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Appreciating Desi Artists in Atlanta

December 2012
Appreciating Desi Artists in Atlanta

 

Mini Mehta talks about Chai Latte Productions, with Rekha Pallath, Sadaf Farooqui, and Aqsa Farooqi at the inaugural event of ADAA, Appreciating Desi Artists in Atlanta.
(Photos: Hakim’s Studio)

Chai Latte Productions, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, has introduced a new platform for recognizing talent in Atlanta's South Asian American community. Organized every two months at no cost to attendees, ADAA (Appreciating Desi Artists in Atlanta) is an effort to shine light on individuals of South Asian origin, sometimes lesser known even within their own community, by providing an open forum to demonstrate and display their art/craft.

“My dream is for every local South Asian adult artist’s dream to be realized,” shared Aqsa Zareen Farooqui, Founder of Chai Latte Productions, “the dream to be recognized. Shah Rukh Khan, Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam—we, as an audience, are willing to pay big money to experience the glamour and talent of the “big stars.” Unfortunately, we have difficulty recognizing the art of people in our own community. Chai Latte Productions wants to change that by providing a free community forum where artists can enjoy creative freedom in front of an attentive audience.”

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Sadaf Farooqui engages the audience with her shairi.

The inaugural event of ADAA was held at Ashiana Restaurant in Global Mall on Sunday, September 16, 2012, highlighting singer Rekha Pallath and poet Sadaf Farooqui. While Sadaf entertained the audience with her own poetry and ghazals in Hindi and Urdu, Rekha sang two Bollywood numbers and also performed, for the first time live, a new single “Nasha” from her forthcoming album. This was followed by a Q&A session for the artists to talk about their passions and inspirations, and field other queries from guests.

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Rekha Pallath smiling with glee.

Shared Meenakshi Mehta, Vice-President of Chai Latte Productions, “ADAA was a delightful evening with Rekha and Sadaf, two maestros in the fields of music and Urdu poetry, respectively. The audience were enthralled by the mesmerizing performance of the artists and equally impressed with the questionnaire session that reflected maturity and wisdom beyond their years. As part of the event organizing team, it was most encouraging to see fifty people show up without any marketing or promotion, who wanted more of such events. Kudos to the Desi artists!”

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Rehka Pallath sings her heart out.

Chai Latte Productions (previously known as Khoobsurat Productions) focuses on promoting socially relevant theater and raising awareness about South Asian American culture. The group has performed plays such as “Peelay,” “Badaltey Rishtey,” “Meri Zindagi, Mera Faisla,” “Vivaah or Nikaah,” and also shot a short film, Veiled.

For the next events, applications/nominations are invited on the Facebook page, ChaiLatteProductions. Eligible talent must be over 18 years of age (male or female), of South Asian origin, and an artist (any art is acceptable). A note should explain what makes this artist unique and special, and how s/he is engaged with the community in Atlanta. For more information, contact Aqsa Farooqui at chailatteproductions@gmail.com .

 


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