Perfecting her Brush Stroke for the Arts Community
Founding Member & Executive Director, Indo-American Arts Council (New York, NY)
Executive Director and Founding member of the Indo-American Arts Council, Aroon Shivdasani is passionate about its mission to build an awareness of Indian artists and artistic disciplines (performing, visual, literary and folk arts in North America) as well as nurturing and promoting emerging artists from the Indian subcontinent.
With a Masters Degree in English Literature and Drama and a Diploma in Marketing and Advertising, She has worked in marketing, advertising, media research, taught at the grade school and college levels, run a theatre company, been a docent at the Corcoran Gallery, been Editor of the Junior League publication, acted, danced, painted, thrown pots, and worked in ceramics and stained glass. She left her position as Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing & English Literature to take on her current position in 1998. She realized Indian arts were virtually invisible and unrecognized in North America and along with two others; she founded the Indo-American Arts Council to ensure North America were made aware of artists of Indian origin.
President of the Indo-American Arts Council Board of Directors, Aroon sits on the Boards of the Queens Museum of Art, The Lark Play Development Company and the Museum Trustees Association and the Advisory Boards of the Center for Architecture's Jugaad Urbanism, Hindu American Seva Charities, Light of India Awards, Special Advisor to the Kandy International Film Festival, Artefacting Mumbai, and several other art and charity organizations. But Aroon's first priority a is her family: the one she was born into and the one she has nurtured with her husband Indur , daughters Sacha and Misha and granddaughter Maya. Their unconditional love and support is her grounding.
“Success in creating a growing awareness of artists and artistic disciplines of Indian origin in the United States,”says Aroon. “ When I founded the IAAC 14 years ago, knowledge and awareness of Indian artists or Indian artistic disciplines was non-existent. My passion and dogged focus influenced others to follow suit and I do believe we are well on our way to an Indian summer in the arts….an exciting addition to the diversity of the American artistic scene.”
Her greatest influence is her mother. She describes her as an energetic, gutsy, brilliant, happy, loving woman who instilled in her and her siblings a love for life, for the arts and the importance of family. Even now at 93 years old, she is still avidly interested in theatre, music, dance, film, travel and politics. In fact she recently acted in a play, sits on the Mayor's Board for the Aged in Toronto, does aqua-fit and still reads voraciously.
What does she wish for in her own life? “ I wish I could replicate myself 24/7 to be a literary critic, a dancer, a singer, an actor, a philanthropist, an artist and still have plenty of time for my loved ones……I would love to be all these things simultaneously without any stress,” offers this multi talented arts leader. From our prospective, Aroon Shivdasani is well on the way to getting towards her goal of being accomplished in all realms of life—however we will leave her to figure out how to do so without stress. With her set of skills, it wouldn’t be shocking if she was able to do all of it in this lifetime!