In commemoration of World Disability Day, December 3—also declared Artabilities 4 All Day by Mayor Al Adam of Thousand Oaks—65 artists from around the world gathered online and in a live venue in India to present performances as part of “Wings Unlimited” 2021, hosted by local nonprofit SciArtsRUs. The artists included singers and dancers, visual artists such as painters and sculptors, as well as baking artists who all have challenging disabilities, ranging from physical, vision and hearing to intellectual. Featuring artists from the U.S., Canada, Malawi, Uganda, Europe and India, the event was streamed on the SciArtsRUs YouTube channel.
“This event aims to provide a platform to help provide opportunities to showcase their talent,” says SciArtsRUs President and CEO Ranjini Kaushik, who founded the California-based nonprofit organization with the twin missions of inclusivity and diversity in the arts and sciences.
“We strive to promote and make accessible science, arts, music and the interface of science and arts in addition to providing an exclusive visual and performing arts platform for the disabled, challenged and differently abled artists,” says Ranjini, who launched the Artabilities 4 All platform.
“The vision for Artabilities 4 All stemmed from the goal to provide a global performing and visual arts platform for the differently abled, challenged and disabled, both online and live. Artablilities 4 All has featured close to 200 artists across four continents and eight countries thus far, and we would like to grow these inclusion-based initiatives worldwide and provide an opportunity for artists and athletes to have a career and also to thrive,” notes Ranjini.
Cross-Culture Concerts is another SciArtsRU initiative, with the goal of uniting global artists in peace, harmony and goodwill with a focus on diversity by showcasing artists who practice dance and music of another culture in addition to their own. These online cross-culture concerts are broadcast on the SciArtsRUs YouTube channel.
“This cross-culture concert and dance series seeks to disseminate the positive message from artists to the audience and to other aspiring musicians about the rewards of learning music or dance of another culture and hopes to send the message of blurring boundaries within all of us by celebrating our differences and embracing diversity amongst all through the arts,” says Rajini.
“I grew up in India, but I was exposed to music ranging from Indian classical to western popular to music from the Middle East. Growing up with an ear to appreciate music of all kinds provides the kind of experience akin to travelling and meeting people of the world,” she says. “We have featured over 70 professionals from around the world and hope this concert series will open the hearts and minds of the listeners and also encourage schools to adopt cross-cultural music in their curriculum.” SciArtsRUs plans to host live events as well in the Conejo Valley.
SciArtsRUs also features programs at the interface of science and the arts, such as Science Meets Classical Music, Science Meets Dance and Science Meets Visual Arts that explore the educational and entertainment aspects of art and science.
In their Science Meets Classical Music program, “In collaboration with eminent musician, Sikkil Gurucharan, we created the Hexagram (two triangles) series which helps listeners and performers of classical music to be consciously aware of the science behind music, including Indian Classical music (Carnatic music) both online and in a live format,” explains Rajini, who is also a Biochemist and Molecular Biologist. “While Classical (Carnatic) music is a scientific system inherently, programs such as the Hexagram show the direct connection between elements of music and math/science. Biology has borne out the hexagram in fundamentals of human life like the DNA and RNA at a molecular level. Additionally, the Hexagram has been a cultural symbol among many communities globally and has also found relevance in philosophy. Thus, this will inherently appeal to people of all cultures and backgrounds and hence make classical music more accessible and palatable. The ‘Hexagram’ was produced as a series of six episodes explaining and illustrating how the hexagram is borne out in music. We are planning on explaining many such mathematical and scientific concepts via music and dance.”
Visit SciArtsRUs.com to watch videos and learn more.