ARThinkSouthAsia (ATSA) is a management, policy and research programme in the arts and cultural sector.


Initiated in 2010 by the Goethe-Institut in India, supported by the British Council since 2013 and the Piramal Art Foundation since 2014, the programme is dedicated to founding and supporting a cadre of arts managers committed to the cause of capacity building in the South Asian region. 


About ATSA Fellowship Program 2018-19

 The ARThinkSouthAsia Fellowship is designed to help develop skills, knowledge, networks and experience of potential leaders in the cultural sector of South Asia. We believe that by supporting exceptional individuals to make a step‐change in their skills and career potential, we can bring substantial benefit to the cultural field as a whole.

15 Fellows will be selected from across South Asia.

The Fellowship includes:

  • A two‐week residential course in India in May 2019: This includes intensive modules in Strategic Planning, Cultural Policy, Marketing and Communications, Fundraising, HR, and Finance. These modules will be led by a mix of Indian and international professional trainers and academics, and will be supplemented by expert guest lectures. Participation in the residential programme is mandatory.
  • A 30-day secondment with a cultural institution in Germany/UK/South Asia over the year 2019-20.
  • A concluding seminar in May 2020. (to be confirmed)

The Fellowship is supported by Goethe-Institut, British Council, and the Piramal Art Foundation.


ATSA Fellowship Application Guidelines

We welcome applications from practitioners working across a wide range of arts and cultural activity, as also from those who are working outside it who demonstrate knowledge, understanding and passion for arts and culture. Artists and persons with unconventional careers and experiences are also invited to apply.

Each participant is required to apply with an ongoing project. This could be part of an existing cultural organisation, or an independent project. The residential course is oriented to effective management and growth of arts organisations. The applicant’s proposal should highlight the needs of his/her organisation/project for building an efficient and sustainable organisation. The applicants are encouraged to describe the project in as much detail as possible to allow for an understanding of the scope of the project and skills they need to develop for its successful implementation.

Curatorial and research projects are not applicable for this fellowship.

Shortlisted candidates may be called for a phone interview before selection.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Minimum 3 years of work experience in the arts/culture sector
  • Submission of an on‐going arts/culture project
  • Open to residents of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka only


  • 31 October 2018: Application Deadline
  • 15 November 2018: Acknowledgement of receipt to candidates who have submitted complete applications. Please note that we will not be able acknowledge your application if it is incomplete or if it does not pertain to the arts and culture field.
  • 28 January 2019: Notification to shortlisted candidates

To apply, please complete the application form and email the completed pdf form along with your supporting documents to

Please note that incomplete applications, or applications sent via post will not be accepted.

If you are selected for the fellowship, you will be notified via email. You will then be required to submit:

  • countersigned contract that will be sent to you upon notification of selection
  • scanned copy of your passport
  • No Objection Certificate from your current employers (if applicable)

For any further information, please write to

ATSA Fellows from Nepal (2014- 2015)

Archana Thapa Uprety

Archana Thapa Uprety is an independent scholar, writer and founder chairperson of Akshar Creations, a publishing house in Nepal. Her academic papers and articles have appeared in the national and international journals and magazines. She has edited and published two collections of Nepali women's personal narrations: Telling A Tale and Swaastitvako Khoj, and also has acted on stage in the stage adaptation of Telling A Tale.

At present, she is writing a collection of short stories and also working on the stage adaptation of Swaastitvako Khoj. She also worked as the senior member of the team that drafted the Five Year Strategic Plan (2014-19) of National Women Commission, Nepal. Her PhD dissertation is titled "Tracing Contemporary Gender Representations in Mainstream Nepali cultural Texts."

Archana attended 15 days of the ATSA intensive fellowship programme in India in 2014 along with other 17 fellows from South Asia. “ATSA is a life time opportunity as it connects arts people of different professionals and helps in building a great rapport through information sharing.”

When asked what qualities are required to become an efficient arts manager in publishing sector, she highlights ‘vision, planning and execution are a must’. “Nepal’s arts and culture sector is very promising but due to lack of exposure, we are left in isolation and particularly in Nepal context ‘An artist cannot be an arts manager.’ Therefore, to reach out and promote this sector, it is important to identify the role an arts management plays.”

Personally for Archana, the workshop exceeded her expectations and moreover, she felt reassured that she was heading in the right direction in her profession as a publisher. The most significant learning outcome and an eye opener for her was ‘learning about cultural policy’ which she had never heard about prior to attending the workshop. Today, she is incorporating cultural policy in her work and through storytelling highlighting the gender issues in a more subtle way rather than being provocative. “I am not an activist but if the issues make our readers think than that itself is an achievement for us.”

Archana will be attending her second fellowship programme the following year, April in the UK. “I am very excited to travel to the UK to meet other female publishers. I’ve never had the opportunity before so it will definitely enlighten me how they work in their profession and I will try to implement their best practices in my work too.”

ATSA Fellows from Nepal (2013- 2014)

Ashmina Ranjit

Ashmina Ranjit is an interdisciplinary visual artist/artivist recognised internationally and written-about female artists in Nepal. Her works revolve around the crucial on going social and political issues of marginalized communities. She has “redefined contemporary art practices and society’s perceptions” through her paintings, performance art and video installations. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the world, including in Australia, China, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Qatar and the United States.

She is also the founder-director of LASANAA, an alternative art space that encourages experimentation, critical thinking and cross-disciplinary interaction in the arts. Ashmina has won several awards Scholarships and fellowships such as a Fulbright (USA), Aus-aid (Australia), Honourable Mentioned- Dhaka Biennele.

Ashmina shares her experience of participating in the ATSA Fellowship program. “It was a great opportunity to build network and exchange ideas with people from all walks of life. Since I was already an artivist (activism through art), I was moreover reflecting my own work.”

Ashmina opted for her second Fulbright Scholarship in the USA after completing her 15 days intensive ATSA workshop in India.

“Nepal market is very small but vibrant. We are gaining popularity and as artists we are also socially responsible to raise awareness. Many youths today are involved in this sector and have learnt the important role an artist can play to bring changes. Even with general public, media they have been very supportive. But on the negative side, we still lack good critiques.”

“Training within this sector is important and a viable need. I would highly encourage Nepali artists to undertake ATSA course. If an artist and an art manager can work parallel, our arts and cultural sector will revitalise. At present, due to lack of knowledge about this course, an artist is solely responsible and is wearing many hats to promote and exhibit their work.”

   For any further information, please write to