To accommodate this year’s staggering line-up of 150-plus projects across six broad artistic disciplines, the highly-anticipated sixth physical edition of the multi-disciplinary Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) 2023 will be hosted at 12 venues spread across Goa’s scenic capital, Panaji. An effort has been made to ensure that all the venues are accessible and inclusive.
One of Asia’s largest arts festivals which is now synonymous with Goa, SAF 2023 is a nine-day programme scheduled from December 15 to December 23, 2023.
Flanking the serene River Mandovi, the Festival locations have been strategically selected for their “historical value, natural beauty and affinity to the arts and aims to transform the Mandovi waterfront into a hub of cultural activity,” says Smriti Rajgarhia, the Director of the Serendipity Arts Foundation and the Serendipity Arts Festival.
Coming a long way from the Festival’s first edition held in Panaji in 2016 which consisted of only 40 commissioned projects and eight venues and compared to last year’s 10-venue line-up, SAF 2023 has upped the ante and increased the number of venues to an impressive 12 locations at which visitors can experience the artistic magic of this creative bonanza.
•Old GMC Complex
Located in the heart of Panaji, the Old GMC Complex has been the Festival hub since SAF’s first edition. Sticking to tradition, this historic venue will host 57 events this year. There will be two theatre boxes for performing arts, film screenings, exhibitions, food workshops and more.
Housed within the Old GMC Complex, the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) Complex is set to host 21 events, which include a large exhibition, film screenings, performances, talks and a radio play.
Located opposite Inox Goa, the Art Park is to host 16 events and offers a quiet space for visitors to unwind while indulging in Goan delicacies, shopping, musical delights and much more.
•The Arena at Nagalli Hills Ground
Perched on the gentle incline of Nagalli Hills, the arena comes alive every evening, celebrating the end of the day with large, stage-dance performances and music concerts spanning the classical and contemporary genres. There will be 16 events held at this venue.
Located in the Old High Court, this venue will be the focal point of 11 contemporary visual arts exhibitions with an emphasis on digital and video art.
•Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir
One of the largest indoor auditoriums in the Kala Academy Goa complex, Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir will host eight events that comprise exciting dance, music and theatre performances.
•Old PWD Complex
The newly restored PWD Complex will host six international exhibitions that explore the themes of medium, sustainability, and ecology. Nestled in one corner of Panaji next to a charming riverlet, the Backyard in the PWD Complex hosts a range of performances every night.
A new addition to the list of venues, the multi-level parking venue lends itself to two unique projects that combine text, movement, design and site, in a multi-sensory manner.
•Santa Monica Jetty
The Jetty will host one event – a daily ferry ride along the River Mandovi for sunset classical music concerts.
A civic node for Panaji, this central point in the city will host a unique exhibition illustrating creative exchanges between craft and the performing arts.
Situated next to the Church of Immaculate Conception, Samba Square presents a project featuring a dynamic collaboration between skilled craftspeople and bamboo aficionados showcasing this remarkable, eco-friendly material.
Public art projects will be dotted across venues in Panaji.
With a strong focus on inclusivity, SAF 2023 has ensured that all 12 venues are accessible to the public, with facilities like ramps, tactile braille artworks, braille guides, sign language experts, inclusive outreach programmes and on-ground accessibility teams provided by the Festival.