Kala Raksha

Kala Raksha aims: to preserve and present cultures of ethnic communities of Kutch (Gujarat, India) through their traditional arts; to facilitate the transformation of traditional art into contemporary products by encouraging innovation within existing traditions; to assist communities in achieving economic self-sufficiency through cooperative efforts; to assist direct sale of contemporary arts, for entire local communities. Artisan initiative and participation are the pillars of our work.
Sep 6, 2013

KRV TAKES ARTISAN DESIGN TO THE WORLD

Monghiben walks the Mumbai fashion show ramp
Monghiben walks the Mumbai fashion show ramp

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA TAKES ARTISAN DESIGN TO THE WORLD

 

"There was excitement!  We had visibility and came closer to our goal of being own designers.  We should have a fashion show every year!"

-Ramjibhai, KRV graduate 2008

 "You need enthusiasm to make something new. The workshops helped people learn the value of hand work."  Monghiben, KRV graduate 2010

PROJECT REPORT  MAY 7 - SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 

In 2010, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya launched the concept Artisan Design, to raise the value of artisan creativity.  On 17 August 2013, KRV made a dramatic debut in Mumbai.  For the first time, women embroiderers and men weavers, block printers, bandhani and batik artists worked together consciously to co-create contemporary work-- full circle on their ancient collaborative traditions.  And for the first time, KRV took our annual fashion show out of Kutch. Twenty-one KRV graduates presented thirteen new collections at a fashion show held at Good Earth, Lower Parel, followed by an exhibition at Artisans' gallery, Kala Ghoda. Titled Co-Creation Squared, the events fulfilled Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya's desire to re-integrate concept and execution in textile arts, on multiple dimensions.

Many creative, dedicated and generous people contributed to our success in Mumbai.  Anjana Somany, long time supporter of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, dreamed of bringing artisan design to the world- and worked tirelessly to produce it.  Designer Anju Modi gave the artisans inspiration with silhouettes and patterns. Anita Lal made it possible when she offered our team the beautiful Good Earth venue.  Utsav Dholakia gave the show its rhythm and form, and Ilesh Shah shot footage for a new film, which was screened. And of course the design graduates of KRV joined minds, hearts and hands to create all new collections.

Artisans' Gallery hosted KRV's first exhibition in Mumbai, and helped organize a selection of KRV workshops with artisan designers.  We thank Radhi Parekh and her team for their dedicated, passionate efforts. Artisans' has succeeded in raising the profile of craft to the level of art, infusing the craft sector with appreciation and economic well being.  Sales were excellent and, significantly, new designs clearly outsold older ones.  The workshops were over booked. Two small but important breakthroughs indicate the success we have enjoyed.  At the end of the show, we realized that very few customers had felt the prices too high; some even commented that prices were reasonable.  On the long continuum of hand craft, KRV artisans' work is now being compared not to production craft but to designer work!  The second triumph came when both Monghiben and Hariyaben shyly said they wanted to make collections for this year's KRV fashion show-- and that they were considering starting their own production!

The highly successful events fittingly launch a plan to concentrate on marketing the work of KRV artisan designers next year.

 

YEAR EIGHT AT KRV: COLLECTIONS IN CONSTRUCTION 

By now, five of six KRV courses are complete and the artisan students are earnestly working on their final collections.

Course 4- Concept, Communication, Projects was taught by NIFT graduate Anuja Goel and KRV veteran visiting faculty member, LOkesh Ghai.  In the men's class, the artisans learned about fashion trends, chose a theme, and delved into it

Sajanbhai- "I learned you find design in anything if you concentrate on it."

Adilbhai- "I actually dreamed my theme board!"

Then, they experimented in the KRV studios.

Shafikbhai-  "I've worked many years, but I never did so many experiments.

If we do it ourselves, we understand, and can change it as we like."

In the women's class, Lokesh made several important innovations, which enabled the women to bypass the tendency to express theme in a narrative manner. 

