October 4, 2021
Contact: Jeff Simmons,, 917-673-0024

Flushing Town Hall Launches Rangoli Design Competition in Advance of its 7th Annual Diwali Festival

–Rangoli Design Competition details at–
–RSVP for the annual festival at


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(Flushing, N.Y.)–This November 6, Flushing Town Hall will celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, with a socially distanced festival of music, dance, traditional foods, and family-friendly activities.  And this year, for the first time, the cultural venue is holding a Rangoli Design competition – with the winners’ artwork being prominently displayed for all to see!

Diwali, or Deepavali, comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “row of lights.” It is a day of solidarity, where the soft light of diyas – or oil-wick candles – illuminate streets and homes, banishing the darkness of ignorance and suffering. Diwali began as a part of an ancient harvest festival, which celebrated the fertility of the earth and prosperity of the new harvest. Though Diwali has taken on a significant meaning in Hinduism, in India, it is celebrated by all groups regardless of religious affiliation as a time of renewal and growth.

Rangoli is an age-old art form from India. Derived from the Sanskrit word “Rangavalli”, it means rows of colors and is used to celebrate Hindu festivals such as Diwali. Rangoli is usually drawn in homes or courtyards, in the hope of inviting blessings of the Gods.

“Diwali is a festive time of gift-giving, charity and sharing in feasts with loved ones,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. “We are proud to continue this tradition for a seventh year and to provide an experience that fills all senses: musical performances, classical dance, traditional food, henna painting, fashion and much more – including our first-ever Rangoli competition. We thank the Guru Krupa Foundation for its generous support for this year’s festival.”

“While Flushing Town Hall kicks off our annual celebration for Diwali, we are excited to invite all creative minds, novice and professional artists, children, and adults from local and international areas to participate in our first Rangoli Design Competition, showcasing their creativity and exchanging best wishes during the festival,” says Gabrielle M. Hamilton, Director of Education and Public Programs at Flushing Town Hall.

The competition—now open through October 20, 2021—allows submissions in five categories based on age groups: children 10 years old and younger; teenagers from 11 to 18 years old; adults from 19 to 59 years old; seniors 60 years old and older; and professional artists of any age.

A jury will select one winner in each group, and winning designs will be fashioned into vinyl posters and displayed on Flushing Town Hall’s outdoor fence on Northern Boulevard from November 6 to December 17, 2021.  Additionally, winners will receive free, one-year memberships to Flushing Town Hall and pairs of tickets to any upcoming programs of their choice.

To enter the competition, please see the full guidelines below and email the following materials before 5:00 pm ET on October 20, 2021 to with “Submissions for Rangoli Design Competition” in the subject line: 

  • A clear and high-resolution scan or photo of your rangoli design (at least 300 dpi / 3MB) 
  • Your full name
  • Your participating group
  • Your phone contact and email address
  • Your school name (if submissions involve children or teenagers) 
  • Your age
  • The title/design concept of your rangoli design

Flushing Town Hall will not distribute a template or art materials --- Rangoli design must come from participants and should reflect on traditional rangoli design. Stencils are not allowed to be used for this competition. Designs can be created traditionally with sand, seeds, flowers, or with paints, markers, crayons and more.  Only email submissions will be allowed, and winners will be notified by October 26.

For fuller details on the competition, please visit For further information, please contact Flushing Town Hall Education Department at

Flushing Town Hall will present the winning designs at the annual Diwali Festival.


Diwali Festival Details!

The 2021 Diwali Festival will be held in-person, though attendance will be limited to 150 people in each of two blocks of time due to COVID-19. This event will be also streamed live on YouTube to serve global audiences. 

Anyone can purchase in-person tickets to attend between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM, or between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, Queens. In-person tickets are $15 and $10 for members of Flushing Town Hall and children. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they will not be available at the door. Virtual tickets are $7 and $5 for members. Visit for more details and to purchase tickets.

The celebration features London-born, Flushing-raised Basement Bhangra musician, DJ, producer, curator and activist DJ Rekha, who returns to the stage for a Bhangra dance party, and master Indian dancer and artistic director of the Srijan Dance Company, Abha B. Roy, joined by guests Angela Rostick and Ling Tang (all three are Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artists), who will "trade steps" in a cross-cultural, “Common Ground” dance conversation of kathak footwork, American tap and Chinese Tibetan tap dance. 

Audiences also will be treated to a live Rangoli demonstration, by Anju Modak; a videotaped cooking workshop led by Nupur Arora, owner of Queens Curry Kitchen with cookbooks, spices and prepackaged food for sale, a live henna demonstration – and, of course, traditional South Asian beverages and treats.

This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of Sandeep Roy, and all of those who passed away during the global pandemic.  Sandeep was the husband of Abha B. Roy, Flushing Town Hall’s master teaching artist of Indian dance and our Diwali director.  Sandeep died of COVID-19 in Delhi, India after traveling home to care for his sick family members.  May his memory, and those of all we lost, be eternal. 


COVID Policy:
In adherence with Mayor De Blasio’s Covid policy for performance venues, Flushing Town Hall will require all visitors, performers, and staff to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with matching identification. Additionally, masks will be required at all times. For more details on Flushing Town Hall’s Covid-safety measures and vaccine requirements, please visit:


Support Global Arts With A Gift Today!
All gifts of $50 or more give you exclusive Flushing Town Hall Circle of Friends membership benefits including a Smithsonian membership, ticket discounts, and more! Donations in any amount are appreciated to support the artists and the nonprofit cultural organization as they continue to provide programming and entertainment across New York and the world. Contribute at



SAT, NOV 6, 11 AM & 2 PM
Diwali Festival

Flushing Town Hall celebrates the Festival of Lights with an all-ages, socially distanced festival and dance party, featuring Kathak classical dancer Abha Roy and Basement Bhangra's DJ Rekha! Learn Bollywood, bhangra, and Kathak dance moves with Abha and Rekha, the art of rangoli design with Anju Gupta, explore Indian cooking with Queens Curry Kitchen and more. Abha Roy, master teaching artist and artistic director of the Srijan Dance Company, will be joined on stage by Angela Rostick and Ling Tang, who will "trade steps" in a cross-cultural dance conversation of kathak footwork, American tap and Chinese Tibetan tap dance. 

At the event, Flushing Town Hall will present the artwork of the winners of its first-ever Rangoli Design competition. Anyone can purchase in-person tickets to attend between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM, or between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, Queens. In-person tickets are $15 and $10 for members of Flushing Town Hall and children. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they will not be available at the door. Virtual tickets are $7 and $5 for members. Visit for more details and to purchase tickets.


Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization that receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the  Governor and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; The City of New York, Major Bill de Blasio; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Gonzalo Casals; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; The New York City Council, Speaker Corey Johnson; Council Members Costa Constantanides, Daniel Dromm, Barry Grodenchik, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Paul A. Vallone, Jimmy Van Bramer; Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

The 2021 Rangoli Design Competition and Outdoor Exhibition, and Diwali Festival are generously sponsored by the Guru Krupa Foundation.

To view our current donor lists, please visit


About Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City, in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.


Land Acknowledgement:

Flushing Town Hall acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Matinecock People, one of the original tribes of New York, and the first people of Flushing, Queens. The Matinecock continue to live and work on this land to this day. Flushing Town Hall honors their elders who have stewarded this land throughout generations.


For more information:
(718) 463-7700 x222
137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11354