Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Tasveer and Seattle Opera announce new partnership

The South Asian film and arts nonprofit will host annual Film Summit in Tagney Jones Hall

Tasveer staff members Rita Meher, Anterpreet Bains, Uzma Khan, and Khenrab Palden. © David Jaewon Oh.

The South Asian film and arts nonprofit Tasveer has moved its administrative staff into the Opera Center, where they will share facilities and event space with Seattle Opera staff. In addition to access to workspace, storage, and technical support, Tasveer will host its annual Film Summit in Tagney Jones Hall, Seattle Opera’s 200-seat theater.

“We are looking forward to having our next festival in Tagney Jones Hall,” said Operations Manager Khenrab Palden. “Being at Seattle Center is the opportunity to showcase our programs to a much wider audience. This relationship with Seattle Opera gives us a chance to share our heritage and art with the larger Seattle community.”

The partnership was made possible through a grant from 4Culture/King County called Building for Equity, which supports building projects for arts and cultural organizations and creates a pathway for equitable resource allocation.

“This program gives 4Culture a blueprint for action. Addressing historic inequities in our sector will allow us to serve more organizations and communities throughout King County,” said Brian Carter, Executive Director of 4Culture. “There is no better place to start than with a program that makes cultural spaces possible—where people come together to express themselves and build communities.”

Tasveer’s residency, which is slated for an initial three-year commitment, provides the organization the chance to develop a plan to build a space of their own. “We are launching our own capital campaign,” said Rita Meher, Tasveer Co-Founder and Executive Director. “Being here gives us time to build our fundraising capacity. I’m not sure that we can acquire our own building in three years, but being here lets us get started. Programs like this one are a form of activism, leading to the creation of equitable systems that assist under-resourced organizations.”

Tasveer is Seattle’s only South Asian-led arts organization with a full-time staff. Since 2002, Tasveer (which means “picture” in Hindi and Urdu) has held an annual film festival, hosted numerous film summits, and offered a variety of classes and workshops. Founded in the aftermath of 9/11 to counter stereotypes and provide a platform for South Asian stories, Tasveer aims to spark important conversations about the South Asian diaspora. “We [South Asians] were and remain highly underrepresented in the media,” said Meher, who co-founded Tasveer with Farah Nousheen.

“We are thrilled for Tasveer to join us in the Opera Center,” said Dennis Robinson, Jr., Seattle Opera’s Director of Programs and Partnerships. “In 2019, Seattle Opera began its own journey toward racial equity by initiating a Racial Equity and Social Impact plan. It is important for our organization to continue amplifying the stories of communities who are not recognized enough. Working with organizations like Tasveer offers an opportunity not only to share those stories, but to provide a platform for the people who have lived them to tell their own stories.”

About Tasveer
Founded in March 2002, in the aftermath of 9/11, Tasveer has grown to be one of the biggest platforms in lending a voice and an ear to inspire social change in the larger Seattle community. In March 2004, Tasveer was incorporated as a Washington state non-profit and in April 2013 became a federally recognized 501c3 organization. Tasveer aspires to continue creating fresh and innovative platforms to bring the South Asian community together. Through the Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, Aaina and Yoni ki Baat, Tasveer South Asian LitFest, and more, Tasveer continues to incorporate visual and narrative art to reflect and highlight the issues and dilemmas faced by our community.

About Seattle Opera
Established in 1963, Seattle Opera is committed to serving the people of the Pacific Northwest through music, storytelling, and programs for people of all ages. Each year, more than 50,000 people attend the company's performances, and more than 100,000 people are served through school performances, radio broadcasts, and more. The organization brings opera to life in a number of different ways, offering artistic excellence through national and international collaborations. Seattle Opera strives to create an environment where artists, staff, behind-the-scenes workers, and members of the community feel a strong connection to the company, and to the art of opera. Follow Seattle Opera on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, and on Classical KING FM 98.1.

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