This year, the women created new motifs for their themes in a larger, tableau format- more like their traditional way of working.  And they sketched layouts in full scale before beginning studio work.

Lakhuben- "When we try something new, things come from inside to out."

Zakiyaben- "Working in larger scale, we understand how it will work."

Hasuben, this year's Course 4 mentor, summed up the importance of design:

"Before any work we have to think, compose, choose colours.

Next, we do the work, keeping it in reasonable quantity, but insuring that it shows more, and is good quality.

But first is thinking."

Course 5- Finishing, Collection Development was taught by Sanjay Guria, NID Faculty, and veteran KRV visiting faculty member Shweta Dhariwal.  This year, the KRV men students collaborated with graduates and fellows from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Ankita Patadiya, Arpita Desai, and Sneha Limbadiya. The design students from diverse backgrounds quickly came to the common ground of design, and creatively developed collection concepts.  Learning from each other, seeing with fresh perspectives, the teams cam up with some simple twists on traditions.

As they made patterns and prototypes, the excitement built until each KRV student eagerly went home to take craft to new dimensions.  We now anticipate fresh innovations on age-old traditions.

Sajanbhai, KRV -"Planning is necessary.  In this class I understood planning."

Arpita, MSU- "Partnership required understanding. Both partners have to be interested and happy."

Shweta was also joined by students from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda- Bhargavi Modi, and Mansi Shah.  The team took the women from their homework experiments on apparel and home furnishing to determining and planning a collection.

The women learned machine and hand finishing, and decided the products they wanted to make. The MSU students created patterns and test fits, which were finally edited.  Then, together, the KRV and MSU students worked on colours, fabrics and layouts. We await their final products as well.

STAFF NEWS

KRV welcomes Nilanjan Mondal as the new KRV Project Leader. Nilanjan comes with the experience of the Kaivalya Education Foundation Gandhi Fellowship, hands-on training in development organization and leadership.   He came to KRV in May for an orientation, in which he was introduced to key philosophies, programs, and associated personnel.  In July, he joined the institute and launched straight into coordinating the Mumbai events, proving himself a team player and a valuable addition to the KRV staff. 

2008 Graduate and Permanent Faculty member Dayalalbhai Kudecha has been invited to represent India in Cusco, Peru in November at Tinkuy de Tejedores: an international gathering of weavers. KRV Director Judy Frater will be a keynote speaker at the event.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

As the final course of the year began, KRV enjoyed a visit from a group of students of the National Institute of Design.  The teacher, a supporter of our work and sometimes KRV faculty, saw the homework of a current student and commented, "He must have worked with a Fashion Week designer."  In reality, he is a fresh artisan, son of a traditional artisan who chose not to practice the hereditary craft!  This defines our challenge: to change perceptions to the depth that people no long find good artisan design surprising.

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya continues to focus on building links through which KRV graduates can develop their capacity as designers and find new and better markets.  This year, women graduates worked virtually with a team of students from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne to develop products. The exchange was mutually beneficial-- KRV graduates learned to work from paper concepts, and young designers working with KRV them learned to appreciate artisan capacity and to work in more collaborative ways. Building on this experience a second group is set to work with KRV graduates.

Four workshops are planned for Fall 2013-winter 2014, and a range of new programs is under consideration. For information on offerings, please download our workshop proposal or contact judyf@kala-raksha.org.

In July, Anjana Somany of Mangotree, and KRV Director Judy Frater directed Co-Creation Squared: Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya Takes Artisan Design to the World, a ten minute film focusing on developing the concept of Artisan Design. Screened at the fashion show, the film is now available.

ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

Aakib Ibrahim Khatri, graduate of 2011, has been invited to participate in an Artists Residency in Australia, as a follow up to an Australia-India residency held in Delhi last year.

KRV online

KRV has a brand new Facebook page!

