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In 2005, Adishakti made two applications to the Sir Ratan Tata Trust (“the SRTT”) for support – one, asking for contributions towards its corpus fund, and another, for partial grant support for its activities over the next three years.
Prior to this, Adishakti had already received support from the SRTT for the construction of its Artists’ Accommodation and Theatre – the Sir Ratan Tata Koothu Kovil – along with a small corpus of Rs. 5,00,000/- for the maintenance of the Theatre, in 2002. It was this infrastructure that enabled Adishakti to carry out its research and creative activities in the early days at its new campus.
Since then, Adishakti had begun work on various new initiatives, such as workshops, performances, and residencies, that would be revenue-generating, and help Adishakti become a self-sustaining institution. Since these efforts were then nascent, and would need time to achieve fruition, Adishakti requested larger support through a contribution towards the Adishakti corpus. Our most outstanding need at that time was to be able to pay our artists, management team and support staff.
As a part of its request, Adishakti made clear that it would follow stringent procedures of self-assessment through its growth. In this regard its focus would be on the following three indicators of progress:
First, Adishakti would endeavour to strengthen further its human resource development programme, by cultivating a skilled and responsible second generation of sophisticated management. Over the previous two years, members of the Adishakti team had been encouraged to develop their own productions and programmes, as also undertake responsibility for the training of colleagues and apprentices. We proposed to devolve responsibilities even further, progressively achieving greater sophistication also in our creative structures.
Because of the constraints of time and funds, Adishakti followed a policy of privileging quality over quantity. We hoped to redress this balance and substantially increase our creative output. This would be helped by, among other factors, the diversification of the team through external collaborators and visiting professionals. Thus, while staging/touring its own productions Adishakti hoped to emerge as the force (and sometimes, as the sponsor) of a range of other creative endeavours: both performance-based, and centred around other mediums, such as painting, scholarly work, creative writing, architectural innovation, and so on.
Third, it is Adishakti’s continuing intention to address the task of efficient documentation and dissemination of our various projects, so that a movement of similar work gets catalysed in the region, the country and among the artistic community worldwide. This would find expression in a variety of ways already documented throughout this proposal. In the main, however, our performances, our projected e-journal, our Winter Workshops, the plan to institute a Panel of Experts to observe our work and the Residency Programmes would be pivotal in meeting this aspiration.
In response, the SRTT provided Adishakti the support it requested towards the partial support grant. This support went towards a percentage of the salaries of artists and management and support staff that we had requested, with an incremental increase over the years from funds that Adishakti was able to generate itself. The long-term impact of this exercise has been to bolster Adishakti’s efforts towards self-sustainability.