The Loft Forum is named after the loft-like space that hosts most of our events. We are located in part of a 100 year old building that has been restored and re-used as a working studio.
7 ~ We started in March 2012. As of March 2019, we are 7 years old.
76 ~ The number of talks we have had. 42 of these we did not record. The rest are available for on our YouTube channel and Videos page.
28 ~ Documentary and independent film screenings.
13 ~ Live performances, mostly music.
5 ~ Workshops, mostly in understanding classical music.
17 ~ Storytelling performances, in English, Urdu and Hindustani.
140 ~ Total number of events as of March 2019.
7000+ ~ People have attended our events, at a conservative average of 50 people per event.
You can stay connected with events at the Loft by signing up for our mailing list on our contact page and following us on social media. Your email address will be kept private and never shared with anyone. We typically send out two emails per event: an announcement a few days in advance and a reminder a day before the event.
Our primary focus is talks by people doing meaningful and inspiring work. We have hosted people from various fields including designers, writers, artists, historians, architects, photographers, sociologists, economists, doctors, social workers and scientists.
We occasionally have live performances which have included storytelling in English, Urdu and Hindustani, music performances and music workshops. Film screenings of documentary and independent films are also held.
In 2018, we curated a 4 day Storytelling Festival with performers and speakers from Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Lucknow.
We are currently in the process of curating a series of talks on music by experts in the field, and on urban conservation and heritage by practitioners from all over India.
Does the Loft Forum have a curatorial focus? The short answer to this is no. However, there are a number of repeating themes and subjects that have featured in our talks and events. These include design, sustainability, science, medicine, history, economics, theatre, social science, literature, music, spirituality and storytelling.
We are always curious about the meaningful work being done by others and are passionate about sharing it with our community.
There is no fixed event schedule. Events happen because the proverbial stars align and multiple individual schedules synchronise. Most of our events are planned weeks and often months in advance and are held on a Saturday evening. Some events happen at short notice because a speaker is in town and they accept a last minute invitation.
We do not host events in the hot summer months of April, May and June as the Loft, not being air-conditioned, is an unsuitable venue.
We are located in part of a 100 year old erstwhile residence, that has been restored and re-used as a working studio. We are located in the heart of the Pune Cantonment. Pune is a city in western India, known as a centre for culture, education and industry.
Most of the seating at the Loft is on mats on the floor. We have about 20 spots where seating is on chairs, benches and stools.
We have been able to accommodate more than 90 people in our most popular events. Occasionally, additional people listen to the event from the lower level.
We do not have reserved seating, but make every attempt to accommodate and reserve places for those who need to be seated on chairs.
The Loft is located two levels above grade and is accessible by two sets of stairs, one of which is a spiral staircase. Unfortunately, we are not wheelchair accessible nor do we have a lift. We do make every effort to provide seating on chairs for those who are unable to sit on the floor.
There is no parking directly at the Loft Forum, but plenty of street parking nearby. We request that you park your vehicle a short distance away so that the neighbourhood courtyard below the Loft is not overcrowded and we do not inconvenience our neighbours.
The Loft is fitted out with quality audio and video equipment. Audio can be connected to via Bluetooth and aux cable. We do not amplify the sound for our events as the space is intimate enough not to need it. Each of our events are professionally video recorded for our archive.
The Loft is not available for rent. We host only events that are curated by us. Occasionally, we partner with individuals and organisations to co-create events.
We professionally record each of our talks and performances and share them on our website and social media pages. The copyright for each talk and performance remains with the speaker and artist. We do not share talks and performances without the prior permission of the speaker and artist.
The Loft Forum is entirely volunteer run. We have no paid staff. If you would like to volunteer, connect with the Loft team by phone or email and we will mutually find the right volunteer opportunity for you.
Each event provides various volunteer opportunities. Some events have specific volunteering needs. We usually announce them on our Facebook page.
a. Parking: Car and bike parking near the Loft needs to be organised and moderated before each event. A volunteer is always needed for this.
b. Ushering: For our more crowded events, ushers are needed to help first time audience members with placing their bags, helmets, shoes and jackets appropriately. Help with seating is also needed.
c. Wrap up: At the end of each event the doors and windows of the Loft need to be closed. Chairs need to be put back in place.
