Arts Foundation Honors Artistes & Patrons

By V Vasudevan, O’Hara,  PA     e-mail:


V. Vasudevan, a long-time resident of this area, summarizes the cultural event held in Pittsburgh under the aegis of the Srinivasa Prasad International Foundation for Performing Arts (SPIFPA), instituted in memory of Srinivasa Prasad Gutti by his beloved parents Varaprasad and Parvati Gutti.



The Srinivasa Prasad International Foundation for Performing Arts (SPIFPA) organized a nice program on October 14, showcasing some of the talents in South Indian performing arts and honouring artists

Varaprasada Rao Gutti welcoming the gathering.

and arts patrons. The venue was the auditorium at the Sri Venkateswara Temple.  This year’s multi-event program was well-planned, thanks to the attention to detail of the hosts, Varaprasad Rao Gutti and his wife Parvathi.

The program started with Gutti’s opening remarks welcoming the audience and mentioning the mission and objective of SPIFPA in promoting and encouraging South Asian Arts among Indian artists and the mainstream Indo-American youth. The Life Time Achievement Award, Gutti said, is one such form of recognizing patrons and talents.

The invocation pieces were well-done  — the Kuchipudi dance rendering of Vande Mataram by Bindu Madhavi Gutti’s students, followed by Manu Narayan singing the American Anthem.

Arpitha Udupa’s recital was a highlight at the program.

In her introductory speech, Parvathi Gutti paid rich tribute to her son, Vasu, his passion for classical music and Kuchipudi and his emphasis that these art forms should become popular among our kids growing up here. The clip showing him performing Entharo Mahanu

Bhavulu was reminiscent of what he aspired to. The foundation is instituted in memory of Srinivasa Prasad.  (Editor’s note: Srinivasa Prasad, so full of promise, died in a freak car accident several years ago. He was in his early twenties.)

Rajshri Gopal, who started it all decades ago.

The evening’s program with a Karnatic music piece by a teenage ensemble of Sia, Pallavi, Sarang and Rajan showed great promise in terms of precision, poise and dedication.

The Bharatanatyam piece by Mythili Prakash was inspiring and spell-binding. The piece on Shakti brought her a standing ovation. It is no surprise that she received the 2017 SPIFPA Ambassador award  for Performing Arts.

Arpitha Udupa’s Premanjali in Kuchipudi style choreographed by Bindu Gutti-Rachuri was well-rendered, highlighting the devotion, love and perseverance of Vasu to this art form.

An All-American dance group of Jaya Mani from Slippery Rock University and Pitt’s Nrityamala showcased the dancers talents and versatility and mastery in the art form. These young dancers come from a wide range of social background and upbringing, thus fulfilling one of the objectives of SPIFPA.

The 2017 Life Time Achievements Award was presented to Revathi Satyu for her contribution of over fifty-three years to Bharatanatyam. Manu Narayan was conferred the award as the Ambassador of Performing Arts for Theater, Broadway Musicals and multi-faceted talents.

Mythili Prakash at the podium after the award.

Sia Iyer — she is only 12 — received t the Child Vocal Musician Award for her

Revathi Satyu at the podium.

commitment, hard work and skills at such a young age. Pallavi Muluk was SPIFPA’s Youth Vocal Musician for 2017 for her talents in Karnatic music, her love of training young children in Pittsburgh.  Sarang Mulukutla and Rajan Srimat were SPIFPA Youth Violin and Mridangam Awardees.

Rajshri Gopal lived here in the 1970s through the ‘90s, and is one of the founding members of the SVTemple. With a keen interest in Indian performing arts, she initiated classes for youngsters even before the idea of a temple in Pittsburgh was conceived. Justifiably, SPIFPA felicitated her for her contribution to the temple and Indian performing arts. It was heartwarming to see that she got recognition for her contributions at the SVTemple venue, even though the event was not organized by the temple.

Ashok Madha felicitating Manu Narayan.

Gutti Rao thanked all the artists, the audience and SVTemple for their support in promoting this art form and hoped that this will continue for

years to come.The young artists getting their awards this year, he was sure, will create interest and enthusiasm among our youngsters, one of the main goals for SPIFPA and Vasu. Gutti Rao said SPIFPA would work to establish endowments and recognition awards both in India and the US. ♣



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