Vision with Initial Plan
Ten years from now . . . (maybe earlier)
The Bengali Association of Minnesota needs to have its own place Bengali Culture needs to be represented in the cultural fabric of Minnesota
Mission: “The mission of BAM is to preserve and cherish the heritage, philosophy, culture and traditions of Bengal. BAM seeks to be a Reputed and Respected organization in the United States of America.”
My vision is It will be considered as one of Minnesota’s premier cultural organizations, will be widely regarded as a place where the Bengalis gather along with skilled, experienced, respected leaders of the society, intellectuals, scientists, writers, artists, youth, children and members of civil society to initiate and exchange ideas and knowledge in the spirit of cooperation among all. Its purpose will be to promote cultural understanding, friendship, goodwill, warmth, cooperation, cordiality and harmony between the different communities of Minnesota. In short, the organization will stand for a vision where it is possible to initiate dialogues in an atmosphere of amity and understanding.
This cultural organization’s dedication to the values of Bengali culture is best reflected in its activities and calendar of events. There needs to be a variety and wide range of cultural events and activities geared towards all age groups that are connected to Bengali culture including music, cinema, literature, performing and visual arts, along with spiritual activities and popular contemporary culture. Entry to these should not be restricted to members only, all its programs need to be open to the wider public of the city. These activities should be carried out in the spirit of public service. The organization needs to provide its gracious Bengali hospitality to all. Someday there might be beautiful gardens, with shady trees and fountains, a bar, a tea lounge and refreshment area in the space owned and operated by BAM; it might be a popular venue for people to meet or entertain guests. Against the frenetic pace of our lives, this might have an ambience for reflection and leisured conversation, famous Bengali adda and hopefully it will extend beyond into another time and space.
|2-year plan||5-year plan||10-year plan|
|Revisit the Constitution of the Bengali Association of Minnesota With long term goals in mind and when necessary, bring in changes.|
|Create brand for BAM with logo, Specific colors and tagline.|
||Secure Corporate, Foundation and Government funding and other sources to continue fundraising.||Own or lease BAM’s own Cultural Center.|
|Continue current programs with added attractions – Saraswati Puja, Poila Baishakh, Annual Picnic, Durga Puja and Lakshmi Puja
|Add following programs when possible.|
3. Work with mentors and Create your own visual arts: painting, drawing, mixed media Amader Katha (our words) and possibly in collaboration with an art gallery, exhibit arts for a period of 1-2 weeks, at least.
4. Summer workshops of Performing Arts: guided by Professionals in each field of music, dance & drama.
5. Writing workshops – possibly in collaboration with Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.
6. Learn Bengali – reading and writing skill – maybe in collaboration with SILC. Start class at their facility, volunteer and teach children, youth & adult.
7. Book Club – read Bengali books, discuss – possibly collaborate with Ames Library at U of M.
8. Film Club – possibly in partnership with Minneapolis Film Society, request Bengali film screening as well as screen Bengali film at international Film Festival in summer. Suggestion: read a book in book Club, then see that particular film and later discuss.
9. Thakurmar Jhuli – Professional Storyteller Performs Bengali story with English explanation as a fireside chat in winter month -possibly in collaboration with City’s Library system.
10. Speaker Series: Puja (various religious rituals): Significance in today’s life Dr. Anant Rambachan (Hindu American Scholar – Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College who offered services at the White House and recently at Vatican)
11. Scholarships: introducing two or more scholarship funds for eligible High School Graduating Bengali Students for their achievements and outstanding merit, And it need to be judged by an independent body.
12. Field Trips:
a. Children’s Theater Company
b. Science Museum of Minnesota
c. Minnesota Arboretum
13. Outreach activities
a.Feed my Starving Children
Founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian nonprofit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. https://www.fmsc.org/about-us
b. Neighborhood House
At Neighborhood House, volunteers are essential to achieving their mission. Volunteers bring enthusiasm, expertise, and share diverse perspectives that foster a community of mutual enrichment. This past year alone, 3,450 volunteers provided 1.26 million dollars worth of service; helping them to feed hungry families, educate new immigrants and refugees, create safe spaces for youth, and move families from survive to thrive! http://neighb.org/support/volunteer/
c. Doing Good Together
Our mission is unique and deeply layered. We provide tools to both families and organizations to help them raise compassionate, engaged children. Our innovative activities, resources, and support help make empathy and “giving back” a natural part of life’s early lessons. http://www.doinggoodtogether.org/
d. Donate blood
American Red Cross: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood
e. Open your Heart and Open your Doors
Search, contact and welcome new students to your home, let them familiarize with the surrounding and avail the opportunity to learn from them.
f. Elder helpers
g. Project SUCCESS
Do you love kids? Do you love the theater? Then Project SUCCESS has the right volunteer opportunity for you! They have many volunteer opportunities. https://www.projectsuccess.org/get_involved/volunteer/
h. Animal Humane Society: https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/volunteer
From all of the above, It would be fun to create a “learning circle” with the leaders of each activities, participants and mentors to learn and discuss selected topics. We could make it informal, fun and hopefully informative too!