Education for Artisans

In India, art traditions embody vital cultural identity and heritage. And artisans are the stewards of these traditions.

SKV was founded to sustain art traditions and increase both the value and income of artisans. SKV believes that when artisans determine the innovations and evolution of their art, it will retain cultural integrity. And, only if art and artisans flourish, will traditions continue as an intact cultural heritage.

Somaiya Kala Vidya offers design as well as business education to working traditional artisans of Kutch, in sustained input through eleven-month courses. It makes "higher education" accessible. The institution's curricula, schedule and language of instruction are designed to accommodate artisan lifestyles.

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Somaiya Kala Vidya's educational approach honours both concepts and knowledge as well as techniques of traditions. Courses begin with the appreciation of tradition, then the teaching of additional knowledge and skills that will enable artisans to use design and business effectively. The goal is to diversify traditions while retaining cultural identity as an edge in contemporary markets.

In educating artisans, SKV revitalizes and sustains traditions. It raises the capacity of the participants and the entire craft sector.

Somaiya Kala Vidya’s curricula are practically relevant. They build on existing strengths, and strengthen shortcomings, by:
» Teaching concepts by beginning with existing systems of knowledge, skills, design and innovation.
» Teaching through problem solving projects which support and contribute to the artisan’s ongoing work.
» Evaluating through an authentic, direct marketing link.

SKV's education intends to:

Increase artisans’ confidence in knowing what they know.

Raise the value of tradition based crafts.

Enable artisans to also significantly improve their standard of living,
both socio-culturally and economically.

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