In September 2012, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya enjoyed a feature by Jessica Marati "Teaching Design," in Hand/Eye magazine.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2012 and March 2013. This year, we have the challenge of raising over $62,000 to operate our program.  Last year, nearly 6% of our annual budget was raised through individual donations. As we move into the second half of 2013, with the major expense of our annual Convocation Mela coming in November, we thank Global Giving and hope that our supporters will think about making a tax deductible gift!  

THE NEXT PHASE

After Kala Raksha's board of Master Artisan advisors met and brainstormed on the future of KRV, the newly constituted KRV Futures Committee held its inaugural meeting to discuss options. As KRV has focused on becoming more self-sustaining, opportunities as well as challenges are coming our way. In the next year we envision significant and positive growth for KRV.

Financial sustainability is always a huge challenge for an educational institution.  We welcome from our supporters entrepreneurial ideas –and ideas for increasing visibility.

Again we thank you, our supporters.  With your support, KRV will realize its mission of relevant, genuine education for traditional artisans, and its dream of growing from a program to an institution!

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYLAYA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Ismail Mohammed Khatri - block printer, Ajrakhpur

Shamji Vishramji Vankar- weaver, Bhujodi

Lalji Vankar - weaver, Nirona

Gulam Hussain Umar - tie dye, Bhuj

Ali Mohammed Isha - tie dye, Bhuj                                                                    

Umar Farouk - tie dye, Badli

Qasimbhai - batik, Mundra

 

KALA RAKSHA TRUSTEES 

Prakash Bhanani, Kala Raksha Co-Founder and Chief Executive

Judy Frater, Kala Raksha Co-Founder & Project Coordinator, KRV Project Director, Ashoka Fellow

Ashoke Chatterjee, Previous Director, Crafts Council of India

Nita Thakore, Textile Artist, Faculty Pearl Academy of Fashion, Jaipur  

K.V. Raju, Faculty, Institute of Rural Management

Rajni  Patwa, Architect  

Mira Poonam, Artisan    

Hariya Uttam, Artisan

Babri Moru, Artisan

Haku Shah, Padmashree, Artist & Historian

Jayanti Nayak, Faculty, National Institute of Design

Daya Dohat, National Awardee, Artisan

Rai Singh Rathod, Tracer, Gujarat Electricity Board, Local Guide

Jivaben and Jayantilal, Artisan Designers
Jivaben and Jayantilal, Artisan Designers
KRV graduates thank the Mumbai audience
KRV graduates thank the Mumbai audience
Namaben presents her concept, Summer Garden
Namaben presents her concept, Summer Garden
Adil and Ankita with a kaftan prototype
Adil and Ankita with a kaftan prototype

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Jun 24, 2013

KALA RAKSHA MUSEUM REACHES FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL

Jivaben and colleagues in the KR Museum
Jivaben and colleagues in the KR Museum

KALA RAKSHA MUSEUM

 

REACHES OUT, FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL

KALA RAKSHA MUSEUM

PROJECT REPORT 25 JANUARY -15 JUNE 2013

Since its inception, Kala Raksha has dovetailed the collection and preservation of traditional pieces with income generation.  The Trust established an international quality Museum of textiles and related materials in 1997. Two features of this Museum make it unique.  First, the Museum is based in the village itself. Artisans have access to and responsibility for it.  Second, artisans were involved in all phases of the development of the Museum.  They assisted in collection, were engaged in documentation, and consulted in the permanent exhibition.  The Kala Raksha Museum successfully proves the mutual benefits of involving communities in presenting and utilizing their own cultures.

The Museum is intended as a resource base for artisans, designers and researchers. Traditions embody the identity and heritage of a people. Increased appropriation of design intellectual property across cultures has resulted in a generic commercial ethnic look, as well as loss of knowledge of textile traditions.   Kala Raksha's challenge increasingly is to innovate within traditions, and to tell the story that makes cultural integrity more valuable. 

