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Ektaa Center Board

Naresh Arya
Naresh Arya is a businessman, with a long running and successful book binding business in Orange County. With a keen interest in music and the community, he joined the Board of Ektaa to support the growth of a Community Center in Orange County.

Anouk Grover
An occupational therapist by profession, Anouk is also training to be a dancer. She brings a broad perspective on the arts of India and has been an enthusiastic volunteer for Ektaa events and activities for the last couple of years.

Kalyani Gopal
Kalyani Gopal- Seshadri has a Masters degree in Engineering and over 3 decades of technical experience with AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Currently she serves on the Board of Ektaa and has coordinated the previous Ektaa Fest 2015 and also Ragaspirit 2017. Her passion for music has drawn her towards volunteering with Ektaa Center and has actively supported by hosting house concerts of young artistes in the diaspora. She also served briefly on the Dean’s Leadership Council of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine.

Ramya Harishankar
Artistic Director of the Ektaa Center, she has provided the vision and direction of every endeavor. A recipient of the NEA Choreographers Fellowship, CAC MCE grant and other prestigious honors, she has been instrumental in bringing major artists from India to be a part of the presentations of the Ektaa Center. With over 25 years of teaching and performing experience in Bharata Natyam and the knowledge of related arts of music, art history and classical dances, Ramya will continue to provide the artistic vision in the years to come. With experience in the educational system at the University of California, Irvine and the educational program ‘From the Center’ at the OCPAC, she has helped develop several program formats suited to multi cultural groups to foster awareness and understanding of the arts.

Sravani Jandhyala
Although born in Vishakapatnam, India, Sravani spent much of her early life growing up as a world citizen in the West Indies, England, Ireland, Denmark and Norway before she moved to the US. Holding a Bachelors in Biology from WSU,Detroit and a Masters in Public Health from UCLA, she has always taken an interest in expressions of art and promoting arts activities. Over the last few years she served as Program and Fund Development Director for the Indo American Cultural Center (now Artwallah). Recently she helped start Dance-Construct and the Courtyard Series (youth concerts), both born out of her love for seeing art awareness, understanding and appreciation grow as well to provide forums for expression in the youth community. Along with her husband Ravi, she has helped support various community artistic ventures and lives in Irvine with her daughter Lekha and son Dakshin.

Chandrika Kedhar
A 30 year resident of Irvine and Orange County, Chandrika Kedhar is a realtor by profession. A long time supporter, she currently serves as the Secretary and actively helps with the Diwali Fest event and in matters relating to the Ektaa Center space.

Harish K Murthy
As Executive Director of the Ektaa Center, Harish Murthy has been producing all of the events since its inception. Besides the Ektaa Center, he serves on the Board of the Rotary Club of Irvine and as a representative on the Senior Citizens Council of the City of Irvine. He served as the Chairperson for the Kaleidoscope Festival, produced by the Multicultural Arts Council of Orange County in the 90’2 overseeing a budget of over $100000. With over 25 years of professional marketing and sales experience, he was the Founding Member of the Ektaa Center and responsible for building the programs and infrastructure for the organization. Although working in a volunteer capacity, he has forged effective relations with the larger Indo American community and spearheads the effort to raise funds through corporate and business sponsors in the community. A long term resident of Orange County, he is committed to create an environment with opportunities for better understanding of the diverse cultures of the community.

Nrapendra Prasad 
Prasad is nationally recognized for his work in the field of performing arts photography. He has worked with many well-known personalities, including Luciano Pavarotti, Joel Grey, Elke Sommer, Robert Redford, Dr. Leo Buscaglia, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Cliffe Stone, Dr. Margaret Mead, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Linus Pauling and many others. Since opening his own studio in 1987, Prasad has specialized in portraits of children, families and executives. Major exhibits of his portrait work have been displayed at interior design shows in Orange County and Palm Springs, as well as the Atrium Court in Fashion Island, Newport Beach, and Bowers Museum, Santa Ana.

Preeti Singh
As the coordinator of meditation classes under the banner of Sahaja Meditation, she has been a long time user of the Ektaa Center. Transitioning to the role as the part time Operations and Facility Manager for the Center, her passion for the mission finally made her committed to serve the Ektaa Center as a Board Member. More recently she has spearheaded the South Asian Senior Association, the senior activity and services of the Ektaa Center. In the last year, she has helped build the program as credible service and during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, she helped grow the connection to support the community through online Senior Meetups and Intergenerational  connections with youth that has earned the recognition of the City of Irvine. 

Advisors, Artistic Consultants and Collaborators

Prof. C. V. Chandrasekhar
The veteran, Prof. C. V. Chandrasekhar, is a multi-faceted artiste, who has stood the test of time and still continues with renewed spirit and enthusiasm in the field of Bharata Natyam after 5 decades. A teacher, singer, composer, choreographer, producer of dance ballets, and above all, a well-respected academician, he has held the position of Dean of the Dance Department at both Universities of Varanasi and Baroda. He is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for choreography, India’s highest such honor. He has a number of productions to his credit including the works of Kalidasa as well as choreographing North Indian texts in the South Indian dance style of Bharata Natyam. His troupe, Nrityashree of Vadodara, has represented India in international festivals in Japan, Hong Kong, Russia and the United States. Now settled in Chennai, he is the master ‘guru’ guiding and training the next generation of dancers.

Robert Garfias – Advisor
Robert Garfias (b. 1932 in San Francisco) is an ethnomusicologist and musicologist. He is a professor of Anthropology and a member of The Social Dynamics and Complexity Group at the University of California, Irvine as well as a professor at the Japanese National Museum of Ethnology in Senri, Osaka. He has been actively engaged in the area of public policy and the arts as a president’s appointed member of the National Council on the Arts and as a member of the Council of the Smithsonian Institution as well as with numerous state and local arts agencies. In these areas his primary concern is with ethnicity and cultural diversity.

Nancy Ruyter – Advisor
Nancy Lee Ruyter is a dance historian, teacher, and choreographer who retired as a Professor of Dance at the University of California, Irvine at the end of June 2014, after 32 years there. Her degrees in history include a B.A. from University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. Her practical training in dance includes ballet, modern, Spanish, East Indian, Balkan, and other world dance forms. Her publications include “Reformers and Visionaries: The Americanization of the Art of Dance” (1979); “The Cultivation of Body and Mind in 19th-Century American Delsartism” (1999); and many articles on the Delsarte system and its uses, Spanish dance, Balkan dance, Latin American and Spanish theater, and theater movement.

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