We are innovators, learners and educators, who believe in wholesome growth and interdisciplinary thinking. With a core team of four people, a family dedicated to creative education of the self; from humanities, arts and sciences, we work with a range of artists, designers, writers, and thinkers who bring different dimensions to our work. As we grow, we constantly look for opportunities to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds.
Srivi Kalyan (Srisrividhiya Kalyanasundaram) is an educator, writer, designer, illustrator and artist. She has authored and illustrated several children’s books as well as stories for adults. She is an award winning writer and illustrator. Her collection of short stories: Mahadeva and other stories won the second runner up in the Oxford Book Store e-author 4 contest in 2006. Her illustrated essay: What would life be like without fear won her second prize in the Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition, the world’s oldest global writing prize for young people in 1997. Her children’s book: A Pearl, A costly pearl! Did you find any? was shortlisted for the Katha Chitrakala Award in 2005.
Srivi is the Founder-Director of Fooniferse Arts Pvt. Ltd (www.fooniferse.com), an India based company. She works at the fluid and exciting intersection of arts, media and education. Her work and workshops draw in the rich connections between language, art, performance, thought, and play. She has conducted workshops with individuals, students and teachers across the world.
She graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and worked with Sesame Workshop India as their Creative Director. Several of the children’s educational products that she has designed for Sesame Workshop India have also been adapted in other parts of the world.
She has taught at Stella Maris College, Chennai; Amber Valley Residential School, Chikmaglur and is also a visiting faculty at Kids Central, Chennai.
You can view her works on her website: www.sriviliveshere.com
Saraswathi Kalyanasundaram is the Co-Director of Fooniferse and is focused on building several creative education programs for children. She enjoys exploring and learning with children, while using arts, mimicry, storytelling and hands-on activities. Saraswathi believes in nurturing children to be self-learners, while ensuring that the learning process is fun, happy and exciting. She documents workshops through photography and videography. She is also a yoga teacher and Reiki healer.
Kalyanasundaram Venkatachalam is a self-made man who has kept his visions alive through a fantastic life-journey. With a strong belief in the role of education in children’s lives, as a parent, he believed in growing up together with his children and shared parenting books as well as discussions about everything from finances to holidays. He loves sharing flowers and beauty with children, as he gently points out the sacred nature of life and our responsibility to it.
Sandhiya Kalyan is a Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher and choreographer with more than 15 years of experience. A self-taught broad-spectrum artist, she also works with painting and pottery. With Masters degrees in Life sciences and Biochemistry, she has been studying the neuronal circuitry of the brain chasing questions like; How do neurons talk to each other?, How do we learn and remember?, How do we experience movement? You can view her works on her website www.sandhiyakalyan.com
Action Team (People who have worked with us on different projects)
Sreelekha Sureshkumar is a visual arts graduate from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Animation at IIT Bombay. She is passionate about Graphic design and Illustration. She has worked on a lot of design projects, the website, and videographed and edited our short film "Connecting with Nature. Connecting with Ourselves" Talented, quirky and full of new ideas, she creates a reflective yet fun quality to all her visualizations.
Shradha is in the Art Business Master’s program at Sotheby’s Institute Of Art (New York). She has an undergrad degree in B.A Fine Arts with a major in Art History from Stella Maris (Chennai). Upon Graduation she worked at eNoah iSolution Pvt Ltd, a consulting led IT and BPO services organization with worldwide client base. After eNoah, she worked for six months at Fooniferse Art Pvt as Dream Catcher evolving ideas for marketing, using social media platforms and web design.
An lover of Indian arts and crafts, she aims to support and empower traditional Indian artists and artisans through systematic and sustained development efforts. Suman worked on marketing ideas and content for social media platforms during a brief internship.
Lavanya Rajan worked with Fooniferse as a Communications Associate for a year. A happy and fun personality, who pays keen attention to details, Lavanya delights in playing with children. Her long term vision is to grow in Training and Development. She has an MBA from Annamalai University. Bindhu Malini hails from a family of musicians, is a singer and a graphic designer and illustrator. She holds a double bachelors degree both in Fine Arts and Carnatic Music. She holds a Masters degree in Visual Communication from Loyola College, Chennai and and Masters degree in and Graphic design from National Institute of Ahmedabad.
After intense training in Carnatic Music for 15 years she now trains in Hindustani Music and is a disciple of Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, a resident guru of Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata.She sings concerts in the contemporary style and scored music for many theatre productions. More information on her beautiful debut album with Vedant Bharadwaj can be accessed here: http://www.sunosuno.in/. She was actively involved as an actor in Tamil theatre productions. She has also trained in Kalaripayattu, a martial art form from Kerala. She is keen to work on experimental music and has headed many college groups in experimental music. She teaches music, and takes music based workshops. Through ArtIndea Project, Bindhu seeks to share the joy of celebrating life through art.
A B Arjun
A.B. Arjun Chandran studies in Class 8 in P.S. Senior Secondary School. He loves reading books, watching television, playing cricket and football, drawing, painting and savouring various kinds of food. His favourite author is Ruskin Bond and he loves ghost stories and mystery stories. He goes for regular art classes with Mr. Lakshmanan in Mylapore. He is keen to be regularly involved with Fooniferse as a Volunteer and Facilitator. In his second book, “Mastermind – Life in the Future”, Arjun writes an intriguing science fiction story set in 2050 about an alien’s wicked plan to make people from the earth his slaves. He sees this book as the first of a series on the alien character “Mastermind”. A natural with children, he guided, mentored, encouraged and worked with the other participants while he worked on his own book.