 The strength of the Kala Raksha Museum is its local basis.  Yet, much of its support, use and appreciation lies in the world beyond.  In this period the Kala Raksha Museum reached out from local to world audiences.

SERVING THE ARTISAN COMMUNITY

In January 2013, the eighth year of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya began.  Our design education program emphasizes two main sources of inspiration: Nature, and Tradition.  Accordingly, we make sure to include a visit to the Kala Raksha Museum in the first classes of the year.  It is a pleasure to see how artisans quickly learn to see with new eyes.  Just as this year's men students wondered and pondered over examples of the traditions which they had never seen, this year's women studied the colours of embroideries and bandhanis from different regions and eras.  With direction from fiber artist Nita Thakore, they joyfully explored the minds of earlier embroidery artists.  Someone once said that artists work better with artisans than designers do.  In this instance it surely seemed true.  By the end of the colour class enthusiasm for traditions had visibly grown. 

 "We saw all kinds of embroidery in the Museum." Jivaben, Dhebaria Rabari artist.

 "I came to take my tradition forward. I saw all kinds of bandhani in the museum and learned that all communities use bandhani for good and sad occasions." Zakiyaben, bandhani artist.

OUTREACH

Enjoying its local location, the KRV students have become the most active and regular users of Kala Raksha's Museum.  Yet the collections and documentation have a much greater potential audience.  During this period, the online presence of the collections provided an opportunity to students of Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. The students were part of the program Designers Meet Artisans 2013 Social Responsibility Studio. This project aims to develop an understanding of socially responsible design through a focus on user- centred design and was developed in collaboration with Dr Kevin Murray (Adjunct Professor RMIT University) and the Sangam Australia India Design Platform (www. sangamproject.net/)   The objective of the project was to provide a link between Australian Designers and Indian Artisans, as a way to sustain crafts and to enhance the Artisan’s economic and environmental sustainability.

Socially Responsible Design involves both participatory and human centered design strategies. In this project student designers undertook some of the techniques developed by the Stanford Boot Camp team (dschool.stanford.edu/wp.../03/BootcampBootleg2010v2SLIM.pdf) and the IDEO Human Centered Design Tool kit (http://www.ideo.com/work/human-centered-design-toolkit/)

As a means to building in a participatory aspect to the project’s development students had direct contact with Sangam and Kala Raksha.  Online research in the Kala Raksha Museum was encouraged in order to insure that the Swinburne students would design appropriate to the artisans' traditions.  Serendipitously, Line Jorgensen, a Danish student who had participated in the program last year was doing an internship at Kala Raksha to test out her prototypes in real life.  She provided valuable feedback to the Swinburne students and finally guided the prototyping process.

The products designed ranged from an embroidered kite, embroidered men's tie, baby accessories, and embroidered jewelry travel bag and storage containers.  Most imaginative of all was an embellished dog coat, based on the Rabari camel trappings in the Kala Raksha Museum.  Look for final results in the next report.

In March, KR Museum Curator Judy Frater participated in a UGC Sponsored National Seminar "The Cultural Heritage of Gujarat" organized by the Department of History

Faculty of Arts, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.  She presented a lecture, "Embroidery: A Woman's History of Kutch," which was illustrated with objects from the Kala Raksha Museum. 

As the final step in renovation of the Museum, Kala Raksha is upgrading and reproducing its permanent exhibition catalogue.  The catalogue will include the exhibition text and selected illustrations of the objects on display.  Since visitors often do not have the time to study the exhibition content, the catalogue will insure that the exhibition text is read at leisure.  In this way, both awareness of the museum and the information it holds will be more widely disseminated. 

