Mission and History
The mission of IMSOM is to foster in the citizens of Minnesota an understanding and appreciation of the music of an ancient culture that has a rich heritage namely, the culture of India. Through an understanding and appreciation of the values of another culture, fellowship between different nations and culture is furthered.
Beginning with the vocal concerts of M. L. Vasantakumari and Laxmi Shankar in 1980, IMSOM has been faithfully fulfilling its mission of bringing the best in Indian classical music to the people of Minnesota. By the end of this, the 35th season, IMSOM will have presented over 250 music concerts, workshops and lecture- demonstrations to a diverse and appreciative community.
Prior to the founding of IMSOM, such events in the Twin Cities were practically non-existent. Even today, while a few organizations promoting Asian Indian dance have emerged, no other organization in Minnesota exists to promote, sponsor, and foster an understanding exclusively for the classical music of India. Not only is the Twin Cities' Indian community growing steadily, but audiences from various cultures who appreciate Asian Indian art forms are growing too. Besides the unprecedented and sustained programming IMSOM is still consistently dedicating itself to finding new audiences and new collaborations within the Asian Indian arts community itself and with the community at large. The annual Aradhana festival brings together Indians and others in an innovative way that presents and promotes the strength, popularity and the influence Indian music has on the Asian Indian culture and arts in general.
Over the past 38 years, IMSOM has played a unique role in enriching the cultural life of the Twin Cities by presenting Indian classical music performances by visiting professional artists of international reputation. IMSOM has presented vocal and instrumental music concerts, dance dramas, lecture/demonstrations and residencies involving hundreds of artists. The Society has also become an important educational resource by co-sponsoring events with the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, the Saint Cloud State University and Hamline University, providing an enriching experience for the general audience as well as students of ethnomusicology and world music. The Society also provides the Indian community, especially the second generation Indians born in the U.S.A with opportunities to maintain their cultural heritage. Lately IMSOM has also co-sponsored events with other Twin Cities based arts organizations such as Ragamala Dance Theater, Katha Dance Theater, SPICMACAY (U of M) and SUPA (U of M).
The past 38 years have had a direct impact on the future of the organization. The Society has never wavered from its mission and has maintained its stability throughout the years. This stability and service record demonstrate how important the Society has been to the Twin Cities community and show the ability of the Society to provide culturally unique, diverse, entertaining, and educational programming. The ongoing concert series will continue this tradition and give audiences even more diverse experiences to enhance their lives and connect with another culture. The success of this season will have a significant long-term impact on the direction, focus, and growth rate of the organization. In order to compete effectively for funding and audiences, the Society must focus on the specific needs of the community and perhaps develop a new long-range strategic plan that will have its foundation in the success and evaluation of this ongoing season. We at IMSOM believe that we are taking the appropriate steps in that direction. We are tremendously encouraged by the overwhelming success of the last concert season drawing over 2000 people to our concerts, of which approximately 40-50 % were of non-Indian origin.
Among the many luminaries of
Indian classical music IMSOM has presented over the
IMSOM events in recent years have been made possible, in part, by funds received from the COMPAS Community Arts Program, the Asian Pacific Endowment for Community Development (APECD) Grant from the Saint Paul Foundation, the Medtronic Foundation, the American Express Foundation, the Honeywell Foundation, the General Mills Foundation, Dr.Dash Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, khazana.com and namaste.com. IMSOM is also grateful to all its members and donors for their support throughout these years.
Events held jointly with SPICMACAY (U of M Chapter) have been made possible, in part, by funds provided by the administrative grant for student initiatives at the University of Minnesota and the MSA Diversity Events Fund Grant from the University of Minnesota.
IMSOM, established in 1980, is a registered non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization serving Minneapolis-St.Paul and the greater Twin Cities Metro Area.
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