Volume 23, Issue III • July, August, December • 2018
Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation Thursday, August 16, to Sunday, September 23, 2018
The Ontario Museum of History & Art will be showing the Smithsonian traveling exhibition Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation from August 16 to September 23, 2018. The first-of-its- kind exhibition details the history of Indian Americans and their contributions to the United States from the 1700s to the present. From the builders of some of America’s earliest railroads and farms to Civil Rights pioneers and digital technology entrepreneurs, Indian Americans have long been an inextricable part of American life. Created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American
Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), Beyond Bollywood features Indian Americans’ migration experiences, working lives, political struggles and cultural and religious contributions.
Approximately 17 million people in the United States are of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, and the number is expected to climb to 41 million by 2050. One in every 100 Americans has a family connection to India. Indian immigrants helped build the nation’s railroads, worked in lumber mills, toiled on farms and established prosperous trading routes that are still in use today. Through a vibrant collection of photographs, artifacts, art and interactive learning stations, visitors will experience the Indian American story and explore the many dynamic roles Indian Americans have played in shaping America.
“The vibrant life, culture and history of immigrants from India and Indian Americans is the story of America,” said Lisa Sasaki, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. “This wonderful exhibition deepens our understanding of the American experience as lived by the Asian Pacific American communities who have journeyed from being exotic outsiders to being the faces and voices of the future. We are excited to present an exhibition that we hope will excite and inspire generations.”
The exhibition has been funded in large part by donations from philanthropists and corporations from across the country. Lead gifts came from Dr. and Mrs. Kanu Shah and Sadhana and Rick Downs, with additional major gift support from TV Asia, the Epker-Sinha Foundation, Citigroup Foundation, Umang and Ruth Gupta, Gautam and Varsha Chandra, Washington Gas, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Goldman Sachs, Robert N. Johnson, Sunita and Dan Leeds, Haresh and Alpa Bhungalia, Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee, Girish and Indu Jindia, Rohit and Joy Kirpalani, Anil and Sonjui Lal Kumar, Dr. Mahinder and Sharad Tak, Southwest Airlines and the Network of Indian Professionals Foundation.
Join the Museum on Saturday, August 25, 2018 from 1 PM to 4 PM for Beyond Bollywood: Storytelling and Art. Tour the exciting exhibition, participate in art workshops and enjoy storytelling with Karen Rae Kraut. On Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, explore Bollywood and Bhangra dance from India at our On the Dance Floor program. The class will be led by Rajat Rocky Batta Dance Company. All levels of dance experience are welcome. Space is limited. Admission is free and reservations are required for both events. For more information or to make a reservation, call (909) 395-2510.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at www.sites.si.edu. About the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center The Asian Pacific American Center provides vision, leadership, and support for Asian and Pacific Islander American initiatives for the Smithsonian Institution and works to better reflect their contributions to the American experience, world culture, and the understanding of our planet and the natural world throughout Smithsonian Institution collections, research, exhibitions, outreach, and education programs.
Bollywood Dancers from Arpana Dance Company, Irvine, CA, June 2010.
Photograph by John Merrell