Tarandi Foundation supports Artswego performances in schools

At a time when arts education programs are seeing funding squeezed, SUNY Oswego’s Artswego program recently benefited from a $5,000 vote of confidence from the Tarandi Foundation.

For the second consecutive year, the locally founded philanthropy has awarded the grant to bring professional performing artists to public schools.

During the 2008-09 school year, two music ensembles appearing in SUNY Oswego’s Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series will also perform and interact with youth in Oswego County schools. The renowned Dorian Wind Quintet will work with students of Leighton Elementary School, Oswego Middle School and Oswego High School. On a different note, the Matt Wilson Arts and Crafts Quartet will offer a jazz set at Fulton’s G. Ray Bodley High School and conduct a clinic with the school’s musicians.

“When school budgets are perilously stretched, we need to remember the importance of the arts in a well-rounded education,” said Neelesh Shah, director of the Tarandi Foundation. “Along with strong classroom programs in visual art, music and drama, exposure to outstanding performers can motivate and inspire.”

Artswego Coordinator Mary Avrakotos welcomed the Tarandi Foundation’s continuing support. “An important part of our work is bringing meaningful cultural experiences to audiences of all ages,” Avrakotos said. “Early exposure to outstanding artists can shape interests that will enrich these young people for a lifetime.”

The Tarandi Foundation is a philanthropic organization that was established by Oswego physicians Ravindra and Manjula Shah in the early 1990s to support and promote education and community service. The foundation was named for Tara, Manjula’s mother, and Anandi, Ravindra’s mother.

The Shahs perished in a plane crash near Boston in 2003. Their children, Dr. Monica Shah and Neelesh Shah, have carried on the work of the Tarandi Foundation and have made substantial contributions in Oswego County over the past four years.

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(Posted: Jul 30, 2008)