Art Education Roundtables (AER)

In 2019, Art1st Foundation launched the Art Education Roundtables (AER),
as an inclusive platform of collective voices from across India
to reflect on the landscape of art education in India.

In 2019, Art1st Foundation launched the Art Education Roundtables (AER), as an inclusive platform of collective voices from across India to reflect on the landscape of art education in India.

AER 2019: The Future of Arts Pedagogy

  • 7 cities
  • | 28 speakers
  • | 350-400 people
    (in-person and online)

Held in seven cities – Delhi, Kolkata, Vadodara, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Guwahati – the roundtables brought together experienced voices from diverse fields, including the arts, cinema, performance, literature, activism, pedagogy, and policy making, among others.

30 March 2019, Gallery 1AQ, Mehrauli

We must enable the teachers in developing a better appreciation and an informed/ sensitised consumption of art. - V.S. Kundu, at the AER Delhi


  • Kattyayani Joag-Samant, Daughter of Tushar Joag
  • Naman P. Ahuja, Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
  • Sanjna Kapoor, Co-founder, Junoon
  • V. S. Kundu, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana
  • Premjish Achari, Director-Outreach of Art1st Foundation (moderator)

24 May 2019, St. Kabir School, Saiyed Vasna

We should capitalise on the Indian roots of traditional education to train the students, rather than looking outward for western models. - Sharmila Sagara, at the AER Baroda


  • Arun Gupta, Principal Faculty, Film & Video Communication Department, National Institute of Design
  • Dhananjay Rai, Assistant Professor, Centre for Gandhian Thought and Peace Studies, Central University of Gujarat
  • Sharmila Sagara, Associate Professor, Visual Arts, Anant National University
  • Premjish Achari, Director-Outreach of Art1st Foundation (moderator)

21 September 2019, Essar House, Mahalaxmi

We must empower the Children, as well as their Teachers. - Dr. Penny Hay, at the AER Mumbai


  • Aban Bana, Waldorf Educationist and President and Country Representative, Anthroposophical Society in India
  • Abhishek Panchal, Arts Program Coordinator and Visual Arts Teacher, The Gateway School of Mumbai
  • Dr. Penny Hay, Artist and Educator; Senior Lecturer in Arts Education, School of Education, Bath Spa University and Director of Research
  • Ritu Khoda, Founder-Director, Art1st
  • Sangeeta Gole, Pedagogue and Education Specialist, Founder-Director PEARLS
  • Shaheen Mistri, Social Activist and Educator, Founder of Akanksha Foundation
  • Shruti Ramlingaiah, Co-Curator, Students’ Biennale Amrita Gupta Singh, Program Director, Mohile Parikh Center, Mumbai, and Curatorial Advisor, Art1st Foundation (moderator)
  • Asad Lalljee, SVP, Essar Group, CEO, Avid Learning and Curator, Royal Opera House Mumbai (moderator)

8 Nov 2019, Cotton University, Guwahati

Art education provides an opportunity for learning that is free from the regimented and regulated
curriculum focused on creating “productive” and skilled workers. Art education encourages the
development of creative, free thinking people important for healthy democracies - Komal Chamling at AER Guwahati


  • Dr. Moushumi Kandali - Assistant Professor, Deparmentt of Cultural Studies, Tezpur University, Tezpur
  • Raj Kumar Mazindar - Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Arts, Assam University, Silchar
  • Banamali Sharma - Artist and Educator , Imphal
  • Benedict Hynniewta - Artist and Visiting Faculty, Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, NorthEastern Hill University, Shillong
  • Sivan G - Professor, Department of Visual Arts, Assam University, Silchar
  • Sonal Jain - Artist and Co-founder Desire Machine Collective, Guwahati
  • Nikhileshwar Baruah -Executive Member, Guwahati Artists Guild and Visiting Faculty IIT Guwahati
  • Parismita Singh - Graphic Novelist, Illustrator and writer, Guwahati
  • Manjil Hazarika - Assitant Professor, Department of Archaelogy, Cotton University
  • Kishore Kumar Das - Secretary, Guwahati Artists Guild and Lecturer District Institution of Education and Training, Moregaon
  • Komal Chmaling - Founder ARTEM, Sikkim
  • Phanindra Talukdar -Art Historian and Founder PCCR Guwahati
  • Jonali Das - Principal, Modern English School, Guwahati
  • Sisir Thapa - Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts,Tripura University, Agartala
  • Manju Rajak - Guest Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts and Music, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar

26 April 2019, Alliance Française Kolkata

It is necessary to bridge the gap between art and craft in the art institutes. This also has to be done at the school levels so that the students do not inherit this hierarchy. - Dr. Tapati Guha-Thakurta, at the AER Kolkata


  • Amit Mukhopadhyay, Curator, Critic & Art Historian
  • Dr. Bishnupada Nanda, Professor & HOD, Department of Education, Jadavpur University
  • Dr. Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Professor in History, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
  • Premjish Achari, Director-Outreach of Art1st Foundation (moderator)

9 August 2019 | Mother's Public School, Bapuji Nagar

Only through arts education could we achieve a multi-disciplinary perspective for education and break the barriers between disciplines. - Dr. Nadarajah Manickam, at the AER Bhubaneswar


  • Jagannath Panda, an internationally acclaimed, Founder-Chairman of the Utsha Foundation for Contemporary Art
  • Dr. Nadarajah Manickam, Chair Professor Centre for New Humanities and Compassion Studies, Xavier University, Bhubaneswar
  • Sonal Sancheti, Architect, Founder & Partner, _OPOLIS, Mumbai
  • Susmita Mohanty, Spaceship Designer, CEO, Earth2Orbit (E2O)

28 June 2019 | Alliance Francaise of Madras

In order for schools to integrate arts as a core subject in the curriculum they have to understand its economic potential which lies in the immediate future. - Shantanu Prakash, at the AER Chennai


  • Anupama Gowda, Co-Founder and CCO, Workbench Projects
  • Dr. Ashrafi Bhagat, art historian and curator
  • Shantanu Prakash, Founder, Learning Leadership Foundation

Through discussions, debate and active interactions,
the invited experts exchanged insights
on the present scenario of art education in India, as well as newer directions needed to reimagine its future.
These roundtables helped redefine the existing arts curriculum and promote art integrated learning (AIL); that is now mandated as a primary approach according to India’s NEP 2020.


The Art1st Foundation welcomes diverse voices in the upcoming roundtable discussions on art education. Get in touch with us for participation or queries.