7 Clinic Drive, Norwich, Connecticut 06360
The American Sikh Council (ASC) is elated at the opening of a brand new and one of a kind historic ‘Sikh Art Gallery’ which opened in 2020 in the town of Norwich, CT. This project was initiated by Swaranjit Singh who is a local businessman and a very passionate and committed Sikh. https://sikhartgallery.com/
Swaranjit Singh has been constantly working from the grassroots level and beyond in order to raise the awareness within his local community and the in the State of Connecticut, about the Sikhs and their heritage. He has a long list of accomplishments, including installing a permanent plaque to memorialize the Sikh Genocide which was initially installed in the local library, but later removed due to direct pressure by the Indian government. Due to his perseverance, he has been very successful in getting various resolutions from making April the ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’ in Connecticut to officially recognizing the ‘Sikh Genocide’. www.thirdsikhgenocide.org
It is not every day a passionate Sikh does something that not only touches folks within the community but also educates and brings a smile on people faces who are unaware of the Sikhs as a religious community with a such a rich heritage.
Local Sikhs at the opening of the new Sikh Art gallery.
There have been temporary Sikh Art-Museums held in various parts of our country in the past; from the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, to the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, WA, in the last two decades. These were funded by various philanthropic Sikhs within the community from across the country, but nothing permanent has been set up anywhere, so far!
Much creativity, thought and money has gone into buying art, books and other artifacts in order to set up the new Sikh Art gallery in Norwich, CT. The only other large and permanent Sikh museum outside Punjab is in Derby, UK. https://www.facebook.com/nationalsikhmuseum/
There around 250 gurdwaras in America, with many located in the midst of large city suburbs, and most in a position to engage with the host majority in so many ways which can create a phenomenal education and awareness to make a lasting impact about the Sikhs. If every gurdwara incorporated the same concept around or within the premises of their respective gurdwaras it would be an excellent way to start engaging with ‘all’ people living around each area. Most nations have museums and art galleries as various modes and means to pass down their respective heritage to the next generation and the world. Staring even a tiny 600 sq.ft, museum such as the one Swaranjit Singh has founded would be a great start.
Swaranjit Singh talking to a visitor at the Sikh Art gallery
Sikhs in America must prioritize some of the issues of hate crimes, bullying, the violence we continue to face and how to come up with creative solutions. The Sikhs Art Museum is definitely a step in the right direction.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) applauds Swaranjit Singh for the historic step while hoping he will assist in guiding many other Sikhs to set up similar Sikh Art-Museums wherever requested or needed by Sikh sangats across our nation.