Executive Director, Folk Arts Rajasthan, Inc.
New York, NY
Karen Lukas maintained a decorative painting studio in New York City for twenty-four years after receiving a BFA from Mass College of Art and Design with a focus in crafts. Her work drew on a broad spectrum of influences culled from extensive travel and study of traditional decorative arts, textiles, and crafts. Simultaneously, Ms. Lukas founded Folk Arts Rajasthan (FAR) out of a desire to preserve the vanishing folk art, music, and culture of the Rajasthani Merasi (musician) clan. Her vision and artistic ingenuity have initiated and cultivated FAR’s invaluable American support base for Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan (LKSS) FAR’s collaborative partner organization in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India.
314 East 84th Street #11
New York, NY 10028
Dr. Sarwar Khan
Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan and Merasi School Director and Co-Founder
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan India
Sarwar Khan was born into the Merasi (musicians and keepers of the stories) community of Rajasthan, India. He is a distinguished drummer descending from 37 generations of royal musicians designated to play for the kings of Jaisalmer. He is a visionary artist who has committed his life to the rescue of the Merasi musical legacy and the betterment of his marginalized people. In 1996, he channeled his humanitarian efforts by registering Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan (LKSS) [reg. #16 Jaisalmer, Raj., 1996], a Non-Governmental Organization and Folk Arts Society. Dr. Khan, a self-taught multi-linguist, directs and maintains LKSS and Merasi School in Jaisalmer as a much needed support base for the Merasi community. In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Maine College of Art for his devotion to cultural preservation.
Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan (LKSS)
Office: 011-91-921-474-0690 or 011-91-2992-2-51171
Merasi Para near Patwa (Patwon) Havali
Jaisalmer 345001 Rajasthan, India
Co-Director and Co-Founder, The Merasi School
Caitie Whelan has been working with Folk Arts Rajasthan since 2004. She co-conceived and implemented the intern component of the Musical Narrative Project, an ongoing archive of Merasi music. She co-directed the Hearts with Hope 2 Tour and in the summer of 2007, co-founded The Merasi School project with Sarwar Khan. Caitie, a graduate of Brown University, is a Truman Scholar from Maine and an alum of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies creative nonfiction writing program. As well as currently directing Merasi School with Sarwar, Caitie works on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.