Now, students in the United States can further pursue their interests in the arts. In a first, the Telugu community in California has set up a US-based university that offers diplomas, certificate programmes and even a two-year master’s programme in Kuchipudi dance and Carnatic music to students.
With a focus on Indian performing arts, the University of Silicon Andhra (UofSA) has adopted a teaching programme which is a mix of virtual classes conducted by experts from India, along with weekend onsite classes.
“We are fortunate to have eminent faculty with doctorates in Carnatic music and Kuchipudi dance. Faculty of reputed institutions in Hyderabad and Chennai came to the University of Silicon Andhra for a week in January to conduct an orientation programme,” Anand Kuchibhotla, CEO and president of the university, told The Hindu.
The university is a progression of the Silicon Andhra Association (SAA), an organisation promoting Telugu language, literature and Indian arts among the US-based Telugu-speaking population, started in 2001 by Anand.
The university already has 14 students from 10 states enrolled for Masters, while the 12-month diploma and certificate programme has 12 and 10 students respectively. According to the report, students who have completed their Class 12 can secure admission at the university.
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The UofSA began operations on January 30 from a 25,000 sq ft building in Milpitas, California.
The university’s website says that apart from the students, experienced artists looking to start teaching classes in dance or music and teachers who want to add value to their practical experience and help their students, can also benefit.
In the future, Anand, a resident of San Jose, also plans to introduce courses in fields like biotechnology and computational logistic.
Sharing his journey, Anand, who is a native of Andhra Pradesh, says that while he moved to the United States to pursue his dreams, he has always remained passionate about Indian fine arts and his culture.
“Indian fine arts, music and dance forms are rich in content and form. But there is no world class journal promoting their study, in-depth research and a new understanding. Only an invigorating university system can encourage teaching, research and publication to enrich and enhance the ancient art forms and knowledge,” Anand said.