With four additional venues, a whole new segment and an initiative that took it beyond south Mumbai for the first time, the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival managed to push its boundaries in various novel ways this year.
The new segment — Urban design and architecture — was praised for its contribution to the city. The curator for the segment, Sarita Vijayan, said hundreds turned up for discussion on the city’s design and infrastructure. “The segment appealed to all the conscious citizens, who came forth to give us their ideas on the city and feedback on our ideas exhibition,” said Vijayan.
In another first, the organisers decided to take the festival beyond south Mumbai to eight schools in the city, where authors interacted with students.
“It was a great outreach initiative and we plan to take it to more schools next time,” said Brinda Miller, festival director.
Several festival regulars said the experience this year was better and more entertaining.
“I have been coming to the festival for the last four years. I thought the dance segment was really good this time. I enjoyed the classical dances,” said Kanchan Sanghani, 66, a south Mumbai resident.
“The stalls at Rampart Row also had much more on offer this time," said Pearl Mehta, a regular at the festival, who shopped for home items with her 11-year-old daughter.
The buzz around the festival also brought in hundreds of new visitors. “I had never come to the Kala Ghoda festival before, but this time I saw so many photos of it on Facebook and other social media that I decided I did not want to miss it,” said Hirvita Desai, 22, a student from Andheri who visited the fest with two friends on the final day.
For Goregaon resident Rajan Gothivrekar, another first-timer at the festival, it was his daughter who pushed him to visit Rampart Row. "She came here on Saturday and said the art installations were extremely nice. I decided I would come here for at least a few hours,” said Gothivrekar, who owns a pharmacy shop.