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“Every Artist Needs a Stage” – And This Art Community Is Offering Just That!

Open Sky is an art community that offers a platform to different kinds of arts like music, poetry, stand-up comedy, theatre and magic.

“Every Artist Needs a Stage” – And This Art Community Is Offering Just That!

Open Sky is an art community that offers a platform to different kinds of arts like music, poetry, stand-up comedy, theatre, and magic.

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will say: I am here to live out loud.” — Emile Zola.

Indeed! For an artist, it is as important to connect with other people as it is to create something. Art often takes shape and evolves in the process of its creation as well as interaction with its connoisseurs. That is exactly why all the artists crave a platform where they can present their art.

Bengaluru-based art community Open Sky aims to provide that platform to those who are creators of some sort.

Open Sky community members

The community believes in making available a safe haven for artists, where they can showcase their art and feel accepted.

“We tend to label art a lot. We, as a society, have been led to judge art in a competitive way. You are a dancer? How many shows have you performed at? You are a poet? How many poems have you published? So on and so forth. At Open Sky, we are trying to highlight a message that any artist is an artist, no matter how small his or her audience. Someone who has written just one poem is still a poet and deserves an audience to present that poem. We are providing that space where every single artist feels accepted,” says Shruthi Mohan, the head of Open Sky.

The idea for Open Sky came to Shaun D’Souza and Tim Lo Surdo two years ago as they enjoyed an impromptu slam poetry session at a friend’s house. After experiencing the vibe of positivity and connectivity that was created in the session, the 22-year-old duo decided to take it forward. Since the slam that inspired the idea had taken place on a rooftop, the community was named ‘Open Sky’, which also became symbolic of flying high and not being bound by any walls.

Also read: “I Am Deaf & I Love to Dance!”- Inclusive Dance Festival Offers a Platform to the Disabled

Shruthi Mohan was introduced to Open Sky when a friend dragged her to one of the sessions. She was hooked instantly. A trained classical dancer herself, she started venturing into poetry after joining the community. Having discontinued dance for a few years, she regained her lost confidence and received warmth and motivation at Open Sky. “Being a part of such a creative and enthusiastic group makes you want to experiment and explore,” she says. The initiative spread across the country when different people involved in the initiative moved to different places and took the seed with them.

“We were basically a group of friends who wanted to do something different. We all believed in the idea and therefore, it didn’t matter where we were. So, as some of our members moved to cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Calicut and Chennai, they continued arranging different events under the banner of Open Sky. The community grew within no time. The founders, Shaun and Tim, have moved to Australia for their higher studies and have continued some activities there as well,” says Shruthi.

For the past two years, Open Sky community has been trying to convert every possible space in these cities into a performance stage.

Core team of Open Sky: Aishwarya Iyer (left), Deepten Sarkar (middle) and Shruthi Mohan

Open Sky Slams take place in different premises like cafes, rooftops, public gardens, orphanages, rescue homes, and government schools. Participants showcase different art forms like music, theatre, poetry, dance, comedy and magic on stage.

“We have never denied any artist the joy of presenting his or her art. We are open to all kinds of art forms, and those who are merging the boundaries between them,” says Shruthi. When asked what the most special thing about Open Sky is, Shruthi reflects, “The fact that Open Sky as a concept is accepted by people of different art forms, genres and ages! We have had performers from the age of five to 55.”

Open Sky has also been collaborating with different art communities in the country. The group has been invited to perform at the Goa Arts and Literature Festival that is set to take place on December 9 and 10.

Dancers performing at Open Sky Slam

The community has been trying to raise funds to manage the logistics.

“Since we don’t have any source to get funds, we are turning to people to help us get to the arts and literature festival. We are trying to reach out to people individually and through our Facebook page so that we will be able to get support that will help us reach Goa and perform,” says Shruthi.

Also read: The Melange of Poetry, Music and Storytelling That Has Made Pune Embrace Urdu Literature

To know more about Open Sky and to support them for the Goa Arts & Literature Festival, visit their official Facebook page here.

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