Asian Cultural Association of Central Florida, Inc. (ACA)

Longwood, FL   |  www.ACA-Florida.org

Mission

Asian Cultural Association's (ACA) mission is to encourage the preservation of the ancient performing arts traditions of Asia and the Indian subcontinent. We seek to increase awareness of these traditions among Asian & non Asian audiences in an effort to preserve their continued existence in the modern world. ACA seeks to educate western performing arts students as to the unique character of these traditions in order to assist in integrating them into the mainstream of World Performing Arts.

Ruling year info

1993

Principal Officer

Mrs. Jasbir Mehta

Main address

2759 Marsh Wren Cir

Longwood, FL 32779 USA

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EIN

59-3195479

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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EDUCATION PROGRAM

ACA is currently partnering with Vistiny Learning Center and other human services nonprofits to provide a music therapy program twice monthly for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. ACA also provides in class demonstrations on the arts and culture of India for k-12 students in Central Florida, and schedules workshops by master artists at local colleges and universities featuring the guest artists ACA brings to Central Florida for performances.  ACA also offers a unique series of Kathak (traditional North Indian style) dance training classes. This is a very unusual opportunity for students to study North Indian dance styles, and ACA is pleased to bring a renowned Kathak instructor, Sudeshna Maulik, from Montreal, Canada to teach once a month in Seminole county. ACA is the first organization in Florida to offer Kathak dance training. The success of the initial launch encouraged ACA to expand the project.  

Population(s) Served

The ANNUAL SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL in partnership with the Enzian Theater. The Film Festival has grown in acclaim and artistry over the last 24 years.  The Film Festival allows ACA to reach a more broad based audience in a western environment by offering programming in a medium that is both familiar to and popular with western audiences. The Film Festival features screenings of 5 or 6 South Asian films over a long weekend with special events and guest filmmakers in attendance, and was expanded in 2016 to include a gala evening and short film festival.

Population(s) Served

An annual season of 3 to 7 performances of traditional music and dance of India. The music concerts feature an internationally or nationally recognized performer of a traditional Indian instrument such as SITAR, SANTOOR, MIRUDANGAM, HARMONIUM or TABLA or a traditional Indian vocalist. The dance performances feature dancers performing in a traditional Indian dance style such as FOLK, KATHAK, or BHARAT NATYAM. These performances include FREE workshops by the master artists on the day prior to or following the performance at local schools and/or universities. ACA has formed close relationships with several local educational institutions to host these workshops, including UCF, Rollins College, and Trinity Preparatory School.

Population(s) Served

Visual Art exhibitions in general are scheduled every other year in partnership with a visual art exhibition facility such as the Art and History Museums - Maitland. Past exhibits have included: Textiles of India at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at FIT, Sari: Six Yards of Magic, Puja: The Art of Religion, and The Art of Ganesh at the Maitland Art Center, and a photography exhibit in partnership with Crealde School of Art.

Population(s) Served

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Awards

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The ultimate goal for the Asian Cultural Association is for Central Florida audiences to be fully aware of, and appreciative of, the traditions, histories, and elements of Indian and South Asian culture. As Western-born generations of Indians and South Asians lose contact with their homeland and with generations before them, we would like to see a community where these ages-old traditions are not lost or forgotten.  1. Increase awareness of traditional music and dance forms of the Indian subcontinent among Asian and non Asian audiences.2. Advance and preserve the continued existence of traditional performing arts of the Indian subcontinent that have survived for more than 5,000 years through oral teaching techniques such as the Guru-Shishya Parampara (master to pupil training.)3. Enhance the cultural diversity of the Central Florida arts community.4. Enhance the dialogue between Western and Eastern musical and performing arts styles.5. Promote the appreciation of all the traditional art forms of the Asian community. 

