Folk and Traditional Arts

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Nirmala Rajasekar
Recipient Type
Start Date
November 2014
End Date
October 2015
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2013, Chapter 137, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Cultural Heritage

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Participants will study melody and rhythm (raga and tala) and learn about improvisation in this form of music. Participants would be able to name at least five melodies (ragas) and three rhythms (talas) also begin to create their own ideas for improvisation and model it to others. 2: Creating opportunities to engage audiences in the discussion and understanding of Indian music in the State of Minnesota. By bringing Melodies and Rhythms of India -Improvisation to new venues in Rochester, Saint Cloud and the Twin Cities with the support of local communities in the areas.

Measurable Outcome(s)

This was demonstrated by audience/students who modeled the chosen melodies ragas and rhythm cycle talas in a unique presentation experience. Per Evaluation Document by Becca Barniskis. Also this sample feedback exemplified in the May 9 concert at Mayo, that Nirmala Rajasekar is a master at explaining the complexity and depth of Carnatic music—both its origins and structure and grammar. She has a way of breaking down the mathematics of the music (its rhythmic structure or talam) that allows listeners to understand while still appreciating the sheer sophistication of the music. Her ability to weave lecture, training and performance together into a cohesive and interesting whole is unparalleled. 2: Public and students from various walks of life across several counties in Minnesota increased their awareness of Indian Music. Melody and Rhythm evaluation summary by Becca Barniskis: This evaluation is part of a summary that allows Nirmala Rajasekar to better understand what audience members are hearing and what questions they have. Her ultimate goal is to refine the short community performance experience so that it is aesthetically satisfying and still educative in an interesting way to the people in the room, no matter their background in Carnatic music. This report is based on information and audience response gathered from and recorded at various performances in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.

Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Project Overview
Folk and Traditional Arts
Project Details
Veena virtuoso and educator of south Indian music, Nirmala Rajasekar and percussion master Thanjavur Murugaboopathi will perform 'Melodies Rhythms of India and Improvisation at various locations in the Twin Cities, Saint Cloud, and Rochester.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Nirmala Rajasekar
(763) 258-1074
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Wendy Dayton: Arts and community leader and philanthropist.; Sean Dowse: Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies; Treasurer, Minnesota State Arts Board.; David Glenn, Executive director of the Minnesota Project, ceramic artist; Ellen McInnis: Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Thomas Moss: Consultant to nonprofits and government agencies; Janice Sivertson: Gallery owner and visual artist
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
John Berquist: Director, Saint Paul Swedish Male Chorus; former director, Rochester International Association; Rebecca Dallinger: Special projects coordinator at the White Earth Tribal and Community College; Rhonda Dass: Associate professor of anthropology, and director of museum studies, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Debra Korluka: Byzantine iconography artist and instructor; Phyllis May-Machunda: Cofounder and director of Training Our Campuses Against Racism. Facilitator, Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity. Folklorist, scholar, and educator.; Scott Pollock: Director of exhibitions, collections and programs, American Swedish Institute; Perry Price: Director of education, American Craft Council; Chris Schuelke: Executive director, Otter Tail County Historical Society
Conflict of Interest Disclosed