Musings: Vivek Menon


Vivek Menon interned with the Festival 2016-2017 and in his third year, is now Marketing Manager

I’ve been with the Festival for three years now! and I have seen it grow. I’ve learnt a lot about how to run it and what a festival needs as well as all the challenges along the way.

I’m proud that it’s the only major arts festival with such a significant CSR initiative. Every year, more than 30 orphanages, Down Syndrome associations and autistic kids are invited to join for the kids show for free of charge as part of the festival’s CSR initiative.

Some of these children have never been to a theatre and their excitement is amazing – it’s something i look forward to every year.

“Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you;
give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you”
What’s been amazing and heartwarming is to actually see NGOs like Grassroots & parenting321 ( Down’s syndrome / cerebral palsy ) have so appreciated what the Festival has done that THEY are trying to pay it back to the festival after 2 years of getting free tickets. They feel that they have “borrowed” from the festival and it is their responsibility to give back.
So this year, these NGOs insist they want to buy tickets – how amazing is that?
Not many think of giving back, and not many actually appreciate it- we live in a culture that expects favours to be returned.
For an NGO to think of giving back, it shows that the world still has some hope….

The Festival Director is a firm believer of creating your own opportunities wherever you are, so the festival has served as a platform to meet interesting people and really take ownership of parts of the festival’s workflow.

There aren’t many options available for students who are interested in learning multiple skills at once. Most internships are centred on day to day mundane work and it takes more than a month before a company trusts an intern and gives him substantial work.

A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience” 

For example, with one corporate sponsor, it would’ve been hard to secure support without understanding what they really wanted. In fact after talking to them, I realised even they don’t know what they really want out of the festival, it’s so unique.. In the end, we managed to work it out by incorporating some community support and that increased the sponsorship more than 3 times the initial value. 
“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller 

Malaysia still lags behind Singapore with one sixth our population. The lack of funding makes it difficult for local artists to break through the international glass ceiling as there are other countries that are better than Malaysia in terms of supporting their artists to gain exposure globally.

So the festival provides a much needed platform for our local artists to gain exposure alongside more widely recognized international names. This is part of the capacity building that the festival aims to do yearly.

About Vivek Menon

Vivek Menon just graduated from University of West England with a degree in Law. He started working at the Festival as an intern and is now responsible for some critical parts of the marketing initiatives, including reaching out to corporate and the lesser privileged communities.


CSR (Community Outreach Program) Partner

LendLease Foundation
Main Sponsor
Yayasan Hasanah Tulips Movement PTPK Caring Pharmacy A-Day ElleForElle

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