DOCUMENTATION AND COLLECTIONS CARE

Documentation and collections care are less glamorous than building the collections.  But it is the documentation that completes each object housed by the Museum and gives it value.  An object is only part of the artifact.  Documentation adds context and meaning. During this period, photographs of early accessions were upgraded from negatives to digital format.  This will make better quality images available for the online museum, and for eventual publication.  Beginning with objects slated for publication in our book on Kutch embroidery, seventy objects were digitally photographed, including multiple details.  Good imagery will increase access to museum materials while minimizing the need for handling objects.  The photo shoot also provided an opportunity for inventory and improvement of housing of objects.  At the same time, a list of forty additional objects to be digitally photographed for inclusion in the museum catalogue was compiled.

BOOK RESEARCH

Research for Kala Raksha's book on Kutch embroideries, which will highlight the Kala Raksha Museum collections, continued.  During this period, we enjoyed the sabbatical of Dr. Michele Hardy, Curator of the The Nickle Arts Museum, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.  Michele did her PhD on Mutava embroidery and will be writing the chapter on Mutava work.  She utilized the Kala Raksha museum during her sabbatical and we hope to have her upgrade documentation as well as contribute to the publication.

VISITORS AND RESEARCHERS

During this period, we enjoyed a variety of visitors to the Kala Raksha Center and Museum.  We were honoured to have Dr. Rosemary Crill, Senior Curator, South Asia, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, visit the Kala Raksha Museum for the first time.  Representatives of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney also visited.  NGOs URMUL of Phalodi and Harappani Gorbanjara Mahila Kala Vikas Mandal of Ambajogai, Maharashtra brought artisans for field trips, Dr. Gabriele Tautscher, Professor at Kultur- und Sozialanthropologin Institut für SA- , Tibet- u. Buddhismuskunde der Univesität Wien brought a study group.  Jeni Allison returned on the second visit of the Creative Scotland ReSide program to spend sixteen days of intensive work learning Rabari traditions.  And many tourists visited Kala Raksha Center and Museum.

INTERN INSPIRATION AND PRODUCT DEVELOMENT  

This year's Nanda design interns began their internship with guidance from several international interns.  Lucy Darling and Cadi Mathews, UK exchange students at Pearl Academy, conducted a two-week museum inspiration product development workshop with our artisan interns, sponsored by the Development Commissioner Handicrafts. 

Line Jorgensen, a student from the University of Southern Denmark, worked for four months developing a "Technology Collection of laptop, tablet and e-reader covers.  She utilized the museum to understand the traditions with which she worked.

THANKS TO GLOBALGIVING!

 GlobalGiving has been a steady and significant source of support for the Kala Raksha Museum.  Your contributions insure that our collections continue to grow and support our sustainable, authentic work and we can host projects that utilize our resource. Kala Raksha Trust is self sustaining in its income generation work- a feat not even attempted by many non-profits.  However, the earnings from our income generation cannot cover the costs of expansion of the Museum.

GlobalGiving has enabled us to reactivate our museum work. We thank GlobalGiving donors for your support, and welcome financial contributions as well as ideas for ways to reach out and share our holdings with interested people.

THE NEXT PHASE: UPGRADING and EXPANSION

Kala Raksha has its sights on new collections and also hopes to be able to expand the museum facilities to accommodate them this year.  As research progresses, we will be able to make the best selection of new accessions, and we will strive to balance upgrading the documentation and housing of collections with acquisition.

Camel cover that inspired Art Pet dog coat
Camel cover that inspired Art Pet dog coat
upgraded image of SR-86 Kanjaro from SIndh
upgraded image of SR-86 Kanjaro from SIndh
R-256 Toran that inspired a bag and a bunting
R-256 Toran that inspired a bag and a bunting
Museum inspired new tech collection
Museum inspired new tech collection

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May 10, 2013

RETURN TO TRADITION: KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA YEAR 8

Namben final Colour presentation
Namben final Colour presentation

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA PROJECT REPORT

24 DECEMBER 2012- MAY 6 2013


"We leave everything and come here.  We can concentrate.  At home there are many distractions. We saw the benefit to Hasuben and Kuverben and we were convinced." -Namaben, Rabari Embroidery artist 

 YEAR EIGHT AT KRV

As Kala Raksha Vidhayalaya proudly publishes its 2012 Annual Report, Year Eight at KRV is halfway completed.  This year we welcome an unusual group.  All of the male weavers and bandhani artists are from traditional families who in the previous generation left craft to work in industry.  Several of the young men had also taken jobs in factories or private businesses.  But they found that working for a company brought little satisfaction.  So they came home.  This is the year of Return to Tradition. 

