Arts fest with heroic mission

Participants who made the art includes Festival 2019 a reality smiling for a group photo with Chan (seated fourth from right) and Nitesh (seated third from right)

THE Art Includes Festival 2019, organised by SOS Missions Bhd, is on a mission to raise RM500,000 to fund various new courses for Dialogue Includes Academy students.

The ongoing festival, which features exhibitions, performances and a marketplace at Ruang by Think City, Kuala Lumpur, is being held to create awareness of differently-abled artists and to provide a platform for them to showcase their abilities, including music, performing arts and visual arts.

Dialogue Includes Academy has come up with five new courses for the disabled and those with special needs, namely Dance and Music School, School of Cooking, School of Blind Photography, School of Arts and Healing, and School of Barista Cafe.

SOS Missions founder Stevens Chan said, “We would like to start out with 11 trainees at the centre and 200 children under our learning education aid. Subsequently, it will potentially include many other special needs and disabled children to have upskill training in Malaysia.

“I believe learning is not merely about science or physics, as we can see from all the amazing artists in this showcase. They use the arts to fully extend their skills.”

In establishing these lessons, the academy has plans to collaborate with some of the featured artists, such as Sristi KC, to show her moves in Music and Dance School, Noorhashimah Noordin, the mother of Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri (also known as artjamila) to help out with the art classes and to share her journey as a caregiver, and Lim Chia-Chen to demonstrate coffee-making at School of Barista Cafe.

Currently, Dialogue Includes Academy offers four courses: School of Urban Farming, School of Telemarketing, School of Virtual Tuition and School of Dialogue Cafe.

Yayasan Usahawan Malaysia chairman Nitesh Malani, who launched the festival, highlighted the significance of the event.

“This community requires mentorship, finances and assistance, ” said Nitesh.

“With this inaugural effort, the message is loud and clear — that the government of today must take note of this community more seriously because 500,000 of them is not a small population.”

The seven-day festival will end this Sunday, and the classes will take place thereafter.

The festival’s fundraising activities included a three-day workshop and motivational seminar, as well as a dining in the dark experience.

Tonight, Concert In The Dark will feature three professional bands from Malaysia and Singapore performing in the dark. Tickets are priced at RM99 per person.

Among the other events in the festival is the Open Inclusive Street Fiesta showcasing art, dance and music by disabled and abled performance artists at Medan Pasar tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, Riley’s Rain, a Singaporean sensory theatre production for children on the autism spectrum, will be staged tomorrow and on Sunday.

For tickets and details, visit

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