Ambica Banu is an artist and animator with a Fine Arts degree from Stella Maris College. Adventurous at heart, Ambica loves traveling and exploring new avenues in life. Currently pursuing a career in Animation, she has worked for an Award winning animated short film called "The Cat and the Juggler". She has specialised in Character Animation, having completed a diploma from AnimatioMentor.com. Ambica finds it fascinating to bring characters to life on screen. She is passionate about working with children, understanding how their imagination unravels their creativity and innocence. She believes that every child of every strata deserves good education, which in turn will make the world a better place and thereby eradicate poverty. Live life to the fullest is what she believes in and lives by.
Ashwini Hemalatha is a third year Fine Arts Student at Stella Maris College. She is exploring her talents as an artist while experimenting with her interests in education. A keen believer in the role of freedom in Children's education, Ashwini wants to nurture the natural creativity in children, and help them grow with their talents in an uninhibited environment. She enjoys frisbee, classical dance and music, jewellery designing and is also learning french. She is keen on Nature and Bio-diversity conservation as well..She engages with children with commitment and affection and brings her positive sensibilities to their work.. She encourages children to visualise as well as experiment with their ideas while exploring her own capacities as an educator.
Preetha Srinivasan has been an art teacher and has worked with children in the area of storytelling and art. She believes that several creative inputs are required to get children to think and grow into individuals who contribute to a better world. There is no better place to start than art – which is very core to human development and potential. She is a mother of two children and enjoys her time growing with them. She also works in the area of Internet Consulting with corporates across the country, where she manages and projects, add to the creative inputs and responsible for strategy and coordination. Earlier she was a journalist with a business publication. She holds a degree in Fine Arts and has dabbled with many other art forms like pottery, film making and theatre. Preetha engages children in an exciting number of physical activities working with them on Yoga, Trust based theatre exercises, story-telling and organised play. She works closely with children, encouraging them to explore their thoughts with both freedom and sensitivity.
Veena Krishnakumar is currently doing her Post Baccalaureate in the arts in the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She brings her ability to perceive people, things and life into a very sensitive focus through her photographs and paintings as well as her work with children. Seamless dialogues happen between her paintings and her photographs and she has a thoughtful reflective approach to her work. She loves working with Children and has worked in Ilango's Artspace, as well as conducted several creative painting workshops for children in the Non-profit space.
Veena is a sensitive and passionate photographer who has given us a marvelous collection of photographs capturing both the individual learnings and involvement of the children as well as the overall excitement of the Worlds within workshop. She works closely with children, encouraging them to explore their thoughts with courage and conviction.
Aditi Varma has worked in social sciences and policy research for 10 years.She has supervised and conducted a number of different research studies across many sectors such as reproductive health, child survival, HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, early childhood education and local governance. She has helped set up monitoring and evaluation frameworks for many community development programs in India. Currently she is working on energy policy for Western Australian Government in Perth, Australia. Her project will be instrumental in designing new cost-reflective energy tariff structures in the state. She is a graduate in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, USA and also holds a degree in Econometrics from Delhi University, India.
Aditi advised on the research design and contributed her ideas, suggestions and expertise while providing insights from previous research experiences and strengthened the entire framework of the research design for the Worlds within Worlds Workshop.
Heer Chokshi is a communication specialist with expertise in designing strategic behaviour change communication health sector programs, communication campaigns and materials. She has worked closely with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and a few state governments to strengthen their communication strategies and products. Her background in Communication Media for Children and having been a trained puppeteer from Darpana Academy of Performing Arts made her work on developing educational content and media for Sesame Workshop India’s TV series Galli Galli Sim Sim and its outreach programs. She conducts trainings and workshops on variegated topics for a range of audiences. Heer Chokshi jumped into the workshop idea with her usual love for flamboyance that can be organized ecstatically into tabular columns. She brainstormed on ideas for the research and suggested possible directions. A keen enthusiast of the arts and play, she saw endless possibilities and growth in various directions.
Priti Nagarajan is an electrical engineer who loves the world of art, crafts and drama. As an actress, she has been part of numerous productions. She loves to paint, knit and crochet and has designed number of pieces for gifts and sale alike. She intends to make this world her new career and is working towards it. She is enthusiastic and deeply committed to making a difference in the role of arts in everyday life. Priti took an active interest in the research design and contributed her ideas, suggestions and expertise. She also took a keen role in expanding our presence on the web.
Radhika Rao is proud to be part of Fooniferse. She met Srivi Kalyan at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she completed a doctoral degree in education, specializing in the use of theatre in social justice education. Radhika lives in San Diego with her partner Alberto Ribas, where she is a working actor, theatre teacher and curriculum developer. Some of the institutions she has been associated with are ASMITA (New Delhi), KATKATHA (New Delhi), Peace Games (Boston), The Old Globe Theatre (San Diego), Center for the Arts, Escondido (San Diego), California State University, San Marcos (San Diego), and Center ARTES (San Diego). Radhika advised on the research design and contributed her ideas, suggestions and expertise while also encouraging a reflective thought process to the observation and understanding of student work.
B.M. Prasad is an educator who sees education as a process to create self awareness and understand life through nature and the environment. He teaches through enquiry and project based learning for deep understanding. Taking his inspiration from both traditional Indian systems of learning and western methodologies, he believes in nurturing all-rounded individuals who are sensitive and confident. He has also coordinated several hiking, trekking trips and nature camps through his career. He uses varied methods in his teaching and works with visual arts, theatre and technology to create new dimensions for learning. He co-created and worked together with Srivi on workshops at the Dyatmika School, Bali. Also, a photographer, he has given us a beautiful collection of photographs that shows the engagement and enthusiasm of the students as they experiment with bookmaking, illustration and theater exercises.