Meet Ruchira Das, Founder & Director of ThinkArts. Think Arts brings imaginative experiences to children in Kolkata and other cities in India. They do so by creating experiential art-engagements for children and young people and presenting performances from India and abroad. Ruchira’s inspiration behind founding ThinkArts came from seeing the impact of artistic experience on her two daughters while homeschooling them. That, coupled with her belief that the arts are an integral part of a child’s life, sparked ThinkArts! It’s no wonder Ruchira’s favorite part of working in the field is “the curiosity that children bring with them when they come to see a performance. And their responses – which could range from surprising insights to just a hug and thank you!”
When asked what she specifically hopes to contribute to the performing arts in her career, Ruchira noted: “Performing arts for young audiences is under-served in India and I hope that through ThinkArts we can work towards addressing that segment by not only presenting great quality international work in India but by also training and supporting performers in India who are keen to create work for young audiences. I hope that in a few years we have a thriving cultural environment that offers ample opportunities for children and young people to engage with the arts on a regular basis. It is our endeavour at ThinkArts to contribute to creating and sustaining such an environment.”
Ruchira attended the New York 2016 ISPA Congress thanks to the generous support of ISPA's Fellowship Patron and Challenge donors. When asked about the impact of her first ISPA experience, Ruchira shared: “It was amazing to meet so many people from different parts of the world, all of them engaged with the arts. It was very inspiring to listen to the speakers at the different sessions addressing vital topics that concern all of us working in the field of performing arts. I was most delighted to meet people like me who were working for young audiences and I am in conversation with some of them to see how we could collaborate together. One of the direct partnerships that emerged is that in November 2016 Think Arts will be presenting shows of Triciclo Rojo’s Vagabundo (presented during the Pitch New Works session at the congress) for the first time in India, across 3 cities.”
In 2016, ISPA brought 46 Fellows from around the world to the New York Congress. We know it’s impossible to meet all these emerging leaders onsite so we’re highlighting the 2016 ISPA Fellows in features via the members-only monthly newsletter Network and on the website.