'Artists are surgeons of the soul
22 May 2017
Tara Arts artistic director Jatinder Verma took home the top prize at the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards (ACTAs) last Sunday at the Southbank Centre.
Verma was selected for his four decades long contribution to British theatre, throughout which he has thrust many young writers, directors, actors and other professionals into the spotlight while maintaining a reputation for humility.
“People behind the curtain knew he was a remarkable and generous figure with his own talent and expertise,” compere Nihal Arthanayake said, “and that as a teacher and educator he had considerable gifts”.
Hosted by Eastern Eye and now in its second year, the ACTAs celebrate the best of British Asian arts and culture throughout the year.
Accepting the award, Verma expressed the importance of “celebrating the new” and supporting young and emerging talent, making a “simple plea” to those in attendance.
“What we have to face is the fact that Asian engagement in the arts in this country is lower than anyone else’s,” he said. "Yes, there are all sorts of reasons and all sorts of places we should go to raise a plea. But I want to raise a very simple one: let the artist be as valued, as important in our homes as the surgeon."