The Indo-American Association (IAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 to promote cultural arts of Indian subcontinent in the American context. Our events are targeted at multi-cultural audiences. IAA programming and audience have grown with each passing year. IAA is today regarded a first-rate cultural arts organization by Indo-Americans as well as by mainstream Americans.

IAA receives regular grant funding from the Texas Arts Commission and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance (HAA). Additional support comes from individual sponsors, season ticket subscribers, corporate and individual patrons, and last, but not the least, by supporters who buy tickets to individual events. IAA operates with 100% donated time from dedicated Board and volunteers. IAA budget would be considerably larger if it were not for the good fortune of operating in this manner. IAA has been justifiably dubbed as a small organization presenting elaborate quality programs in Greater Houston- a characterization IAA is particularly proud of.

IAA celebrates twenty year journey in 2013

In March 1993 eight individuals with a burning desire to present the cultural arts of India on par with the mainstream American arts, donated $250 each to create a capital of $2,000 and the Indo-American Association (IAA) began an ambitious and challenging journey.

In 1995, with few hundred dollars in the bank and the financial backing of the founding members, IAA scheduled a major concert featuring Pandit Ravi Shankar, but one week before the concert Raviji hurt his shoulder and the event had to be cancelled. IAA was financially wiped out.

But, the burning desire prevailed. In 1996 IAA again scheduled Pandit Ravi Shankar and indeed on June 8 presented the maestro at the Wortham Center. Panditji gave one of his most memorable performances, with Anoushka performing by his side. It happened to be Anoushka’s birthday and Panditji, in the middle of the raga, sang “Happy Birthday, dear Anoushka”.  The audience was ecstatic, as were the artistes!

The Ravi Shankar concert was significant for IAA in another important way. It raised twenty five thousand dollars, which at the time felt like a million dollars. But for those funds, IAA perhaps would not have survived. Thanks to the tenacity of its founding members and the good wishes of supporters, IAA has never looked back.

IAA celebrates in 2013 many firsts in its twenty year journey. Notably, IAA was the first organization in Houston to promote World Music with an Indian accent at mainstream arts venues; the first to receive regular grants from the City of Houston; the first Indian organization in the US to offer an annual season with subscription options; the first to present cultural arts of India in Houston in the style of mainstream American organizations and be recognized by them as an equal.

IAA also proudly celebrates in 2013 the distinction of presenting in its twenty year journey the ‘who’s who’ in various disciplines of the arts from India. The list includes: Bharat Ratna (Ravi Shankar); Dada Saheb Phalke Award (Adoor Gopalkrishnan); Aftab-e-Sitar (Vilayat Khan); nine Padma Vibhushans (Ali Akbar Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Shivkumar Sharma, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Birju Maharaj, Kelucharan Mohapatra, Balamurali Krishna,Adoor Gopalakrishnan); ten Padma Bhushans (L.Subramaniam, Zakir Hussain, Lalgudi Jayaraman, T.N. Krishnan, Sultan Khan, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Rajn Mishra, Sajan Mishra, Girija Devi); and thirteen Padma Shris (Vishawa Mohan Bhatt, Kavita Krishnamurty, Ajoy Chakrovarty, Kumar Sanu, Gangadhar Pradhan, Ileana Citaristi, Shahid Parvez, Rashid Khan, U.Srinivas, Vikku Vinayakram,Hariharan, Usha Uthup, Shubha Mudgal). Only four musicians of Indian origin have won a Grammy; IAA has presented three of them (Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt).

The Directors of IAA Board thank the many supporters who over the years believed in our mission, the City of Houston for all the years of generous grant support, the media partners Houston Chronicle and KUHF Radio for getting IAA’s message to the multicultural audiences of Greater Houston, and the Indian media for keeping IAA in public focus. IAA will continue to meet and exceed community expectations and, God willing, its next twenty years will be as illustrious as its past twenty!