India Foundation for the Arts calls for applications for their

Arts Practice Programme Note

The Extending Arts Practice and New Performance programmes were reviewed in 2013 by a panel of experts comprising of Sadanand Menon, Madhusree Dutta, Shubha Mudgal, and Vivan Sundaram. As input to the review process, we solicited views on the support required for the arts from the larger field of arts practice and philanthropy in India (Please refer to our Voices from the Field Reports for the Visual Arts and for Performance). The panel made a set of recommendations to IFA and this ‘Arts Practice’ programme is an outcome of the recommendations. (The summary of the recommendations report will be available here shortly). Please find below, a note describing the framework of this programme. This programme is now open to accepting proposals. 

The Arts Practice programme supports critical practice in the arts. It encourages practitioners working across artistic disciplines to question existing notions through their practice. The programme seeks to establish a culture where arts practice is constantly being shaped and articulated through experimentation, critique and dialogue.

Applications are invited from practitioners for projects that could:

  • Challenge prevalent idioms and conventions of practice;
  • Counter market norms and standardisations;
  • Push new frontiers in terms of content, form and mediums;
  • Explore new modes of engagement with audiences;

The programme is also open to multiple readings of the ‘critical’ and encourages practitioners to articulate this in their own contexts.

Proposals will be accepted under the following grant categories:

  • Grants for arts projects that lead to a performative, aural, visual or literary work. Grant funds would be available up to a maximum of Rs 4,00,000. In case these projects need to be preceded by a separate period of research or exploratory work grants up to a maximum of Rs 2,00,000 can be applied for.
  • Grants to conceptualize and organize public platforms like conferences and seminars that facilitate critical dialogue, debate, sharing and discussion among diverse stakeholders of arts practice. Grant funds will be available up to a maximum of Rs 6,00,000.
  • Grants for innovatively modeled artist residencies and workshops that nurture artists, encourage collaboration and facilitate experimentation. Grant funds will be available up to a maximum of Rs 6,00,000.

Grants may be available for dissemination of work created with IFA support. These dissemination projects can be developed through interactions with the programme officer. Grant amount will be decided on a case by case basis.


Who can apply?

The programme invites applications both from practitioners working within as well as across disciplines.

You could be:

  • Performing artists working in music, sound, text, dance, movement, theatre, puppetry, storytelling, magic, circus and other performance arts.
  • Visual artists working across all forms including painting, sculpture, installations, photography, films, graphic art and new media
  • Curators, especially those working outside of the gallery context
  • Poets, novelists, playwrights working with literary arts
  • Practitioners engaged in interdisciplinary work


How to apply?

Applications can be sent at any time of the year. You are welcome to discuss your ideas and develop your proposal through interaction with IFA staff.

To apply, please send us a short note describing:

  • Your existing arts practice, concerns and interests as a practitioner.
  • The nature of the project and why you wish to work on it
  • How the project addresses the programme

Draft proposals in audio/ video format are welcome too. Applicants can also visit the IFA office to share their project ideas with the team. For this please arrange a meeting with the programme officer in advance.

Applications can be sent in any Indian language including English.

Please ensure that you approach us atleast three months prior to your need for funds. You can expect a response to the draft proposal within 2 weeks of receiving the application.



You are eligible to apply if you are an Indian national, a registered non-profit Indian organization, or have been resident in India for the last five years. Your collaborators, if any, should also fall into one of the above categories.

Please write to sumana@indiaifa.org or shubham@indiaifa.org for any questions or enquiries.
Programme Executive
Arts Practice
India Foundation for the Arts, ‘Apurva’
Ground Floor, No 259, 4th Cross,
Raj Mahal Vilas 2nd Stage, 2nd Block,
Bangalore-560 094.
Phone: 080-2341 4681 / 82


Request for Proposals: Arts Research and Documentation

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) is happy to announce that we are inviting proposals under our Arts Research and Documentation (ARD) programme for the year 2014-2015. The last date for the receipt of draft proposals has been extended to May 15, 2014 and the last date for the receipt of final proposals has been extended to June 15, 2014. You now have a little more time to prepare your proposals so start writing!

For details on the grant application procedure, please read the complete Request for Proposals below. You can also DOWNLOAD a pdf version of the file in English. The document is now available in other languages on the IFA website.

You can call us, write to us or drop in to our office to talk about your proposal. We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Warm regards,
The IFA Team

Are you a researcher or an artist interested in: 1) Studying the changing practices in the contemporary arts? Or 2) Exploring how artistic practices are constructed and come to be regarded as ‘tradition’?

