Indo-American Arts Council Celebrates 15 Years in NYC

New York, N.Y.  The Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) turns 15 in the fall of 2013 under the leadership of Aroon Shivdasani.  This secular, non-profit, volunteer-driven arts organization has achieved scores of noteworthy milestones in the decade and a half of its existence. IAAC is the first and only Indian Arts Council in the U.S. representing all of the artistic disciplines, including theatre, dance, music, film, folk arts and literature.

British-Indian author Salman Rushdie and artist M.F. Husain at a party in Aroon Shivdasani’s back yard.
The IAAC pioneered the first annual Indian theatre, film, dance and playwright festivals in the country, as well as an annual traveling exhibition of contemporary Indian art. The IAAC’s programs attract packed audiences and amazing media coverage – ethnic, mainstream and international outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Variety, New York Daily News, NY1, CNN IBN, and Huffington Post, just to name a few.

Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla wrote and directed “Embrace,” focused on the Mumbai terrorist attack.
Photo: Still from “Embrace.” Courtesy of Don’TakeNo Productions.
“We are thrilled to contribute to the rich diversity of the New York cultural landscape,” said Aroon Shivdasani, IAAC Executive Director. “By showcasing and building an awareness of the artists and artistic disciplines from India’s sub continental heritage, we educate and entertain mainstream America about our culture, our traditions and our rich history, while simultaneously encouraging tolerance and greater understanding between cultures.”

To commemorate its 15th anniversary, the IAAC will host a celebratory gala on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art (172 Norfolk Street, NYC). Comedian and actor Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) will entertain guests as the Master of Ceremonies. Fresh off his debut at Lakme Fashion Week in India, designer Naeem Khan will showcase his latest collection in a specially-conceived fashion show.

Indian classical musician Ustad Amjad Ali Khan playing the Indian Consulate of New York.

Mr. Khan and Dr. Manjula Bansal will also be honoured by the IAAC for their contribution to the arts. Musical entertainment will be provided by singer/songwriter/composer Paul Williams and pianist/composer Kenneth Lee “Kenny” Ascher, co-writers of the Oscar-nominated song “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.

Tables at the gala range in value from $5,000 to $25,000, and individual tickets are available for $500. For more information and to purchase your advance tickets, please visit Select media will be invited to cover the event. Interview requests and photo opportunities will be made available prior to and during the event.

Jim Luce with Mira Nair
Jim Luce chatting with Mira Nair at the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (MIAAC)
Film Festival in New York City. Photo: John Lee.

The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit, secular service and resource arts organization charged with the mission of promoting and building the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian and cross-cultural art forms in North America. It is passionate about showcasing, celebrating and building an awareness of artists and artistic disciplines of Indian origin in the performing, literary, visual and folk arts.  For further information please visit

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John Laing is a writer based in New York with decades of non-profit experience.

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