Gift Establishes Association of Performing Arts of India Legacy Fund at FAU

by N. Jacobsen | Friday, Mar 09, 2018

The Association of Performing Arts of India (APAI) recently made a contribution to Florida Atlantic University's Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters to create the Association of Performing Arts of India Legacy Fund. The endowed fund will be used to promote and showcase the music and dance of India.

APAI ( was founded in 1998 by Dr. Deenbandhu and Bharti Chokshi, along with friends, to preserve and promote India's classical music and dance, and to educate people of all ages in South Florida, including young people of Indian descent, about Indian traditional arts and culture as a living heritage for all. The fund at FAU was established to continue this important work through student academic and community programs in perpetuity.

"We are delighted and honored to be chosen to steward this important work of preserving and promoting India's rich music and dance tradition here in South Florida," said Michael J. Horswell, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Letters. "This effort fits perfectly into our University's mission to be a hub for the diverse cultures and arts of the world that make our community such a vibrant and exciting place to live and study. I thank the Chokshi's for their leadership over the years and for entrusting us with their organization's legacy."

APAI chose FAU because of a long working relationship with James Cunningham, Ph.D., associate professor of music and ethnomusicologist, and Clarence Brooks, associate professor and director of dance, and APAI Advisory Board Member.

"Ever since I first met Dr. Deenbandhu and Bharti Chokshi in 2005, I have shared their dream of incorporating Hindustani and Carnatik classical traditions from North and South India into the curriculum of the Department of Music at FAU," said Cunningham. "That dream has at last come to fruition."

Over the past decade, APAI has supported numerous guest speakers in classical Indian dance and sponsored three courses in Bharatanatyam in the dance program. In the future, Brooks will offer dance classes in bharatanatyam and other classical dance forms of India taught by experts in these genres.

"I am very pleased that future students will have the opportunity to study the classical dance forms of India," said Brooks.

For information about contributing to the APAI Legacy Fund at FAU, visit Photo: From left, Michael Horswell, Ph.D., dean of FAU's Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters; Dr. Deenbandhu and Bharti Chokshi; Laurie Carney.