and contemporary Indian dance forms, exploring gender fluidity, empowering marginal voices

7:40 p.m.: Anjal Chande – Soham Dance Space – innovative creative dance performance

8:15 p.m.: Ochin Pakhi-Bengali music group from Chicago

9:00 p.m.: Priya Darshini-musician rooted in Hindustani and Carnatic Indian music combined with improvisation and musical influences from around the world; Max ZT-improvised hammered dulcimer Saturday June 25

5:00 p.m.: Aao Mil Baithen – DJ set with South Asian accents
6:30 p.m.: Laksha Dantran – original dance theater show featuring LGBTQ perspectives
6:50 p.m.: Krissy Bergmark-table player, percussionist, composer
7:10 p.m. and 8 p.m.: PM Tummala-multi-instrumentalist who combines influences such as spiritual jazz, dub, concrete music, Tropicália, ambient and hip-hop/vinyl culture
7:30 p.m.: Radia Ali (Noori) – multidisciplinary performer, poet, fire dancer
8:25 p.m.: Shamik-producer and Asian beatboxer
8:45 p.m.: Lil Idli-experimental pop duo composed of singer Ranjani Prabhakar and producer/percussionist Deepak Gopinath
9.10pm: Abhijeet’s Bollywood Drag Divas – representing the vibrant Desi queer performance scene

Sunday June 26
1:30 p.m.: Max ZT-improvised hammered dulcimer musician
2 p.m.: Souryadeep Bhattacharyya – member of the new generation of Indian classical musicians
2:30 p.m.: Aqil Brothers-heart of Bangla Qawali and Lokogeethi folk music
3:30 p.m.: Solo classical dance performances: Laksha Dantran; Award-winning dancer Hema Karunakaram, community builder, committed to enhancing South Asian alliance with BIPOC communities; Roosha Mandal – multidisciplinary dance artist; Colin Mascarenhas-Odissi Dancer and LGBTQI+ activist
4:25 p.m.: Anvita Hariharan-Carnatic saxophone
4:45 p.m.: Mandala Ensemble – a collaboration of the Mandala Dance and Music Ensemble, showcasing the generational talent of emerging artists and also featuring Souryadeep Bhattacharyya, Laksha Dantran, Anvita Hariharan and Colin Mascarenhas

“In this year of Chicago dance, the Mandala Makers Festival shines a spotlight on contemporary South Asian dance that emerged in Chicago from independent dancers, many of whom work with the popular ‘classical’ form of Bharatanatyam dance,” said Chennat. “The festival also showcases less common forms embedded in South Asian arts – and their diasporic responses – such as Sufi dances, Odissi and Caribbean diaspora forms. The festival explores the juxtaposition of generational continuity and preservation traditional practitioners with contemporary artists.”

The Mandala Makers Festival is partially supported by a grant from the Neighborhood Access Program of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The Mandala Makers Festival takes place June 16-26, 2022 at indoor and outdoor venues in the Devon Avenue community, culminating in the Artists Showcase June 24-26 at Indian Boundary Park, inside the Cultural Center and outside nature playground,
2500 W. Lunt Avenue, Chicago.

Visit for calendar updates. All events are free to the public;
donations are welcome at All programming is subject to change.

Mandala connects audiences and students to the vibrancy, flavors and colors of South Asian performing arts traditions, providing powerful engagement with unique and expert dancers, musicians, storytellers, artists and educators whose origins range from the Himalayan ranges to the Indian Ocean. , from Persia to Indonesia. The Mandala ensemble’s dancers and musicians, teaching artists, artistic collaborators, and outreach partners bring folk and classical traditions, as well as current and hybrid innovations, to life. Mandala promotes cultural awareness and exchange through entertainment and education.

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts is supported by the Richard Driehaus Foundation, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust and the Arts Council Agency of the Illinois.

For more information, visit

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