World on Stage, Namaskaar Foundation, Music, Dance, Theatre

Mission Statement

Namaskaar Foundation
To promote, preserve and raise greater awareness and appreciation for the traditional performing arts and culture of India, among Indians and American friends through a superior presentation of Music, Dance and Theatre from all regions of India.

World on Stage was the result of an initiative started in 1999 by the Namaskaar Foundation in its continued effort to build a new audience, and share and exchange the cultural heritage of the world by presentation of traditional Music, Dance and Theatre from around the World.


HISTORY
Founded in 1988 by Vrunda Patel, Namaskaar Foundation Inc. (NF) has its primary mission to promote, preserve and raise greater awareness and appreciation for the traditional performing arts and culture of India, among Indians and our American friends through a superior presentation of Music, Dance and Theatre from all regions of India. Since its inception, NF has presented over 100 plays, concerts and workshops by eminent artists of India. World on Stage (WOS) was established in 2001 as an outgrowth of the Namaskaar mission. The WOS programming reflects the additional mission to share and exchange cultural heritages thus raising greater awareness and appreciation for traditional performing arts and cultures from around the world. Through the performing arts, NF/WOS fosters mutual celebration and appreciation of diverse cultures and heritages.

OUR COMMUNITY IS OUR MARKETPLACE
In the Tristate area, the NF/WOS programming manages to keep pace with demographic shifts and cultural trends, so we are a unique and distinctive provider of world-class traditional performing arts programs focusing on multi-ehtnocentric education and programs. Our performances and educational events are driven by artists and non-traditional programs not likely to be found in commercial venues or academic theater departments in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

With offices in the Stamford Center for the Arts, a premier theater complex located in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, the NF/WOS audience base is primarily Fairfield County, but due to the strong emphasis we place on web-based marketing and advertising, we also attract a fair number of patrons from Westchester County NY, Manhattan, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We also cater in a large way to the employee community of major corporations such as UBS, GE, Xerox, and Pitney Bowes, located in Lower Fairfield County, where we are physically located. Consequently, NF/WOS has been able to enhance the financial and promotional support by the corporate community and public/ private schools that are our “friends, angels and neighbors” with mail-based and web-based marketing and publicity of NF/WOS events. Our community is therefore the greater Stamford area and much further beyond the Tristate area due to our non-profit model of a performing arts presenter dedicated to community service.

From 1988 to 1997 NF presentations were primarily geared towards the interests of our core community of Asians residing in Fairfield County. That changed in 1999 with our new mission to create interest for Indian performing arts among non-traditional (non-Indian) audience by including Music & Dance presentations from other countries. During the 1990's, NF was producing an annual event called: “Mela: An Outdoor Festival of Indian Performing Arts.” In 1999, NF began expanding its offering of world-class multicultural events by staging the “Festival of World Music and Dance” that had multicultural programming of artists representing Africa, China, Ecuador, Spain, India, Ireland and Poland. This multicultural outreach was presented at the Stamford Center for the Arts, Rich Forum theater in partnership with the Stamford Board of Education and with financial support from Pitney Bowes Inc.


NF/WOS STANDS FOR AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE THEATER
In keeping with our mission of multicultural outreach, the Namaskaar Foundation has maintained a very low overhead cost by carefully adjusting promotion and publicity to the target audiences. With over 6500 people on its email and mailing lists and an all-volunteer administrative team, NF is able to channel funding towards audience development in conjunction with the World on Stage programs. WOS ticket prices are kept low and affordable for families, and free tickets are offered to community organizations, youth groups in particular, and newcomers to NF/WOS theatrical events.

We have always been committed to audience affordable, accessible theater, and this commitment has actually expanded our world. In 1999, we set a goal to increase the non-traditional (non-Indian) audience by 25%. By 2003, we surpassed that goal, with over 50% of our audience from different cultural backgrounds. The 2002-2003 ticket income had increased by 25% increase from the previous time period. By 2008, we were getting requests for up to 700 free tickets and ready and able to fulfill such a demand for a dance concert at the Stamford Center for Arts’ Palace Theater that has 1500 seats.

