Over 20 Years of Celebrating the Arts
India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) is an independent, national, not-for-profit, grantmaking organisation based in Bangalore that supports practice, research and education in the arts and culture in India. Set up as a Public Charitable Trust in 1993, we started making grants in 1995. We have supported over 540 projects disbursing over Rs 24 crore (USD 3.4 million) across the country. The outcomes of these projects—as books, films, performances, exhibitions and archival materials—have been circulating in the public domain through showcases, presentations, seminars, screenings, lecture demonstrations and festivals, helping widen access and encouraging broader participation in the arts.
We believe that the arts and culture are essential to our individual and community lives, and for a more equitable and just world. It gives meaning to our existence and enables us to enquire into our past, critique our present and imagine collective futures. It connects us through shared experiences—to question, resist, and build. The arts makes us human, makes us more.
We support critical work that challenges dominant narratives and speaks truth to power. We focus on journeys that seek unheard voices and untold stories, which are often ignored or erased. As a facilitator, catalyst and provocateur in the field, we enable investigations, explorations and experiments that push boundaries of knowledge and practice.
We fund projects under five key programmes—Arts Research, Arts Practice, Arts Education, Archival and Museum Fellowships, and Project 560, especially encouraging work in Indian languages other than English.
- Arts Research: To critically enquire into the various histories and artistic practices in India
- Arts Practice: To challenge prevalent idioms and conventions of practice, counter market norms and push new boundaries in content, form and medium
- Arts Education: To place the school teacher at the centre of its work and supports arts-based training and grants for teachers and artists at government schools across Karnataka
- Archival & Museum Fellowships: To activate collections in archives and museums through curatorial and artistic interventions
Other than these programmes;
- The physical and digital spaces of The IFA Archive are now open for consultation. The physical archive in Bangalore along with the digital archive www.theifaarchive.org make the work of our grantees accessible to the field and the public.
- IFA has also conceptualised Project 560, a programme specifically focusing on the city of Bangalore encouraging artists, scholars, institutions, neighbourhoods and citizens to engage creatively and critically with the city.
- In collaboration with Junoon and the India Theatre Forum, IFA has set up SMART—Strategic Management for the Art of Theatre. It is the first indigenous programme for supporting theatre professionals in the country.
Our work is made possible with the support we receive from national and international foundations, trusts, corporate houses, and individuals. All donations to IFA are tax-exempt under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act in India, and under IRC501(c)(3), in the USA. We also organise fundraising activities and offer arts services to various stakeholders to mobilise resources.
IFA is recognised as a pioneering independent funding organisation in the country and in the international arena. We participate in, debate, discuss and argue the vital need for support for the arts and culture and its essential role in human lives, at forums across the world.