 Courses one and two, Colour and Basic Design brought insights.  After years of teaching, we realized that the colour theory we teach does not match dyeing methods.  So, next year we will include a dyeing expert and dye theory as well.

 "I never thought of dyeing yarn. I used what was available. I will take a year but I will make a super piece," -Sureshbhai, tangalio weaver

 "This will be really useful.  I will think what to highlight, how to show it.  I liked movement."  Shafikbhai, bandhani artist

 Course Three, Market Orientation, opened new worlds. The men traveled to Ahmedabad to explore a range of shops and visit a variety of craft connoisseurs. The experience was both inspiring and motivating.

 "In 10 years you will see tangalio in all my work.  I want to see my work in all stores- different types in each store."- Sureshbhai, tangalio weaver

 "Our traditional work is dying.  We want to give it new life, new form.  I had a mental limitation that bandhani is for wearing. But when we went to Ahmedabad, it vanished.  In Anarben's house I saw the curtain and realized there are many ways bandhani can be used.  Traditional work can't be used everyday.  I want to make new things for new uses.  The art is the same, but design changes."- Adilbhai, bandhani artist

 In this year's women's class, we find the classic gap between unmarried young women and elders with grown children, but with a twist: for the first time we have a woman bandhani artist who is educated to 12th grade.  So we welcome new challenges that will bring growth to KRV-- not only young men with less depth of knowledge of their own traditions, but also the need to re-think how to teach the course content for women.

From course one, Colour, everyone learned.

"From sketching I learned to see shades of colours.  In nature you can see how to make harmony from contrast. My sight and understanding have changed.  I want to do something no one else has done."  Zakiyaben, bandhani artist

 "I never held a pen - ever.  Here, I had my first chance.  I learned and now I want to learn more."  - Lakhuben, Rabari embroidery artist

 By Course 2, Basic Design, the women began to transform, and take their work seriously. "I understand same weight but different motifs.  Balance is important…If you show me the road I'll run on it." Jivaben, Rabari embroidery artist

 In the third course, Market Orientation, the women explored Ahmedabad with their livelihoods in mind. 

"We went to Ahmedabad and we saw it ourselves.  That made a difference in understanding."- Namaben, Rabari Embroidery artist

 Different people like different things. If we make one thing it is only useful in one place.  We have to make different things.  We have to think what colour?  How expensive?"Lakhuben, Rabari Embroidery artist

 "If I like it in a cheap store I'll buy it.  But if not, I'll go to a more expensive store.  If we want to sell something, it has to be good.  That is the bottom line."- Jivaben, Rabari Embroidery artist

 The year was jump started with an extended craft workshop with students from the Institute for Apparel Management, held during the Colour course. This was the first time KRV held a workshop and course simultaneously.  The challenge of accommodating a large number of people and several activities on campus was superseded by the benefit of collaborative exchange.

 "The Delhi students came so far to learn.  I watched them and thought we should also learn and preserve our traditions."  Sajanbhai, tangalio weaver

 

