2018 has been an exciting year for AVID! This year we completed 1000+ programs across the fields of art, literature, culture and heritage, design, innovation, music, dance and theatre, and reached out to 1,25,000+ people. Our curatorial role at Royal Opera House, Mumbai, now in its second year since reopening, has enabled us to reach out to newer and more diverse audiences this year. Our programs have featured compelling panel discussions, important book launches, innovation and multidisciplinary art performances and a range of informative workshops and masterclasses. We also continued our recently revived Multipolis Mumbai series which showcased fascinating aspects of our maximum city. 2018 has also been a year of firsts, as we held our first ever full-fledged Opera Season at the Opera House and also hosted and curated FICCI's first ever Mumbai chapter of Smart Cities, Art Cities: A Summit for Building Creative Industries in India.


Multipolis Mumbai, originally a nine-part series spearheaded and curated by us, was begun in 2012 as a platform for exchange of ideas, bringing together the worlds of art, architecture, culture, design, film, food, fashion, literature, music, philosophy, theatre and more. The series was revived in 2017 and this ongoing iteration decodes the past while looking to the future and finding novel ways of engaging, interacting with and reenergising the city that we love!


  • Opera 101: Appreciating the Art Form
  • Opera 2.0
  • The Making of an Opera: A Curtain Raiser to La Fedelta Premiata

We curated and presented a series of three Opera Appreciation workshops with Pianist Mark Troop that explored various aspects and facets of this fascinating and hauntingly beautiful musical genre. From tracing the history of Opera, discussing basic structural elements, showcasing Opera culture and understanding practical production aspects, these workshops gave participants a well-rounded introduction to the craft.

#StoryBookDramatisation by Julia Donaldson

Well-loved Children’s Author Julia Donaldson took the city by storm with enacted readings and performances of some of her most famous books and stories to sold-out audiences at Royal Opera House, Mumbai.


In collaboration with Furtados, Giving Voice Society, and Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, Mumbai, we presented Opera Season 2018 at Royal Opera House, Mumbai featuring a number of exciting events including a rare behind-the-scenes workshop, a beautiful Recital of Harp and Soprano which celebrated famed Italian composer, Giaocchino Rossini, a heritage walkthrough and Opera tour at the venue and, finally, the actual Opera – Joseph Haydn’s La Fedelta Premiata. During the three days of the opera run, we featured an exclusive Fashion Pop-Up of Opera-inspired gowns by Mumbai-based designer duo Karan Berry and Leon Vaz of the House of Karleo.

#SmartCitiesArtCities Summit: AVID x FICCI

In collaboration with The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Creative Industries Division, we presented a landmark day-long conference, the very first Mumbai chapter of ‘Smart Cities, Art Cities: A Summit for Building Creative Industries in India’. The Summit put special emphasis on looking at emerging trends, initiatives and innovations in the arts and culture space from the Western region. This conference upheld the objective that FICCI champions- that of creating a robust silo for the creative industries and creating lasting and effective government policy that will build, sustain and support these industries.

Panel topics included: Practitioners, Thought Leaders and Influencers, Creating Cultural Capital, The Ecosystem | Education + Infrastructure and JUGAAD: Challenges and Troubleshooting. Case study presentations were made on Jaipur and the revival of the arts in the region as well as St+art Art's role in propagating Street Art in India.

The summit featured key speakers from the arts and culture fraternity including Member of the Chief Minister’s Advisory Committee for Rajasthan, Malvika Singh, Tasneem Zakaria Mehta of the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Sangita Kathiwada of the Kamal Morarka Haveli Museum, Maneck Davar of the Kala Ghoda Association, Smriti Rajgarhia of the Serendipity Arts Foundation, Paul Abraham of Sarmaya, Jagdip Jagpal of India Art Fair, Shivaprasad Khened of the NGMA and Nehru Science Centre Mumbai and Sabyasachi Mukherjee of the CSMVS.

The event was very well attended by influencers and practitioners from across the breadth of the arts who came together to participate, ideate and debate on the state of the creative industries pan-India, improvement of cultural policy and good governance for the arts.

#Collaboration with University of Edinburgh

  • Masterclass on Creative Music Practice: Connecting the Audio and Visual Worlds
  • Panel Discussion on The Secret Lives of Buildings: Historical Architecture and Human Nature
  • Roundtable Discussion on Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi

We collaborated with the University of Edinburgh to present a series of events through which distinguished faculty and professors from the University’s varied departments engaged with local audiences, practitioners, alumni, cultural organisations and academics, to develop networks and open dialogues. We held a master class on innovations in sound and audio-visual worlds, a round table discussion on the socio-political history of Mughal miniature painting and a panel discussion on the humanistic and emotional aspects of architecture.


With AVID at the helm of programming, Royal Opera House, Mumbai celebrated its second anniversary since its reopening in October 2018. Leveraging Royal Opera House, Mumbai as our venue partner, we have collaborated with the space to showcase classical and popular Indian and western music, Opera, theatrical performances, book launches, panel discussions, multidisciplinary art performances and major theatre and literature festivals.

