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Next: Chennai's Creative Economy - 9 Jan, 2021

The second edition of ACRI Chennai’s Next: series - Next: Chennai’s Creative Economy explored how various creative professionals survived the pandemic, the new trends that sprung up in the past few months, and what learnings could be applied going forward.

The event kicked off with a documentary filmed during the lockdown that explored the creation of a mural on the front of the Tambaram Railway Station during the peak months of the pandemic, a tribute to the frontline medical staff, and the resilience of the city of Chennai during that period. This was followed by a conversation with the artist, Varshini Ramakrishnan, that delved into how the mural was painted without her actually getting out of her house!

The remainder of the session was a conversation between Siddharth Chandrashekhar (Founder, Vennba Art Gallery), Badhri Narayanan Seshadri (Founder, Motta Maadi Music) , MT Aditya (Founder, Offbeat Music Ventures) and Tenma (Founder, The Casteless Collective) moderated by Shreya Nagarajan Singh (Founder, SNS Arts Development Consultancy).

Siddharth briefed the audience on the response of Chennai’s citizens to the opening of a new art gallery in the time of a pandemic, and on the approach of the Vennba Art Gallery to open up art and artists to audiences that would normally struggle to find affordable artwork. The conversation then moved to how a music studio survived the previous year and helped musicians take their art digital; and how Motta Maadi Music, a movement that is built on audience participation continued to engage with its fans and the future of digital audience engagement.

The panel then proceeded to share their experiences getting back into physical events post-lockdown, and went on to speak about innovative systems that looked beyond remuneration, and using barter systems to get work done with fellow artists!

The event ended with all the panelists sharing their biggest learnings over the past year - from learning new skill sets to building resilience to simply experimenting enough till something works.


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