NYFA Awards:

Veena Chandra, an Indian American sitarist, has been named the recipient of the New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts’ Artist Fellowship Program. She will receive a cash reward of $7,000. (current.nyfa.org photo)

The New York Foundation for the Arts announced July 12 that Indian American sitarist/composer Veena Chandra has been named the recipient of the New York State Council on the Arts/NYFA’s Artist Fellowship Program.

Chandra, who was awarded a fellowship in music/sound, said in a statement that the grant allows her to “continue to create, promote, and preserve” her musical tradition.

“I feel blessed to have been playing Indian sitar music for the last 63 years. I am so grateful to my father, who created an environment for me to learn this beautiful music and taught me from the very beginning of my life. To be recognized for my work in performing and preserving Indian classical music means a lot to me, especially at this point in my career,” said the Albany, New York-based artist.

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program makes unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines.

This year, the organization has awarded a total of $661,000 to 98 artists whose ages range from 25-76 years throughout New York State in disciplines, including architecture/environmental structures/design, choreography, music/sound, photography, and playwriting/screenwriting.

The program is highly competitive, and this year’s recipients and finalists, said the foundation, were selected by discipline-specific peer panels from an applicant pool of 2,542.

Indian American Parijat Desai of New York was named a finalist in choreography.

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