In collaboration with leading museums, foundations, art galleries and curators, we have curated and presented panel discussions at various venues in the art district and facilitated Art pop-ups and exhibitions at the Royal Opera House in conjunction with related events. In collaboration with Sarmaya, we curated a compelling panel discussion, Voices from the Past, which probed the role and future of the archive. We also held a panel discussion around a retrospective exhibition and book launch celebrating veteran artist Manu Parekh’s 60-year artistic journey and experience. We also lent our stage to leading artist Satish Gupta who put up a magnificent art installation at the venue around which poetry readings, exquisite contemporary dances and calligraphic performance art were performed.

We have presented artist Seema Kohli's multidisciplinary performance at Royal Opera House, Mumbai and also held panel discussions on the Art of the Pichvai and the role of technology in consuming and making art. We also worked with ICIA Gallery to showcase and exhibit Photographer Paul Saltzman's work on the Beatles in India and held a discussion on Photography and subcultures at their venue.

We launched author Chandrahas Choudhury’s book Clouds at Royal Opera House, Mumbai. The evening featured the talented and respected actor Naseeruddin Shah who gave a wonderful reading from the book. We also launched a book by Ajoy Bose titled Across the Universe: The Beatles in India, based on the Beatles’ time spent in India and how it influenced not just their music and philosophies but also left indelible impressions on the music and popular culture in India. The Lucknow Cookbook, authored by Chand Sur and Sunita Kohli, showcased not just the cuisine but also the exquisite culture, tradition and architecture of the ‘City of Nawabs’. Poet, Lyricist and Screenwriter, Javed Akhtar officially launched the book and recited some original couplets inspired by the city. In collaboration with HarperCollins India, we launched Director, Meghna Gulzar’s first novel, Because He Is… based on her childhood memories and relationship with her iconic father – Poet and Lyricist, Gulzar. The evening also featured a panel discussion around the book with Filmmaker and Screenwriter, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. We also launched ex-CEO of Proctor and Gamble India, Gurcharan Das’ book, Kama – The Riddle of Desire which explored the themes of love and desire in an Indian context.

We engaged more deeply with music by presenting a lyrical Lecture Demonstration by Hidayat Husain Khan on the virtuosity of the Sitar and its legacy and importance as an instrument. In collaboration with Cosmic Heart Gallery, we presented Music of the Mystics by Fanna-Fi-Allah, the only non-Asian Qawwali ensemble devoted to spreading the Sufi message in the West. In collaboration with The Consulate General of Hungary in Mumbai, we presented Colours of the Revolution in Dance, a music and dance performance that showcased and celebrated the traditional folk culture of Hungary. We also presented The Fantasy Orchestra – a collaborative popular music performance by local and international musicians as well as Pianist Sahil Vasudeva's unconventional multimedia performance – The Un-recital.

In the spirit of AVID’s mission to facilitate continuous learning, we held workshops with leading experts on a variety of subjects including Decoding Art Deco, Publishing, Non-Fiction Writing, Opera Appreciation, Fashion Journalism, Writing Across Different Platforms, Travel Writing, Crime Writing, Typography, Architectural Legacy of the British Raj, Writing for Children’s Books, Screenwriting and The Art of Illustrating Stories. We also held short but intellectually stimulating sessions on innovative music practices and technologies and on Design Thinking and industry best practices.

We leveraged the power of cultural diplomacy and forged new diplomatic ties to bring the best of International Art, Culture and Design to the city. We collaborated with the Consulate General of the United States to present a panel discussion around creating future global leaders in India. The Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, Mumbai presented a fascinating discussion on costuming for films with an internationally renowned costume designer. They were also one of our key partners in presenting our Opera Season 2018 (July-August 2018) at Royal Opera House, Mumbai. With the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai we have partnered to present an exhibition and discussion on rare photographs of the Beatles in India as well as present a discussion on philanthropy in Mumbai on the Annual International Day of the Girl Child. With British Council, we presented Antardrishti – Inner Vision, a programme which featured the United Kingdom's only Blind Orchestra and performances by visually impaired musicians and singers. We forged new ties with The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and The Consulate General of Hungary in Mumbai to showcase dance from each country on our stage.

On April 2, 2018, Royal Opera House, Mumbai was lit up blue in collaboration with Ummeed Child Development Centre in support of World Autism Awareness Day. This was the second consecutive year we have showed our support for this worthy cause. Akanksha Foundation presented a book launch and an evening of readings and performances at Royal Opera House, Mumbai. We organised a multi-disciplinary performance led by visually impaired multi-instrumentalist Baluji Srivastava OBE and featuring the UK's only blind orchestra. We also specially curated a thought provoking event as part of our Multipolis Mumbai series that centered around philanthropy and philanthropic institutions and initiatives in the city to coincide with the Annual International Day of the Girl Child.

AVID works with festival platforms across the arts and literature. This year we presented Mumbai Curtain Raisers for Serendipity Arts Festival 2018, for the second consecutive year and ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019, for the sixth consecutive year. In the past we have been closely affiliated with Times LitFest and The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival and this year we began collaborating with the Prithvi Theatre Festival and Peek-A-Book Children's Literature and Storytelling Festival.

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