The Milapfest Institute for Indian Arts has opened at Liverpool Hope University

On 1st October 2014 Milapfest and Liverpool Hope University opened the new Milapfest Institute for Indian Arts at the University’s Creative Campus in Everton. 

Inaugurated by Vice Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University, Professor Gerald Pillay, the event was attended by distinguished guests from the UK and India. Guests included Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan; Desi Cherrington from Arts Council England; members of Milapfest’s board of trustees; internationally renowned artists, The Singh Twins; and members of staff from three North West universities.


Professor Pillay and Mr Chari with Milapfest Trustee Sundar Muthu

The event began with a breakfast reception followed by a welcome and introduction to the Institute from Milapfest’s Artistic Director, Alok Nayak. Visiting the UK especially for the inauguration, MIIA’s principle donor, Mr RT Chari spoke of his great hopes for the Institute and of his intention to support the growth and development of the archives in the future. Mr Chari is a well known philanthropist from Chennai, India and the founder of the TAG Digital Archive, a vast resource of live music and dance recordings that are now held on eight computers at the Institute’s home at Liverpool Hope University’s Creative Campus.


The TAG Digital Archives are accessed via this bank of computers

The party then proceeded to the Institute where Mr Chari and Professor Pillay lit an oil lamp to mark the occasion. The lighting of a lamp represents a new beginning and this was especially poignant as the inauguration took place on the day of Saraswati Puja, a day of offering to the Goddess of Knowledge, and an auspicious day in the Indian calendar.


Lighting an oil lamp to mark a new begining

Executive Director of Milapfest, Dr Prashant Nayak then addressed guests and colleagues expressing his elation and hopes for the Institute and its role in the future of Indian arts education in Britain. Dr Nayak said: “I hope that in future years we will see the Institute become a great home for learning Indian music and dance in the UK and Europe, and with its library and rare digital archives will enrich the educational offer of Liverpool Hope University”.

Professor Pillay addresses guests at the launch of MIIA

Professor Pillay addresses guests at the launch of MIIA

Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Pillay spoke of his gratitude to Mr Chari, Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England for their support in the creation of the Institute. He also spoke of his high regard for Dr Nayak’s dedication and vision for Milapfest and the promotion of Indian arts in the UK. He closed by saying that Liverpool Hope University was honoured to host the Institute and is proud to be working with Milapfest on this unique and valuable project in view of the fact that Liverpool Hope University has decided to make Indian arts education its specialism in the years ahead. Professor Pillay then completed the inauguration by unveiling a commemorative plaque.

Unveiling the commemorative plaque

Unveiling the commemorative plaque

Part of Milapfest and Hope University’s on-going partnership, the Milapfest Institute for Indian Arts will offer students, academics and the general public the opportunity to access a vast archive of Indian music and dance resources. In the future, the Institute will also host enhanced higher education through visiting faculty, special lecture series, seminars and conferences, as well as the Indika Festival and artistic programme.

Mr Venkatsubramaniam demonstrates the music archive's touch screen stations

Mr Venkatsubramaniam demonstrates the music archive’s touch screen stations

A large physical archive of books, DVDs, magazines and publications about Indian dance and music are held alongside the digital archive of music. Milapfest is grateful to Shruti magazine for donating copies of their past 30 years publications.

Special thanks go to Mr RT Chari and TAG Digital Archive Technician, Mr Venkatsubramaniam Anantharaman for helping to set up this rare archive of live concerts collected over the last 50 years.

The Institute will continue to receive donations of resource materials. To discuss archival submissions or arrange to visit the Institute please contact, IT and Education Manager Dr Yuvaraj Kolupola at or call 0151 291 2091.

The current content of the Institute’s archive includes:

  • 6,000 hours of live music concert recordings
  • Audio files from approximately 10,000 gramophone records
  • Digital videos of live dance programmes of Bharatanatyam and other classical dance forms of India
  • An extensive CD library of Hindustani and Carnatic music
  • Library of music and dance related magazines and books.

For further information please contact IT and Education Manager Dr Yuvaraj Kolupola at or call 0151 291 2091.

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