 ARTISAN DESIGN

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya has taken a big, important step forward in developing the concept of Artisan Design.  This year, the institute has been working on a pilot benefit fashion show, directed by Anjana Somany.  Renowned designer Anju Modi provided garment patterns, which  women graduates imaginatively embroidered. KRV then asked men graduates to draw inspiration from the embroideries and complete the ensembles with woven, printed, bandhani and batik accessories. This is the first time men and women artisans have worked together in this way.  The project was managed by Noopur Kumari, NIFT senior student.  Noopur presented the collection for her graduation jury, and they were impressed.  The fashion show will be presented in collaboration with the prestigious company Good Earth in Mumbai on 17 August 2013.  Such projects contribute to the growth of KRV in several ways.  Excellent products are produced, KRV visibility is increased, and artisans are encouraged to develop new work.  This year, women's internships will be sponsored by Reena and Neeru Nanda.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Kala Raksha continues to focus on building links through which KRV graduates can develop their capacity as designers and find new and better markets.  During this period, women graduates working in Kala Raksha enjoyed creative guidance from Sara Lawton, MA student of Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; Ananya Rai, Anisha Ahuja, Shivangi Agarwal, students of the Indian Institute of Craft Design, Line Jorgensen, a student from Denmark, and Cadi Mathews and Lucy Darling, British exchange students at Pearl Academy Jaipur, and a team of students from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne- who are developing products virtually.  The exchange is mutually beneficial.  Young designers working with KRV graduates also learn to appreciate artisan capacity and to work in more collaborative ways. 

 During this period, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya also hosted four workshops under our financial sustainability program.  These workshops foster exchange, and appreciation of artisan capacity, in addition to raising funds.  Through them we hope to build long term relationships between institutions. Jeni Allison and Lindsay Roberts returned to work in depth with KRV through the Scottish ReSide program, and we enjoyed a visit from their supervisors Louise Butler, Shona, and Britta.  The amount raised through workshops this year was 9% of our annual budget.

 Another step for our sustainability program was finishing of home furnishing samples developed with COMO Foundation funding.  The sale of these design theme products will be dedicated to support of KRV.  IICD interns Cadi and Lucy assisted in the project.

 By the end of the financial year, KRV significantly added to its design education equipment with funds from the Development Commissioner Handicrafts.  This year's students will enjoy use of a Pantone system, new sewing machines, a light table, sample looms, and purified water for dyeing, among other facilities.

 In March Nilanjan Mondal was selected as KRV's new Project Leader.  He comes to KRV with the experience of the Kaivalya Education Foundation Gandhi Fellowship, hands-on training in development organization and leadership.   Nilanjan is undergoing orientation in May and will join KRV in July. 

 ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

An update assessment of progress of KRV's fifty male graduates was completed in April.  Through interviews of alumni, we ascertained that:

 100% of artisan graduates have benefitted from the course.  All have gained a new perspective for their craft, and learned to be open minded and observe design in everything they see.

 100% of KRV graduates have gained confidence in terms of understanding the requirements of clients, creating new designs based on themes, and experimenting with colours and materials.

 56% of KRV graduates have grown in their designing capabilities.

25% of KRV graduates have started their own independent businesses post graduation.

9% have helped their family businesses take new directions.

 13% have had an increase of 10% to 20% in income.

7% have had and increase of 21% to 40% in income

7% have had an increase of 40% to 60 % in income

5% have had an increase of 61% to 80 % in income

5% have had an increase of 100% in income

9 % had an increase of 300% in income

 About 80 % of the artisans are aware of various schemes and organizations that can help them with their work, but only about 20% know how to apply for theses benefits.

Most of the graduates are not aware how to benefit from the KRV website.

 85% feel that KARVADA must be streamlined for it t be useful to all artisans. Unity within the organization is critical at this juncture.

 100% feel that the campus of the Vidhyalaya should be shifted from its present location.

 KARVADA, the KRV male alumni organization formally registered as an entity.  This opens possibilities for funding and other facilities.

