Arundhati Ghosh, Executive Director of IFA, has received recognition from several quarters for her work in the not-for-profit sector, like the Global Fundraiser Award from Resource Alliance International in 2010, the same year IFA won the 'India NGO of the Year' award in India. She is a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Gurukul Scholarship for Leadership and Excellence at the London School of Economics, London and was selected as one of the top three leaders in the city of Bangalore under the 'Lead India' campaign of The Times of India in 2008. She sits on various Boards and Advisory Panels of not-for-profit arts organizations and often speaks, writes and trains on not-for-profit and arts management for leading Indian and international organizations like South Asia Fund Raising Group (SAFRG), International Workshop for Resource Mobilisation (IWRM), Resource Alliance, Art Think South Asia (ATSA) and others. She has also given guest lectures at MICA, IIM Bangalore and the London School of Economics. She has a Masters degree in classical dance and is a published poet in Bangla. She is currently a recipient of the fellowship under Chevening Clore International Leadership Awards, in the UK in 2015 and has undertaken a project at the National Theatre, UK.
Ashish Mehta, Production Manager - SMART India, a Mechanical Engineering graduate, is an actor & technical director with Pune based contemporary theatre organisation - Aasakta Kalamancha. With Aasakta Ashish has been involved in producing 25 theatre productions which have been performed across Maharashtra and all major festivals in India. Ashish was an ARThinkSouthAsia (ATSA) Fellow for the year 2012-13. He has been involved in the management of Prithvi Theatre Festival 2008 and the India tour of Complicite's 'A Disappearing Number' brought to India by Prithvi Theatre in 2010. He is also the festival manager of Vinod Doshi Memorial Theatre Festival since its inception in 2009. Ashish has also been awarded the Sahitya Rangabhoomi Pratishthan's Vinod Doshi Fellowship in 2011. Ashish along with Choiti Ghosh, used to manage the India Theatre Forum office until March 2014.
Milena Dragicevic Sesic
Milena Dragicevic Sesic is the Head of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management and a professor of Cultural Policy, Cultural Management, Cultural and Media studies at the University of Arts in Belgrade. She was advisor to the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Serbia (2006-07) and has worked as an expert for several international institutions, including UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the European Cultural Foundation, the Open Society Institute, ENCATC, the Marcel Hicter Foundation, Pro Helvetia and the British Council. Professor Dragicevic Sesic is the author of 15 books and more than 100 essays on a wide range of subjects, including arts management, cultural policy and intercultural relations and has been involved in more than 50 projects in cultural policy and management in South East Europe but also in EU member States and other countries in Europe, the Mediterranean, Caucasus and Central Asia and India.
Sameera Iyengar is co-founder of Junoon, an organisation that aims to make theatre/arts an integral and powerful part of our everyday lives. In Junoon, she plays a key role in conceptualising and developing Junoon's programmes and capacity building efforts, as well as building the organisation. She is also currently Course Director of SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre), a unique course designed specifically for theatre groups in India, and offered under the aegis of the India Theatre Forum (ITF). Sameera was also a founding member of the ITF in 2006, and remained a core member till 2014. As part of her ITF contribution, she co-edited Our Stage:The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today (Tulika 2009). Previous to Junoon, Sameera was Director Projects at Prithvi Theatre for close to a decade, and has also worked with the Seagull Theatre Quarterly. She has a PhD on theatre from the Department of South Asian Languages & Civilisations at the University of Chicago. She was bitten by the theatre bug however during her undergraduate years at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), from where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BSc in Mathematics and a Minor in Theatre. Sameera believes that theatre and the arts open doors to imagination, understanding and living life with fullness, curiosity, empathy and sheer joy. She delights in sharing this experience and possibility with all people.
Sanjna Kapoor is well known across India for her work in promoting theatre. She built Prithvi Theatre into India's finest cultural hub, and has consistently been an innovator and fore-runner in her work with theatre. She was the first to introduce workshops to Mumbai under the Summertime programme, and has also regularly presented the best of Indian and world theatre in India. In 2006, she initiated the India Theatre Forum network for theatre practitioners. In 2011, she left Prithvi Theatre to co-found Junoon, to take her love and passion for theatre to more people across India, with a deep focus on young people.
Sudhanva Deshpande has been with Jana Natya Manch (Janam) since 1987. He has acted in, directed, and helped evolve dozens of street plays, numbering a few thousand performances. With Sanjay Maharishi, Sudhanva has directed two documentary films on Habib Tanvir and Naya Theatre.
He is a core team member of the India Theatre Forum, as well as its capacity-building training programme, SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre). He has held teaching positions at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.
He has taught, led workshops, lectured and performed in several countries. He works as editor with LeftWord Books and uses the bicycle as his default mode of personal transportation in Delhi.
Sunil Shanbag is a Mumbai-based theatre director and producer, and the artistic director of the Arpana theatre company. He uses strong original texts, innovative staging techniques and powerful performances to make his theatre exciting and meaningful in today's times.
His production of Ramu Ramnathan's COTTON 56, POLYESTER 84 looked at the history of Mumbai's textile mills through the eyes of two mill workers. In 2010 his SEX, MORALITY AND CENSORSHIP developed in collaboration with writers Shanta Gokhale and Irawati Karnik introduced audiences to a contemporary "documentary theatre" style.
STORIES IN A SONG developed with eminent musicians Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan brings a ethnographic approach to Indian music history. His Gujarati adaptation of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well for the prestigious Globe to Globe International Shakespeare theatre festival in London in 2012, placed the original play within the history of the Gujarati mercantile community. More recently he worked with the Theater Freiburg, Germany, on a theatre production of Kiran Nagarkar's book, God's Little Soldier.
Sunil's wider interests in theatre has seen him engage intensively in training, theatre in education, research, developing new and alternative performance venues in the city, writing on theatre, and mentoring young theatre directors, and writers. Sunil is also an award winning documentary filmmaker with several independent films to his credit. His interest in history has seen him work closely with museum designers towards a contemporary approach to historical narratives.
Swati Apte is co-founder of The Arts Quotient, which seeks to bring the transformative power of arts processes to audiences beyond artists. She has worked extensively in the business as well as the social sector, is an Odissi dancer and briefly managed an art gallery in New York, where she lived for ten years. Swati has a keen interest in inclusive education and sits on the boards of multiple education NGOs. She has an M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Oxford University, UK) and an MBA (Harvard).