"Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."

- Ray Bradbury 

The Natural Streets for Performing Arts (NSPA Foundation) is a non-profit initiative dedicated to bringing the culture of street performances to India, and supporting the livelihoods of independent artists - and helping the common man rediscover public spaces and "stuff their eyes with wonder". 

The world of performing arts - music, dance, theatre - has always been about just two entities - the performer and the audience. By re-imagining spaces like railway stations, park and gardens, seaside promenades, street markets and bazaars, schools, libraries and cafes, the NSPA attempts to give the street performer and the community a platform to express themselves and celebrate one another. Treating the community to performances and to workshops (as part of our Art Literacy mission) will, we hope, result in an increased appreciation for the arts. 

The organisation was founded in the October of 2012 in Mumbai, and we enjoyed our debut performance at Churchgate Station with folk street musicians, who received the astonishment and accolades of the commuters and pedestrians! We now perform at over a dozen public venues in Mumbai - including the Carter Road Amphi theatre, Mumbai Metro stations, and several parks and organic farmers' markets - for more than 50 hours a week! 

We pride in our insatiable thirst for discovery, and make it our business to discover new artists - may they be musicians, dancers, or theatre artists, among others - and get our audiences to discover new performances. We're also able to contribute to the livelihoods of our resident artists, and thus encourage their talents and future artistic pursuits. 

You can stay updated about upcoming street performances from our Facebook page , and check out our live performance videos on our YouTube channel. We're soon starting NSPA projects in Bangalore as well, so stay tuned! 

Our Philosophy

Art for All

All for Artist

Art for All

Public spaces are accessible, inclusive and secular platforms in the urban landscape. They provide the Arts a direct interface with people facilitating an open and stimulating interaction, creating a space of fulfilment and abandon, allowing one to stand still in time watching an art unfold from its cocoon. It not only takes Art directly to the people, exposing them to different art forms, it also expands the horizons of the artists' visibility and appreciation. The need of the hour is to reclaim these public spaces for Art, for artists and for audiences, where each interprets the space as they desire.NSPA Weaving Performing Arts into the daily life of a city rejuvenates it, adding to its overall vibrancy and energy. A weary commuter and lone artist greet each other at this crossroad, turning the street space into an eclectic and pulsating arena of synergy.

All for Artists

The laborious process of creating and presenting one's Art requires constant reception and reaction from the community the artist functions in. While a wide majority of artists are likely to pursue their Art alongside a more viable source of income through a 'stable job', a wide variety of independent artists consciously remain outside the domain of mainstream artistic production and popular access. NSPA, as a non-profit initiative, seeks to support the livelihoods of independent artists on behalf of the community. Performers with NSPA will receive a fixed remuneration for their performances and a public platform that breaks down barriers between artists and the community.

In a globalised world, a long gestation period of training for artists coupled with paucity of time amongst audiences has pushed indigenous art forms onto the fringes and some even out of existence. NSPA hopes to seek out, support and promote artists pursuing dying, traditional and folk Arts and connecting them with new and eager audiences. The revivalist tone of NSPA hopes to see artists embracing their Art and audiences embracing the artists. The dialogue ensuing from this initiative will ensure that a public place becomes a melting pot for the artist and his audience. These performances will see the sole of the commuter tap to the soul and rhythm of the artists.

The NSPA Story

In the beginning, Art was everywhere- on the streets, on stage, part of people’s homes and lives. Street performers across diverse genres lit up many a by-lane and junction in Mumbai’s bustling street life. However, over the decades, these dynamic performers gradually disappeared off the street corners. One may relive this joy, if at all, selectively on trips abroad to major cities of the world that continue to nurture such artists and thriving cultures of street art. 

NSPA is an attempt at rekindling this vanishing culture across the frenzied roads of India. Born out of the initiative of our founder Ajit Dayal, NSPA was first conceived when Ajit found no buyers for his idea of taking Art to the Streets. Two young music aficionados joined hands temporarily with Ajit and first pitched the idea to the Western Railways, Mumbai. Contrary to popular perception, the Railways were most enthusiastic and suggested a pilot run to test the idea. 

