Getting to source
On this tour to Janapada Loka, children learn about museums, puppetry and art careers
ArtTRIPPING will enter its fifth edition on Sunday. It is a day-long experiential programme for children, aged 8-13, to visit art spaces in and around the city, and see how artists pursue their passion. This time, the young bunch will be boarding a bus to Ramanagara to visit Janapada Loka, a folk arts museum, and get hands-on experience with leather puppetry. In the past, ArtTripping has been to Nrityagram Dance Village (a gurukul for classical dance forms), National Gallery of Modern Art, Infinite Souls (a music and theatre residency) and Jagriti Theatre.
While the museum session will be facilitated by Tejashvi Jain, founder-director of ReReeti (a platform to revitalise Indian museums), theatre practitioner Vandana Prabhu is overlooking the programme. Sharing what parents can expect from the excursion, she says, “A visit to a museum usually turns out to be boring. So ReReeti has tailored its session to engage children, and educate them about the rich history of Janapada Loka, and its exhibits. It will begin with a treasure hunt inside the museum. Then Jain will ask children to tell her what they saw, which exhibits caught their attention and why. During the workshop, they will get to touch and feel leather puppets that are almost a century-old, learn the significance of colours and symbols used on them, and how to handle them.”
Since Prabhu is also a storyteller, she will ask children to come up with stories and act them out with puppets. “Children, sometimes, go on and on with their stories. It’s important for them to learn to conclude a story,” she says.
Eating at Kamat Lokaruchi, a restaurant inside the museum premises, is also part of the outing. “We encourage children to explore local cuisines. The restaurant serves typical north Karnataka food — jowar roti, curry, butter milk and sugar cane juice,” adds the mother of two.
ArtTripping also aims to be an eye-opener. Prabhu explains, “We take children to different art spaces, and show what artists do for a living. For instance, what does an art curator do, or what’s the importance of a lighting artist or an art director. We show them that even arts, music or theatre can be good career options, without telling them that outright.” February 21. At Ramanagara. Tickets (`1,800) on bookmyshow.com
— Barkha Kumari