SCARF Showcase Featuring Diya, SCARF Core Dance Company, Chinmayi Bhavanishankar, and Anisha Gururaj
Diya presented by SCARF
Vidya Chandra Sekhar, aka Diya is a former Miss India USA, holds two world records in longest solo dance performance for her Bharatanatyam marathons to raise awareness and funds for non-profit causes. Diya has written/performed as a lead singer for several groups including: the first Hindi band in North America, in the 1970’s, Toronto's Naya Afsana; Chicago’s East-West band; and the Vidyanjali Orchestra. In 1987, she founded Ishara, her own band which toured for a decade and a half around the U.S., performing at restaurants and arenas, and at major events and conferences. Diya sang for Motown legend, Aretha Franklin's 50th birthday, as her mother, the renowned dancer Sudha Chandrasekhar performed; and she sang with legendary Indian singer Hariharan on tour in Europe. She was a finalist in the Zee-TV singing competition Sa are Ga Ma in 1999. Since the onset of a couple of debilitating diseases, Diya is challenged with mobility and energy issues, while continuing to persist in creating and sharing her artistic works. By day, she is a cybersecurity professional who spends her free time collaborating with volunteers from Microsoft, UW, and Boston University to support efforts against human trafficking for REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade) and the NTSA (National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance) to develop a platform to help match services and advocates with victims and survivors. She is grateful to SCARF for the opportunity to use her art for good.
As part of the SCARF showcase, she will be singing a song asking what it will take to stop modern child trafficking affecting 12 million children each year.