Episode 92: Discovering BANF Houston’s Cultural Treasures with Silambam Houston

Get ready for a fun and lively episode of Spotlight Houston! This week, we’re spotlighting Silambam Houston, one of the city’s cultural gems. Join our host, Blanca Quezada, as she chats with Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan, founder of Silambam Houston. This amazing group teaches classical Indian dance and has been part of our community since 2002.

Dr. Lavanya shares how she started Silambam Houston to celebrate Indian dance. With over 100 students, they offer dance classes, events, and more to connect people with Indian culture.

Our conversation also delves into the transformative role of the BIPOC Arts Network and Fund’s (BANF) Cultural Treasure Acceleration Initiative. BANF recognized the potential of Silambam Houston, naming them a Cultural Treasure and providing crucial funding. Discover how this support has propelled Silambam Houston to make a significant impact through dance and community outreach.

The BIPOC Arts Network and Fund (BANF) supports Houston Cultural Treasures to help under-recognized and under-resourced organizations.

In a recent ceremony, BANF named 11 groups ‘Houston Cultural Treasures’ and gave them over $5 million in funding for 2024-2025. Silambam Houston was one of them!

These groups, including Silambam Houston, are not just recipients of support, but leaders in cultural production and community advocacy. BANF’s backing is not just financial but also a catalyst for a more inclusive and diverse arts scene in Houston, a testament to the power of community support.

BANF started in 2022 by investing $2 million in BIPOC-led groups needing urgent support during the pandemic. In 2023, they funded 25 artists with $20,000 each. Another round will open in 2024.

To learn more about Silambam Houston, visit https://www.silambamhouston.org or call 713-635-9382.

Remember, Spotlight Houston episodes now drop every Monday! Tune in next week for more engaging stories that celebrate our city’s vibrant spirit. Do you have an idea or feedback? We’re always listening!

Follow us on social media at:

Timestamps (AI-generated)

[00:00] Indian Classical Dance Forms
Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan discusses the unique characteristics of various Indian classical dance forms.

[00:01:17] Introduction by Sandra Fernandez
Sandra introduces the episode on Silambam Houston and the BIPOC Arts Network and Funds Cultural Treasures Initiative.

[00:01:56] Silambam’s Impact
Blanca introduces Dr. Rajagopalan, who talks about Silambam Houston’s community contributions through Indian classical dance.

[00:03:04] Personal Dance Journey
Dr. Rajagopalan shares her journey into Indian classical dance starting from childhood in India.

[00:04:52] Growing Silambam
How Dr. Rajagopalan expanded Silambam from a small group to a large academy.

[00:07:05] Classical vs. Bollywood
Clarifying the difference between classical Indian dance and Bollywood, emphasizing classical dance’s depth.

[00:09:57] Recent Performance
Details about Silambam’s performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre, blending Indian classical and Baroque art forms.

[00:11:17] Cultural Treasure Recognition
Silambam’s recognition as a cultural treasure and support from the BIPOC Arts Network and Fund.

[00:11:51] Educational Outreach
Silambam’s programs, including storytelling and STEM education through dance.

[00:14:36] Summer Programming
Information on Silambam’s annual student showcase and potential summer camps.

[00:16:49] Inclusivity in Dance
Silambam’s efforts to include students from various ethnicities and abilities.

[00:19:52] Inspirational Stories
Dr. Rajagopalan shares inspiring stories of students finding joy and expression through dance.

[00:21:03] Student Age Range
Silambam accepts students from age 5 to adults, offering a range of classes.

[00:21:24] Grant Utilization
How Silambam uses the BIPOC grant for facility improvements and program expansions.

[00:22:54] Contact Information
Silambam Houston’s website and phone number for more information and registration.

[00:24:22] Upcoming Events
Details about Silambam’s end-of-June student showcase.

[00:26:27] Outro & Closing
Blanca thanks Dr. Rajagopalan and invites listeners to share comments and story ideas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Episodes & Updates