The most important way you can support our work is by attending our events and participating in the sharing of thought and dialogue. Many of our speakers and artists travel long distances specially to be with us. Several of them come specifically to Pune on our invitation to share their work with us, sometimes just for a few hours. It is always nice when their effort is reflected in a full house, interest in their work and active audience participation. We recognise that the city and life has much to offer and that it takes a special effort to spend the evening together listening and participating. We are always grateful to our audience who brave traffic, travel distances and make the choice to be here. Our events are always free and open to all.
You can support our work by sharing our events with friends and family and inviting them to attend. Our website makes it very easy to share upcoming events via whatsapp, facebook, twitter and email. You can also get them to sign up for our mailing list so that they can receive updates on our events.
We are always interested in inviting people doing meaningful and inspiring things to share their work at the Loft Forum. If you know or come across someone you feel we should invite, do let us know. We have hosted several people through introductions from our audience and are grateful for them.
Ideas for events that you would like to see, including film screenings, workshops, music, theatre and performances are always welcome. We are comfortable with planning events months in advance and also plan events spontaneously if we know someone is in town.
Financial support for our work is critical to what we do. Our events are free and open to all, and would not be possible without financial support. Artists and performers need financial support to do the work they do, and organisations like ours have the potential to create opportunities for them.
Financial support helps us host artists who are looking for avenues to share their work. We always pay an honorarium to professional artists and performers, and regularly have to turn down artists who would like to perform for us because we do not have the funds to honour their work fairly. Your financial support will in turn enable us to support artists and performers, and foster our diverse and incredible cultural heritage.
We are not yet a registered non-profit so we cannot issue tax rebate receipts, but rest assured that all financial contributions go into the making of our events. Typically, we pass on financial contributions directly to artists.
Once an event is scheduled the Loft team will coordinate logistics of travel and stay for your time in Pune. Travel from cities within India and hosting you in Pune is organised by us. We typically organise our events on a Saturday evening, making it convenient for out of town speakers and artists. We are open to organising events mid-week but only if a Saturday event is not possible. We announce our events for 6.45 pm and start at 7 pm.
We offer professional artists who perform at the Loft Forum an honorarium. We do our best to match industry standards. The honorarium is mutually decided in advance. Speakers whose professional work includes speaking and sharing are also offered an honorarium.
The Loft Forum is an intimate and informal setting that belies the serious nature of our work and the commitment of our audience. Our audience is extremely engaged and consists of people from various backgrounds, professions and ages. It is not unusual to have young children, students in high school, college students and young professionals in our audience. Our audience consists of regular attendees as well as people who are coming to the Loft for the first time.
We usually discuss the topic and content of the talk with our speakers in advance. We suggest that the talk be at least 60 minutes long and no longer than 75 minutes. Each talk is followed by a Q&A with the audience. Sometimes the interaction is moderated and more focused. Presenting images, video clips or audio, is always enjoyed by the audience. We have the AV infrastructure needed for this, including a remote slide changer and pointer.
Our space is small and intimate. We do not have a stage nor can we host a large troupe of performers. We have been able to accommodate 6 performers at one time. We do not use or need amplification. We have often been told that atmosphere of a full house at the Loft and the energy it creates makes for a special evening for the performer.
The IP and Copyright for the content of talks and performances is held by the speaker and artist. The Loft Forum video records each event and shares it online only with the permission of the speaker and artist.
If you are an artist, artist’s manager, film maker, theatre person, writer, designer, scientist, athlete or someone from any discipline who would like to share your work with us do get in touch. We love hearing from you. We do not have events in April, May and June as it is too hot in our space. We are comfortable with planning events months in advance and often plan events spontaneously if we know someone is in town, so do not hesitate to get in touch even at the last minute.
We announce our events on our mailing list, and on our facebook and twitter accounts. We do not boost our events on facebook for wider reach nor do any paid outreach or publicity. Often the local press reaches out to us to feature our events and interview the speaker or artist. You can see examples of this on our Press page. Event announcements do find mentions in the local papers and online event cataloging platforms but we do not actively contact them nor do we have any financial arrangement with them. We also do not guarantee our speakers and performers an audience. We believe that those who attend are meant to be there, and we are grateful for their presence.
We partner with various organisations and individuals to create some of our events. If you or your organisation would like to partner with us do get in touch. Partnering allows for a larger and wider audience reach, sharing of resources and maximising opportunities for speakers and artists who visit Pune.
We partner with several organisations including:
If you are a journalist and would like to interview and feature the work of our speakers and artists, do reach out to us via phone or email. You can be informed of upcoming events by signing up for our mailing list or following us on social media.