This grant programme supports scholars/researchers and artists to undertake research and documentation projects falling under either one of the two following themes:

1) Research and documentation that seeks to study new developments in contemporary arts practice.
As a researcher or artist, you may want to study new developments or changing practices in the contemporary arts. For instance, you may want to study the intersection of technology-television and the Internet-and contemporary art. You may want to investigate site-specific work that engages with local communities or the natural environment. Or you may want to examine democratic art practices that blur the boundary between the artist and the audience.

You might want to use existing methods of research and/or create new conceptual or technical tools that depart from existing disciplinary methodologies to illuminate and contribute to the study of contemporary arts practices.

2) Research and documentation that critically examines how artistic traditions are constructed or reinvented.
The word ‘tradition’ comes from the Latin word traditionem, which literally means ‘handing over’. What is handed over from one generation to the next may be knowledge, beliefs, legends, practices and so on. Tradition can also refer to long established ways of thinking or acting within a continuing pattern of cultural beliefs or practices.

However, because tradition provides a powerful source of endorsement and sanction for certain practices, beliefs, values and norms of behaviour, it is often invented or reconstructed, as against simply inherited. Many practices which are seen as tradition are in fact quite recent inventions, often deliberately constructed for a variety of reasons, such as to legitimize certain actions, power equations or social hierarchies, to foster group cohesion and cement collective identities, or to support political ideologies, agendas or interests. Artistic traditions are also deliberately re-described and reinvented to create new audiences and markets for them.

Support under this theme is available for researchers or artists who are interested in studying why or how traditions are constructed. For example, you may be interested in examining the new meanings, values and symbols that are created when a tradition is invented or reinvented or what might be excluded, lost, concealed or suppressed in the process. You may be interested in how this phenomenon alters the relationship between the artist, the art form/practice and the context of its production and reception. Or you may be interested in looking at the influences and ideologies that underlie or determine such constructions of tradition.

IFA staff would be glad to answer your questions regarding this grant programme. You are welcome to approach us to discuss your ideas or send us a draft proposal for our suggestions and comments no later than May 15, 2014.

Your final applications should be in hard copy and reach us on or before June 15, 2014. You can expect grant awards to be announced by July 2014.

You may choose to write your proposal in any Indian language including English.

Your project may have a minimum duration of twelve months and a maximum duration of eighteen months.

You can request for support up to Rs 3 lakh. If you are a filmmaker, you can request for support up to Rs 5 lakh.

You may budget for an honorarium of Rs 12,000/- per month subject to a maximum limit of Rs 1,44,000 for the entire duration of the grant. Please note that the total grant amount is inclusive of the honorarium.

To apply, please send us a proposal describing:

The specific artistic tradition(s) OR contemporary art practice that you seek to research and/or document.
The research questions central to your project.
The research methodology that you seek to follow and/or new methodologies that you wish to pursue
The anticipated duration of your project, as well as a detailed work plan.
The proposed outcomes of your project.
Your proposal will need to include the following:

  • Supporting material, if any, which gives us a sense of your work.
  • Your bio-data.
  • A detailed budget breakdown that explains how funds will be used. Please also mention funds anticipated from other sources, if any.
  • Your address, telephone/fax numbers, and e-mail address.
  • If you are applying on behalf of an institution, please include background information on the organisation as well as the memorandum of association/trust deed, annual reports, and audited statements of accounts for the past three years.
  • General Information

Our funds will cover only project-related personnel costs, activities and travel, and can provide for modest equipment and materials, if necessary. Please ensure that each budget category pertains to a specific item of project-related expenditure.
If you are an individual, please budget for an accountant.
Please do not budget for institutional overheads, building costs and infrastructural development.
Please do not make your identity evident in the text of the proposal.
You can send us your draft proposal by email but your final proposal, including your supporting material should be in hard copy only, and should reach us on or before June 15, 2014.
You are responsible for the delivery of your proposal and supporting material to IFA by the closing date. Late applications will not be accepted.
If your proposal is short-listed, you may be requested to respond to evaluations.
Your proposal will be assessed by a panel of external evaluators, and IFA’s decision on grants will be final.
You are eligible to apply if you are an Indian national, a registered non-profit Indian organisation, or have been resident in India for at least five years.

Please address your application and all other communication to:
Tanveer Ajsi
Programme Executive
India Foundation for the Arts
’Apurva’, Ground floor, No 259,
4th Cross, Raj Mahal Vilas, 2nd Stage, 2nd Block,
Bengaluru 560 094.
Tel: 080 23414681/82
E-mail: tanveerajsi@indiaifa.org