SHIVANOVA is one of the West’s leading cross-cultural ensembles created by composer Priti Paintal and grounded in south Asian and European styles, widely admired and enjoyed for the energy, high-quality musicianship, and flair of its improvising. It tours nationally and internationally, and has released a catalogue of CDs acclaimed in the national and music media.
ShivaNova with its promotional organisation Equator Festival have been engaging with and working with culturally diverse and high quality culturally diverse artists and performers for over 3 decades. We are one of the very few culturally diverse-led organisations in Kent, and we have been commissioning and developing new work and giving composers, musicians, dancers and artists the opportunity to perform in a range of venues and festivals in England, including the South Bank centre, Kings Place, Jazz cafe, Rich Mix, Nottingham Lakeside, Warwick Arts Centre, the Marlowe Theatre, Turner Contemporary, Gulbenkian Theatre, Birmingham MAC and Symphony Hall, Wiltshire Music Centre and other towns and cities in Kent and in Europe.
Our annual Women of the World Festival has featured performers at the South Bank Centre and Kings Place, and in venues in Kent and the South-East. We regularly commission culturally diverse composers to develop new projects for our WOW series and also as part of Equator Festival events. We have also been engaged in strategic touring projects to help develop audiences in the South East for culturally diverse work. We have toured nationally and internationally and also through the British Council.
Our heritage work is centred around the minority communities that are based in the South East, and these projects are focussed on Nepalese, Roma, south Asian, and Syrian Arab heritages. Our projects are developed in partnership with these communities who become involved in developing the exhibitions and resources as well as leading cultural workshops for both young people in schools as well as the wider audience in our festivals and main events.
We established the Diversity Arts Network (DAN) in 2017 to bring arts organisations, artists, museums and community groups together in the South East to discuss diversity issues and help break down barriers, broaden the artistic offer, diversify audiences and staff, senior leadership and board membership, give culturally diverse artists more opportunities to develop work and overcome challenges in relation to this. We are in the process of developing a DAN website which will be a promotional platform for these organisations, projects and artists to promote their projects, share good practice and challenges, and develop new partnerships of regional and national significance.