About IFA

Over 20 Years of Celebrating the Arts

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) is an independent, national, not-for-profit, grantmaking organisation based in Bangalore that supports practice, research and education in the arts and culture in India. Set up as a Public Charitable Trust in 1993, we started making grants in 1995. We have supported over 490 projects disbursing over Rs 22 crores (USD 3.4 million) across the country. The outcomes of these projects as books, films, performances, exhibitions and archival materials have been circulating in the public domain through showcases, presentations, seminars, screenings, lecture demonstrations and festivals, helping widen access and encouraging broader participation in the arts for a diverse public.

We believe that the arts and culture are essential for our individual and community lives, and for a more equitable and just world. It gives meaning to our existence and enables us to enquire into our past, critique our present and imagine possible collective futures. It connects us through shared experiences - to question, resist, and build. The arts makes us human, makes us more.

We support critical work that challenges dominant narratives and speaks truth to power. We focus on journeys that seek unheard voices and untold stories, which are often ignored or erased. As a facilitator, catalyst and provocateur in the field, we attempt to enable investigations, explorations and experiments that push boundaries of knowledge and practice.

We fund projects under four key programmes – Arts Research, Arts Practice, Arts Education, and Archival and Museum Fellowships, especially encouraging work in Indian languages other than English.

  • Arts Research: To critically enquire into the various histories and artistic practices in India
  • Arts Practice: To challenge prevalent idioms and conventions of practice, counter market norms and push new boundaries in content, form and medium
  • Arts Education: To place the school teacher at the centre of its work and supports arts-based training and grants for teachers and artists at government schools across Karnataka
  • Archival & Museum Fellowships: To activate collections in archives and museums through curatorial and artistic interventions

Other than these programmes;

  • In collaboration with Junoon and the India Theatre Forum, IFA has set-up SMART – Strategic Management for the Art of Theatre. It is the first indigenous programme for supporting theatre professionals in the country.
  • IFA has also conceptualised Project 560, a programme specifically focusing on the city of Bangalore encouraging artists, scholars, institutions, neighbourhoods and citizens to engage creatively and critically with the city.
  • We have just begun work on the IFA Archive, to preserve and make the work of our grantees accessible to the field and the public physically and digitally

Our work is made possible with the support we receive from national and international foundations, trusts, corporate houses, and individuals. We also organise fundraising activities and offer arts services to various stakeholders to mobilise resources.  

IFA is recognised as a pioneering independent funding organisation in the country and in the international arena. We participate in, debate, discuss and argue the vital need for support for the arts and culture and its essential role in human lives, at forums across the world.