Pilot and Launch

Accordingly, NSPA made a guest appearance at Churchgate Station, Mumbai on a cheery weekday evening on June 27, 2012 between 5 and 6 pm hosting two brief musical performances. Jishnu ‘Short-round’ Guha, a passionate busker (street performer) since his student days in England, opened with Alternative Folk-Rock followed by Suresh Kala presenting rustic Uttaranchali Folk melodies. They were greeted by friendly and enthusiastic audiences who lingered on post-performance to interact with the artists and organizers. 

This reassuring response encouraged both the railways and the team to go back to the drawing board and embark this time on a comprehensive performance plan to drive the initiative ahead. In came a passionate new team who retreated into a cubby hole emerging two months later to unveil NSPA on the buzzing streets of Mumbai in October 2012. Twelve enterprising artists across musical genres took a leap of faith with us propelling NSPA’s journey to soaring heights since the very debut. 

NSPA was inundated by the press and commuters in their generous appreciation. We began with three stations on the Western Rail Network - Churchgate, Bandra and Borivali - performing three days of music across a week. Within a month of our launch, NSPA artists began receiving invitations to perform on prestigious stages across the city including Indikaliedo Festival, BMW Guggenheim Lab, TedX Masala and Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, 2013 to name a few. 

With the arrival of spring, NSPA blossomed on the Central Rail Network introducing performances at CST, Dadar and Vashi stations as well as Horniman Circle Gardens at Fort, Mumbai. Nine months down the line, NSPA is twenty-two artists strong performing 23 hours of music a week, Monday-Saturday across 5 locations in the city. As the monsoons beckon, NSPA is challenged to renegotiate its performances with the public spaces of the city and continue its flight into a new phase of our performance calendar.

Our Sponsor

Quantum Asset Management Company

Person X: “So what’s your revenue model?” 

NSPA Team: “We don’t have a revenue model!”

We’ve lost count of how many people have been baffled by the above response. However, in plain speak, ‘busking’/ street performances is not top priority even altogether unnecessary to premier Art institutions/ artists. Public spaces in modern cities are scarce and performances therein, if any, are either experimentations, publicity ploys or a desperate means for marginalized artists to earn a livelihood. There have been few buyers for the idea of democratizing spaces for the Arts in the recent past. 

NSPA was seeded as a project under the aegis of our parent company India Private Limited. All our funds for the first financial year were invested by our founder Mr. Ajit Dayal. 

Quantum Asset Management Company

Two months into performances and we found our first Sponsor in Quantum Asset Management Company (or Quantum AMC)- an institution that is distinguished in the Indian financial market for its scrupulous credibility and transparent functioning. 

Quantum AMC, a 7 year old organization, is is known for its radical thinking and foresight in the country’s financial sector. Passionately committing itself to doing only what is best for the investor ethically and transparently; Quantum AMC has always stood for what they believe is the right thing. Quantum Mutual Fund is India’s first dedicated, direct-to-investor mutual fund. They refused to be a part of a system that encouraged an opaque distribution channel and till date does not pay any commissions that eat into investors’ savings but instead developed and directly sold simple financial products that are beneficial to small and big savers.

Quantum AMC has also been a keen supporter of the Arts, always setting aside a portion of its earnings to sponsor diverse Arts initiatives in the country. NSPA and QAMC found common ground in their shared zeal to take the path less trodden and break new ground in developing a body of work that was built on the power of ideas and commitment to the larger welfare of society. Quantum AMC, today, is not just a source of funds for NSPA but more so a great source of encouragement and faith in what we do.

Quantum AMC therefore takes great pride in sponsoring NSPA and helping it achieve its noble goal of taking Art to the people. 

Click here to read more about our sponsor..


Contact Information

Natural Streets for Performing Arts Foundation(NSPA Foundation)
16, Jolly Maker Chamber No 2,
225, Nariman Point, Mumbai,
Maharashtra 400 021.
Phone (Off.) : +91 022 2204 1250

Jessica Noronha: +91 9619152275

Twitter: @/NSPAStreets
Facebook: NSPA
Instagram: /NSPAStreets

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