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Anoushka Shankar’s Grammy experience: ‘It was really fun’

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Anoushka Shankar walks the red carpet at the 2016 Grammy Awards

Anoushka Shankar walks the red carpet at the 2016 Grammy Awards

(DIYA TV) LOS ANGELES — Acclaimed musician and artist Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the late sitar player Ravi Shankar, got the chance to be a part of this year’s Grammy Awards — she spent the evening with other artists she has admired for many years, and was even given the opportunity to present awards during the ceremony. Shankar became the first Indian to ever present an award at the show, held annually each year at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“It was really fun being backstage with people I admire and getting to be a part of what many call the ‘real’ Grammys in the daytime, where a truly global and diverse group of artists are represented,” Shankar said.

She herself received a nomination this year in the Best World Music Album category for the work on her recently released solo album titled “Home.” Though she did not win the award —falling just short of Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo— it was her fifth Grammy nomination. “I teased Angelique to stop beating me in that category! She’s an amazing artist and woman and deserves every win though,” she said in defeat.

Shankar spoke highly of Indo-British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, who was honored with the award of Best Music Film for his production of “Amy.” The film was a documentary on the life and times of the late singer Amy Winehouse. “Oh, without doubt he deserved that win. Amy is an incredible documentary into the life of a unique artist and the trials of an addict. Recovery is something very close to my heart for personal reasons and therefore, the film impacted me greatly,” Shankar said.

Kendrick Lamar, stole the show and collected the most awards during the show — he won five awards for his album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” His performance also stole Shankar’s attention, she later said his was her favorite.

“Without a doubt, Kendrick Lamar’s visceral and politically-charged performance was my favorite. In the face of controversy around how white the Oscars have been, I felt proud in that moment,” she said.

Shankar is preparing to promote a new record of her own — “Land of Gold” has already been recorded, and she will soon begin traveling in an effort to promote it, including in India. “Yes, I will be touring, although not until later in the year. We begin the tour in North America before traveling through Europe and finally India and the Middle East late-autumn onwards,” she said.

Her new record, which is set for an April 1 release date, is said to be a direct response to the trauma and injustices being experienced by refugees and victims of war.

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Indian American Illustrator Nidhi Chanani Premieres Pashmina

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Nidhi Chanani
Nidhi Chanani

Indian American illustrator Nidhi Chanani has released her first graphic novel Pashmina.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian American illustrator Nidhi Chanani has released her first graphic novel Pashmina.

Pashmina was partially inspired by Chanani’s childhood. Both she and her main character Priyanka “love samosas and drawing comics.”

In the graphic novel, Priyanka’s family and friends encourage her artistic pursuits. Chanani says “I can only speak from my own experience but I wasn’t encouraged towards art. Most

often I heard about engineering, accounting, law and medicine as viable career tracks. In Pashmina I chose to show a community we can strive towards rather than one steeped in old values and ideals. And yes I hope that Pashmina will inspire young artists to pursue different tracks. I also hope that parents will see the book as an example of how being an artist is also a viable career,” she said in a ComicsBeat.com article.

The creator of Every Day Love, a “whimsical” look into the life of immigrant children, the digital illustrator was given the Champion of Change award by the White House in 2012.

She uses digital media applications, such as Flash and Photoshop, as well as wood burning and watercolor in creating her art.

According to her website bio, she “creates because it makes her happy – with the hope that it can make others happy, too.”

Here is a brief animated preview of the release: https://everydayloveart.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pashmina_promo_fullvideo.mp4?_=1

Pashmina was released by First Second Publishing on Oct. 3 and premieres at the New York Comic Con this week. A number of tour stops are scheduled for Chanani.

Chanani is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist and writer. She recently illustrated Misty – The Proud Cloud, a children’s book by Hugh Howey and is an instructor in the Master of Fine Arts, Comics program at the California College of Arts.

Chanani has appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and BBC Radio. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Women’s March, My Modern Met, Bored Panda and India Times.She has worked with Disney, ABC, Airbnb, Sony, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance and a variety of other clients. Her non-fiction comics have appeared in the Nib. Everyday Love Art products are sold across the country, including the San Francisco International Airport, Books Inc., and Therapy stores.

She was born in Calcutta, India and raised in southern California. She holds a degree in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Pixar Partners with Khan Academy to launch online storytelling course

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Pixar Animation Studios is partnering with Khan Academy to launch the first of six free online lessons covering the art of storytelling, the course is taught by Pete Docter, Mark Andrews, and other filmmakers from the renowned Disney-owned studio.

The new series includes Pete Docter, director of “Inside Out,” “Up” and “Monsters, Inc.”; Mark Andrews, director and screenwriter of “Brave” and story supervisor on “The Incredibles”; Sanjay Patel, director of “Sanjay’s Super Team” and animator on “Ratatouille,” “Cars” and “Monsters, Inc.”; and Domee Shi, story artist on “Inside Out.”

The rest of the “Art of Storytelling” lessons will roll out through the rest of the year. The internet classes include videos, exercises and hands-on activities to guide them from an initial idea to a final storyboard.

The first of the storytelling lessons is available now at PixarInABox.org.

It’s the third season of “Pixar in a Box” on Khan Academy, which first launched on the site in 2015. Past lessons from the studio have covered simulation, color science, virtual cameras, character modeling and rendering. Disney funds the Pixar collaboration with Khan Academy.

Information from Variety contributed to this report. 

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Anish Kapoor Awarded Prestigious $1M Genesis Prize

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Genesis Prize Foundation announced this week that Anish Kapoor, the Turner Prize-winning artist, has been named its laureate for 2017. The annual prize recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to Jewish politics and culture, it comes with a $1 million cash prize.

Kapoor, whose mother is Jewish, has produced several major public works, the most recognizable of them being the bean-shaped Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. He also designed the Holocaust Memorial at London’s Liberal Jewish Synagogue. In 2015, for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, he designed a series of Holocaust remembrance candles.

Occasionally, Kapoor’s passions have spewed over into the world of politics. Kapoor said he will put the money from the Genesis Prize towards helping the Syrian refugee crisis, which has displaced an estimated 12.5 million people. No specific details have been announced, but Kapoor said he will make a much more elaborate presentation in June.

“The profound impact of Anish’s work continues a long history of Jewish contribution to the arts, while his social activism reaffirms the commitment of the Jewish people to humanitarian causes,” the Genesis Prize Foundation’s chairman and cofounder, Stan Polovets, said in a statement. “We particularly admire how, in an age frequently characterized by cynicism and indifference, Anish continually advocates for the world’s disadvantaged—challenging all of us to do more to help wherever and whenever we can.”

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