NalandaWay seeks to develop a sense of self-importance and individuality, encourage self-expression and stimulate imagination among disadvantaged children through its art programmes. The objective is to help kids ‘ACHIEVE THROUGH ARTS’ (ATA) because arts experiences offer children opportunities to:
NalandaWay’s training approach uses participatory art forms as its core content to facilitate communication, aid creativity, help in self-discovery and develop social responsibility among children through the following initiatives:
NalandaWay has followed a structured approach towards art education for children by developing an Art Curriculum of its own. The framework includes grade-specific activities that use mind mapping techniques to help students visualize, express, study and organize ideas and information through art. In addition, NalandaWay also empowers teachers by conducting art workshops to help them create a joyful learning environment for students. These workshops are primarily designed to help teachers expand upon the creativity of their students and provide for concurrent learning in other areas through painting, craftwork, music and theatre exercises. Children from marginalized areas are therefore better engaged through art and become more involved with their academics – which ultimately leads to a reduction of disruptive behaviour among them and also decreases dropout rates and absenteeism in schools.
NalandaWay Arts Labs provide exposure level and specialized courses to children who show promise in fine arts, craft, music, dance, drama and media. NalandaWay seeks to develop a sense of self-importance and individuality, encourage self-expression and stimulate imagination among children through its arts-based programmes. Art experiences offer children opportunities to think and feel as they explore, problem solve, express and interpret the world around them. Currently NalandaWay runs 10 art labs in the city of Chennai.
Chennai Children’s Choir is a cherished initiative of NalandaWay that has children from the disadvantaged homes in Chennai forming a world class choir. In summer of 2015 we auditioned over 600 children from 250 government and trust run schools, and selected 60 kids to be part of this exclusive group. Six of our choir kids are visually challenged and two are special needs children. They have weekly rehearsals at the Children’s Club, Mylapore. Although our kids are conversant only in Tamil, but they can sing like natives in Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, English, Urdu and Bengali. Within a year the choir has performed thrice - at Tattvalokha Auditorium for the anniversary of Children’s Club, at Urur Kuppam Vizha and at Goethe Institute on International Music Day. NalandaWay released a video with a medley of children’s songs sung by the choir on International Music Day that went viral within a week.
FUNDANGO is NalandaWay’s treasure chest to children aged between 5-10years. Each time a child opens this chest, it opens to a world of possibilities – in the form of books, games, puppets, art supplies, music instruments and a Lenovo tablet loaded 79 videos demonstrations for arts and crafts. FUNDANGO is designed for self learning and along the way it would promote curiosity, peer learning and ownership of the material. Our FUNDANGO is now in 25 corporation and trust run schools benefitting over 8000 students.
To promote a structured approach towards art education, NalandaWay has also conducted several short-term training programmes for children across India. These training programmes have provided marginalized children in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir the opportunity to learn various art forms. Workshops on filmmaking, photography, dance, drama, folk music and storybook creation have ultimately helped these children communicate their ideas, interests and issues.
Promoting talent and providing opportunities for children to express themselves through art has always been our objective. NalandaWay's ‘Art Arattai Aarpattam’ is an annual children's art, music, theatre and film festival that provides a space for children and their families to discover new experiences of the arts, to express themselves, to experiment with new ideas, to challenge boundaries, to be inspired, and to have fun together. Over 1 million children have directly benefitted through the festival’s five editions conducted from 2008-2012.