The Asian Cultural Association works toward our goal by presenting varying styles of Indian and South Asian art to the Central Florida community. 1. Provide patron experiences with instruments such as tabla, mridangam, sitar, harmonium and santoor     and traditional dance forms such as folk, Kathak, and Bharat Natyam forms.2. Support the artists who currently practice traditional arts of the Indian subcontinent through the     hiring of guest artists representing the highest achievements in their respective art forms.3. Develop a local corps of talented musicians, dancers and visual artists trained in the traditional art     forms of the Indian subcontinent.4. Provide concerts, exhibitions, education programs and special events which feature the traditional     arts of the Indian subcontinent and attract broad based audiences.5. Create opportunities for practitioners of Eastern and Western Musical styles to meet, interact and     learn from each other.

ACA's greatest strength is the relationship-building and connections of its staff, board, and visiting artists.  Jasbir Mehta, Executive Director:Ms. Mehta has been the founder and driving force behind ACA since its inception. She serves as the Executive Director of ACA and the Program Director of all ACA events. She is a past member of the City of Orlando Mayor’s Arts in April Committee and past member of the advisory committee for painting exhibits. Jasbir is recognized as an important leader in promoting Asian artists and providing them with opportunities to perform in North America. In 2013 she received the Chhandayan Jyotsna Award of Excellence.The award recognizes her "significant contribution toward the growth of Indian music in North America". In 1999 she was honored with the “Leadership In Diversity Award” by the Asian American Heritage Council, and has received recognition for “Outstanding Contribution and Community Service” by the Hindu-Jain Temple of Pittsburgh. She has also been honored with a Women Who Make Magic Award. Jasbir has been tapped by Walt Disney World, Orlando Magic, and the State of Florida to provide Indian performers and lecturers. She has served at the state conference on Indian Culture at the Museum of Arts & Sciences Daytona Beach and served as a member of the National Sponsors Committee for the music division of “Festival India” at the University of Pittsburgh. Surabhi Adesh, Resident Artist:Surabhi Adesh is a Classical Hindustani Music teacher and performer currently residing in Central Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Toronto and her Master of Science specializing in education from Nova South Eastern University (2008). She also has a Bachelor and Master of Indian Music specializing in vocal music as well as a Bachelor of Indian Music specializing in sitar. Surabhi teaches Vocal, keyboard, sitar, tabla and other Indian instruments. She also has done a wide variety of performances for many years in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean. She currently performs sitar and vocal along with her two sons at various events in and around Central Florida, as well as organizes recitals at various venues for her students. Sudeshna Maulik, Visiting Artist:Ms. Maulik has trained from Bharatiya Kala Kendra, New Delhi and later at Kathak Kendra, New Delhi under the guidance of Kathak legend Birju Maharaj. Having imbibed from her teachers the best of different traditions she blossomed a style that’s distinctly her own & had been a part of numerous productions in India and abroad. A renowned performer in India, Maulik has danced in numerous performances in Russia, China, Taiwan, the United States, and all over Europe, and given workshops and lecture-demonstrations all over the world. 

Social media activity was aggressively increased in 2016, as were targeted social media ad purchases. Targeted social media advertising reached over 2,000 individuals per day during the height of our Film Festival! Our Facebook page now boasts fans from 22 countries, including Kenya, Hong Kong, Fiji, and Trinidad/Tobago. In 2015, the ACA recruited a Caucasian board member, Yudit Greenberg, to join the team. Dr. Greenberg teaches as a professor at Rollins College and has helped us tap not only into Caucasian audiences, but youth (college student) and young adult audiences. We have not yet experienced success in recruiting Hispanic or Black board member prospects, but continue to work toward this endeavor. A November 2017 performance by CROSSCURRENTS (a jazz and indian fusion group) increased our average African-American/Black attendance by double digits, thanks to a Diverse Programming Grant from United Arts of Central Florida.

Financials

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Operations

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Asian Cultural Association of Central Florida, Inc. (ACA)

Board of directors
as of 9/16/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Subhash Chandra

Retired

Term: 2015 - 2020

Kiran Arora

community volunteer

Anil Deshpande

Park Square Homes

Ratan Guha

University of Central Florida

Gaurav Jhaveri

Siemens Power Generation

Sharmila Khanorkar

Community volunteer

Jasbir Mehta

community volunteer

Subhash Chandra

Retired

Yudit Greenberg

Rollins College