We are excited to announce the first edition of Akar Prakar’s ‘artVarta Research and Publishing Grant’. The Grant is conceptualised to support the work and research of emerging scholars, curators and artists who are innovatively thinking about the book-form and ways of publishing, including self-publishing. It is being awarded to emerging researchers and publishers with an abiding commitment to experimental practices in the field of art and culture. Open call for second edition of the Grant will be announced in 2020. The Grant is a new initiative of the Lath Sarvodaya Trust, Kolkata, which was founded in 1968. Since its inception, the Trust has been involved with the promotion of visual, performative and plastic arts in India, including lending support to literary, philosophical and art journals. As a patron of the arts, the Trust supports activities in the field of music and publishing, including initiatives launched by exponents of vocal performances, such as Hindustani classical music doyen Pandit Jasraj, and dhrupad virtuosos Gundecha Brothers. The Trust has also spearheaded the publication of ‘artVarta’, a bi-annual journal of the arts in English; and ‘Unmilan’, a half-yearly Hindi journal on philosophy. Furthering its primary objective of building a knowledge-based ecosystem of Indian art and culture, the Lath Sarvodaya Trust is known for its emphasis on the pre-eminence of tradition, history and one’s roots. As an extension of its goal, the Trust has been engaged with building a multi-media archive of its activities in different streams of the arts. The Trust’s long-standing documentation project has brought under its ambit multi-disciplinary discourses on contemporary arts, especially in the form of national and international exhibitions, seminars, and publications. artVarta Grantees Akansha Rastogi, Senior Curator, KNMA The first ‘artVarta Research Grant’ has been awarded to Akansha Rastogi, Senior Curator, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi. Akansha has worked as associate curator of India Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), and recently curated ‘Smell Assembly’ at KNMA. She is receiving the grant for research on her forthcoming book ‘Timeme’, which focuses on young artists of our times, and attempts to articulate the evolving phraseology unique to the art-scenes of New Delhi. “With artVarta research grant, I have been slowly shaping my research on artist-run spaces and short-lived initiatives that have played a vital role in evolving the unique phraseology of art-scenes of New Delhi, into a book-form,” said Akansha Rastogi. Nihaal Faizal, Founder, Reliable Copy Nihaal Faizal, founder of an independent, non-profit publishing house, is the recipient of the first ‘artVarta Publishing Grant’. Bengaluru-based ‘Reliable Copy’ is dedicated to the realisation and circulation of works, projects and writings by artists. The grant is being awarded to Reliable Copy to support its upcoming publications, including a book by an artist from South America. “At a time when publishing practices, as well as wider experiments in distributing works of artists, are drastically under-supported, Akar Prakar’s newly launched artVarta Publishing Grant becomes a tremendous resource, offering unconditional support. With the help of this grant, Reliable Copy has been able to host Mario Santanilla, an artist from Bogota, Colombia, in Bangalore, as well as publish his forthcoming book ‘Still Life –Mirrors and Windows’. Addressing a crucial but nascent area of practice, that of independent and self-publishing in India, it is our belief that the artVarta Publishing Grant will continue to act as a generator of many worthy projects in the years to come,” said Nihaal Faizal. Both the recipients will receive a grant of 1,00,000 rupees each to support their work in publishing and research in the arts.