 In February, 2010 graduate Khalid Amin Khatri worked with Manchester Metropolitan University faculty member Helen Felcey to develop art pieces for the Cotton Exchange project.  The Cotton Exchange, an exploration of the heritage of the cotton industry focusing on he links between Lancashire and Manchester in the US and Ahmedabad and Gujarat in India, culminated in an exhibition held first in Manchester and in Ahmedabad this April.  Artworks from designers and artisans from UK and India were installed in the abandoned Rajnagar cotton mill in Ahmedabad.  KRV was well represented with works from Graduates Khalidbhai, Hariyaben, Varshaben Pratap, Varshaben Uttam, Damyantiben, Sajnuben, Ramiben Rama, Monghiben, Lachhuben, Kuvarben, and Jivaben Ratna; and KRV Advisors Shyamji Vishramji and Ali Mohamad Isha. 

 KRV online

In September 2012, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya enjoyed a feature by Jessica Marati "Teaching Design," in Hand/Eye magazine.

 In October 2011, Annie Waterman published "Empowering the Artisans" an article about KRV in Hand/Eye. Articles on Artisan Design have also been published in three important online craft journals: Hand/Eye  www.handeyemagazine.com 3 February 2010; Craft Unbound www.craftunbound.net 27 January 2011, and the Craft Revival Trust Newsletter www.craftrevival.org vol 110, issue 2 Winter-Spring 2011.

 Kala Raksha is on Facebook

 

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2012 and March 2013. Our seventh year was completed with a balanced budget! KRV relies entirely on donations.  Nearly 6% of our annual budget was raised through individual donations this year.

 In the coming year, we have the challenge of raising over $72,000 to operate our program.  As we complete 2012 and look to 2013, we thank Global Giving and hope that our supporters will think about making a tax deductible gift!  Your generous contribution can help! You can make a difference in the lives of our very creative constituency!!

 THE NEXT PHASE

Today, Kala Raksha's board of Master Artisan advisors met and brainstormed on the future of KRV.  Their full support gives us strength and hope.  As KRV has focused on becoming more self-sustaining, opportunities as well as challenges are coming our way.  In this year we expect to focus on ensuring the viability of the institute.  In the next year we envision significant and positive growth for KRV. We hope to earn well through participation in the tenth annual Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and a subsequent USA tour of lectures, workshops and trunk shows.  Find details of locations at www.kala-raksha.org.  And we hope to raise funds through our Mumbai fashion show. Financial sustainability is always a huge challenge for an educational institution.  We welcome from our supporters entrepreneurial ideas –and ideas for increasing visibility.

 Again we thank you, our supporters.  With your support, KRV will realize its mission of relevant, genuine education for traditional artisans!

 KALA RAKSHA VIDHYLAYA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Ismail Mohammed Khatri - block printer, Ajrakhpur

Shamji Vishramji Vankar- weaver, Bhujodi

Lalji Vankar - weaver, Nirona

Gulam Hussain Umar - tie dye, Bhuj

Ali Mohammed Isha - tie dye, Bhuj

Umar Farouk - tie dye, Badli

Qasimbhai - batik, Mundra

 KALA RAKSHA TRUSTEES

 

Prakash Bhanani, Kala Raksha Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Member, National Planning Commission

Judy Frater, Kala Raksha Co-Founder, KR Project Coordinator, KRV Project Director, Ashoka Fellow

Ashoke Chatterjee, Previous Director, Crafts Council of India

Nita Thakore, Textile Artist, Faculty Pearl Academy of Fashion, Jaipur  

K.V. Raju, Faculty, Institute of Rural Management

Rajni  Patwa, Architect  

Mira Poonam, Artisan    

Hariya Uttam, Artisan

Babri Moru, Artisan

Haku Shah, Padmashree, Artist & Historian

Jayanti Nayak, Faculty, National Institute of Design

Daya Dohat, National Awardee, Artisan

Rai Singh Rathod, Local Guide

Adil with first colour range
Adil with first colour range
Suresh shows tangalio weaving
Suresh shows tangalio weaving
Lachhuben and Zuberbhai collaborate
Lachhuben and Zuberbhai collaborate
Artisan Design ensemble
Artisan Design ensemble
Soyab teaching printing
Soyab teaching printing

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