When art gets the business buzz

Industrialists investing in the promotion of art and artists and creating platforms to showcase and preserve it is not just a recent development.

Published: 13th April 2023 10:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2023 10:39 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representative purpose only.

Image used for representative purpose only.

Express News Service

CHENNAI : We are a land of abbreviations. Acronyms are everywhere — CSK, KGF, and all our political parties, LOL (the sequencing is unintentional). Here’s another — CSR; sounding like the next Oscar winner or another team to be auctioned, it reads as Corporate Social Responsibility. To put it simply, it means that companies need to be environment-conscious and socially responsible and integrate such concerns into their business decisions.

Industries and businesses are often linked to capitalism and human greed. The question then is, how would CSR ever work? Thankfully, several business owners have given back to society and their efforts have even changed the country’s cultural landscape.

The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre which opened recently in Mumbai was envisioned as a multidisciplinary cultural centre to promote and preserve India’s art as well as to welcome the world to India. 

The Centre houses a 16,000 sq ft world-class space for visual arts, along with three theatres equipped with the best acoustic systems for both large and small-scale performances. The inaugural art exhibition that threw its doors open to the public on April 3 was reason enough for all art lovers in the country to celebrate.

The same goes with the just inaugurated Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in Bengaluru, an initiative by Abhishek Poddar, an industrialist and art collector. Housing an extraordinary collection of over 60,000 works across periods, the museum also attempts to get people curious about art and its history by placing a giant interactive touch-screen panel with information about each artwork and fun activities planned over weekends to engage children and adults alike.

The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Delhi sponsored by the Shiv Nadar Foundation (HCL Technologies) has hosted a multitude of phenomenal shows while also displaying a permanent collection. The huge museum addresses the severe lack of public spaces to showcase art and by being located in a crowded mall, it makes art accessible to the general public too, thus cleverly bridging the gap between appreciation of art and the common man and fostering a museum-visiting culture in a country that has so much art to take pride in.

Industrialists investing in the promotion of art and artists and creating platforms to showcase and preserve it is not just a recent development. Back in the days when businesses focused only on profits while art and culture were left for the respective governments to sort out, some entrepreneurs were passionate about supporting the arts. Madhavan Nayar, a visionary industrialist who pioneered seafood export in India, set up a museum in Ernakulam way back in 1987, in pursuit of his love for art and an art gallery was set up within the premises. The museum still hosts major exhibitions and remains an important cultural centre in Kerala.

Corporate entities with a broader vision than mere balance sheets- an inclusive vision that understands the significance of art and culture in a nation’s development can make an enormous difference with their contributions. May Corporate Social Responsibility soon become a Corporate Social Reality!


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