Preserving Natya UW

Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $1,000

Letter of Intent:

This proposal is for Natya UW, a competitive Indian classical dance team, and is written by their treasurer Sowmya Magham. The primary goal of this team is to preserve and share traditional Indian culture with not only our university but across the nation as well. As a competitive team, we travel twice a year during February/ March to other universities across the nation, and accordingly, our expenses pile up quickly. Unfortunately, recently one of our members had to step down from our team due to the high financial burden (travelling expenses), so this funding would be extremely beneficial in allowing our current and new potential members to continue their passions without any financial stress. Losing a team member took a huge toll on this team and it would be quite devastating if we lost more members due to financial matters. As pop culture and modern styles are increasingly overpowering the classical Indina dance style, Natya aims to preserve and spread the true beauty of this traditional art form. The dancers of Natya are highly passionate about this team and each member dedicates nearly 10 hours per week towards practice which occur as early 7AM an as late as 11 PM. Due to a lack of funds we often practice in any open areas on campus rather than dedicated practice rooms, and as a student-run team, dancers have to balance logistical work as well as academic workload. Recently, the team has also gained nationwide recognition- we have placed 2nd twice and 3rd once nationally within the past two years, and these achievements marked our first national standings ever. At such a peak time for the team, this funding would be a great motivating factor and validate the team’s efforts in preserving this art. 

This funding fits the criteria in multiple ways. Starting with sustainability, this fund would immensely preserve Indian traditional culture and simultaneously help the team spread awareness by easing travel and performance expenses. It would greatly help a dying culture stay alive and thrive while also igniting passion among other fellow students. Furthermore, each year we tend to buy cheap quality costumes in hopes of reducing costs, but this funding would allow us to invest in greater quality material, thus reducing the amount of waste we generate due to our costumes. Additionally, instead of using plastic bags for our dance anklets, the team would be able to afford woolen bags, which would reduce our use of plastic while ensuring that the anklets stay in good condition.

Regarding student and leadership involvement, the team is completely student run. The various titles on the team include, President, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer and Social Chair. The rest of the team is split up among various committees regarding choreography and music compilation. The president supervises the entire team and ensures that everyone is participating. The treasurer is in charge of securing funds, managing the checking’s account, and tracking all financial transactions. The public relations officer helps promote all events/fundraisers of the team to help spread awareness, and the social chair coordinates all internal meetings/team-building events.

As for education, outreach and behavior change, Natya would use this funding to travel to more competitions and perform more on campus to spread cultural awareness. Just last year, so many more people became aware of this art form, and in order to further engage the community, Natya needs financial assistance, of any amount, to secure venues and pay for travel expenses.

This project is quite simple and feasible- with the money; Natya will be able to further the spread of the art form. We have all of the tools to do so except the financial stability to travel, which occurs in February and March. We are a dedicated team of dancers who are willing to give it their all to help Natya persevere and thrive not only on the UW campus but on campuses all across America. The amount of $1,700 would mean each girl on the team would save $170 this year- it would mean that each girl on the team could travel for $170 less. With this sum of money, Natya could go above and beyond, and reach its full potential without hesitation.

Thank you for taking your time and reading through this proposal. Natya really appreciates your efforts and interest in preserving our traditional Indian culture. Below is a timeline of how we will use our funds.

Date Description
OCT  2019 - Apply for competitions

- Use $200 towards either: 1) purchasing higher quality material by spending $20 more on costumes, or 2) purchasing new jewelry woolen bags

NOV 2019 - Hear back from competitions

- Choose two competitions 

DEC 2019 - Pruchase airline tickets using remaining funds of $1,700
FEB/MAR   2020 - Travel and compete!
Primary Contact First & Last Name: Sowmya Magham