We have steady working relations with a variety of excellent, professional venues, so the NF/WOS presentations are consistently world-class, high-quality culture. NF continues to present pre-eminent classical or popular performing artists from India or Pakistan in order to satisfy the tastes of the traditional audience base. We rely on the same theatrical venues presenting to both types of audiences.

CULTURAL CONNECTIONS BEYOND LIVE THEATER
In 2006, we began the difficult goal of developing our online network through Cultural Connections, a platform on our website, www.worldonstage.org, that will allow us to share and exchange information with local community organizations and performing artists while marketing Namaskaar Foundation and World on Stage to our patrons. Managed by NF, this digital platform will have a Calendar of Events and a NF/WOS newsletter. We hope to double our readership from the current level of 6500+ patrons through steady, online marketing of our events.

Strategic Planning and Achievement

1988-2008

Successfully presented over 100 eminent and high-quality artists in Music, Dance and Theatre productions.

1990-1996

Mela: An Outdoor Festival of Indian Performing Arts

In Sanskrit, MELA means to meet and mingle. The purpose of Mela was to create a common ground for people from different areas in India, to experience the performing arts of India from all regions. One would leave this festival with pleasant memories, a good feeling, and looking forward to attending next year's Mela.

This festival was held at the Charles Ives Center in Danbury. During this 7- year Festival, we have presented eminent artists in Folk, Classical & Popular style of Music & Dance.

1999

Audience Development Program

The Festival of World Music and Dance was held in September 1999 in order to build a new non-traditional (non-Indians) audience. Music and Dance from Africa, China, Ecuador, Spain, India, Ireland and Poland were presented to a very diverse audience at the Rich Forum in Stamford in partnership with the Stamford Board of Education, and supported by Pitney Bowes.

In our continued effort to build new audiences, World on Stage was born in 2001. With volunteer contributions, low-priced tickets or complimentary tickets to our performances, more than 5000 non-traditional youth and adults, had a chance to experience world culture for the first-time in their lives.

2001

World on Stage: New mission and a vision to fulfill

In our continued efforts to build a new audience, and share and exchange the cultural heritage of the world, through presentations of the traditional Music, Dance and Theatre from around the world we wish to establish a full-time organization in Connecticut.

2001-2006

Branding World on Stage

Our new mission is to brand World on Stage by making it THE source of world- class theater, in Connecticut and our neighbor Westchester County. With on- going high-quality presentations of Music, Dance and Theatre of different parts of the world, for the benefit of educational Institutions and the growing, diverse populations of Corporations, we are now almost a household name within the Fairfield County Community.

2005

Organization Partnership

In 2005 we created a Partnership Program with the Learning Corridor, a magnet school that already has a Performing Arts facility. Together we presented one of the finest dance companies in the world in a 4-day workshop and performances to 1800 students, faculty and public. It was very well received and we hope to continue such presentations when we have a full-time staff on board.

2006

Cultural Connections

Cultural Connections is a Calendar of Events via Email marketing, established and currently managed by the Namaskaar Foundation, to create a common platform to share and exchange information on cultural programs.

We introduced Cultural Connections in June 2006, with 2700 patrons and have now grown to 6500+. Namaskaar Foundation/World on Stage hopes to increase readership to 10000 by end of 2010.

2005-2009

Organization Development

Board Development, Staff Development, Program Development, Create new Organization Partnerships, Established Education Program and planned first Benefit Gala with focus on an Endowment Fund.

2007 Objectives

  • Hire staff: Executive Director, Office Manager and part-time admin
  • Recruit Program Committees
  • Develop an Education Program
  • Create Organization Partnerships

Long-term objective

  • Own Center for Arts and Culture