New Approaches to Connect People and Art: Resilience Shown by Jawahar Kala Kendra During Pandemic

Moumita Dhar1 & Abdul Lateef Usta2

1National Museum, India

2Independent Scholar, India

Jawahar Kala Kendra, popularly known as JKK is an International multi-art, culture, and heritage centre, established in 1993 by the Government of Rajasthan, India. Over time JKK has emerged as a landmark of both traditional and contemporary art in the historic city of Jaipur, popularly known as the ‘Pink City of India’. JKK is focused on the promotion and preservation of both tangible and intangible art including different forms of visual-performing arts, film, and literature. Every aspect of JKK including its activities, collection, conservation, architecture, cafeteria, library, and publication is a reflection of art. The building architecture is based on the Nine Planet concept of astrology. It has six galleries, an open-air theatre, auditoriums, a library, an artist residency, and a cafeteria. The usual activities of JKK apart from the exhibition are performance-based art including dance, music, theatre, poetry, painting, pottery, etc. During the global pandemic, JKK faced severe crises, financial, but most importantly, the absence of performance-based art which is the main aim of the JKK. Still, JKK managed to connect with people in a global context through online web and virtual platforms with more than a hundred online events organized. JKK managed to sustain itself financially due to its proper management system and engaged more than 600 artists through the online platforms including women, tribal, and folk artists. Each artist was given remuneration, which helped them to survive during the hardship of COVID-19. After the pandemic, in 2022, JKK witnessed more footfall than ever due to its increased popularity through online platforms. Though the pandemic has left a severe loss, still, it has given a new direction to the creative approaches of JKK. This presentation discusses the impact of COVID-19 on JKK and its upgraded creative approaches to building resilience.