Skip to main content
India Dance Press Photo

The McClung Museum will host a community festival celebrating Indian art and culture from 1 to 4 p.m. March 30.

The festival, Journey to India, will feature activities for adults and children of all ages. The activities include stations for henna tattoos, Warli paintings and Rangoli art, name writing in different Indian languages, and guided tours of the museum’s spring exhibition, Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India. There will also be Desi and Bollywood dance performances, traditional music, artist demonstrations, and more.

“For the Indian community in Knoxville, this event is an opportunity to share their culture and heritage with the general public in their own terms,” said Leslie Chang Jantz, curator of education. “For other Knoxvillians, this is a rare opportunity to experience the diversity of Indian culture through the lens of their neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances.”

East Tennessee’s Indian community played a key role from the very beginning of the planning process. In addition to individual partners, UT’s Indian student association, Manthan, will provide a team of volunteers during the festival. Visitors can purchase ethically sourced goods from India through the museum’s partnership with India Trunk Sale, a local business based in Oak Ridge.

“This festival brings the world a little closer together,” said Smita Borole, a Knoxville dentist who helped to sponsor and coordinate the festival. “When people are exposed to new and differing cultures, they walk away finding more commonalities than differences.”

One of the dance troupes performing at the festival is led by another community member, Bhavani Murthy, a choreographer for Natana Manohari School of Performing Arts.

“For local people who cannot travel to various parts of the world, this brings part of a different culture for them to view and enjoy right here in their hometown,” Murthy said.

The McClung Museum organizes annual community festivals to coincide with its art exhibitions. It was recently honored by the Tennessee Association of Museums for a 2018 civil rights exhibition and festival celebrating Knoxville’s rich history of diversity and activism. The museum received this award previously for its 2016 Maya exhibition and festival.


Brian Canever (865-974-0937,

Zack Plaster (865-974-2144,