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Resiliency fund to support artists amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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Resiliency Fund

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Unemployment has proven to be of the cruelest effects perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals and families alike are left wondering where their next paycheck will materialize from.  The non profit arts organization India Center Foundation (ICF) is partnering with MELA Arts Connect (MAC) to help suture this wound by delivering the grant program, “The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund”. The grant is posed to assist South Asian artists and personnel within the United states that have lost financial opportunities due to the mandated closures of performances and exhibitions; an ongoing study conducted by Americans for the Arts has thus far concluded that the ripples of the virus has resulted in a financial wound of more than $114 million. The art industry has been ravaged, with the entire art community including artists, producers, mangagers, agents, technicians, and administrators facing a cloud of uncertainty. 

ICF Co-Founder Raoul Bhavnani believes that the situation will only continue to darken, and that it is within these trying times that the art community’s dynamism is truly able to shine as a beacon of light. Bhavnani states that “Communities count on the arts to rally around, to gather and to find connection, especially in times of crisis, and the South Asian community is no different.” 

While the initial funding of the program is set at $20,000, which ICF has provided, the legs of the project will be supported by a crowdfunding campaign co-managed by MAC that will feature a multitude of live streams and other outreach plans in order to reach a targeted goal of half of a million dollars. If the projections are successfully met, the fund will be able to provide hundreds of grants to artists throughout the country. ICF is more than confident that the program will not only reach this hefty goal, but will also eclipse it thanks to benevolent support from philanthropic patrons and communities alike. 

The fund will support the development of future artistic endeavors on a rolling basis throughout the course of the pandemic by providing financial support for the creation, research, strategic planning, and resource allocation for projects. Each individual grant is projected to be a minimum of $1,000 but is subject to change in relation to eligibility and financial needs. The art community can apply for grants starting April 9th at the organizations website.

ICF Co-Founder Priya Giri Desai reassures that the Resiliency Fund will highlight and support South Asian voices in the art world and that these artists can “…feel secure in their choice to pursue a life in the arts.”

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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