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Our vision

Peerbagh (read : pir – baag) translates to a garden of the wise (pir refers to a Sufi spiritual guide). We seek to be guides in creative journeys that our communities and kids find the courage to take on.

As an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, our mission is bring the lost art of storytelling into the classroom or teaching environment through art, creative writing, theater, cultural inquisitiveness, and oral storytelling. We aim to diversify our bookshelves and build new storytellers.

Here’s our manifesto and our mission to learn why we do what we do.

We work out of Austin, Montreal, Dehradun, and via online screens everywhere.

Our programs

STUDENT PROGRAMS APPLICABLE TO CURRENTLY ENROLLED STUDENTS

STUDENTS

Katha Storytelling

Katha means tale or story in Sanskrit. These workshops for kids in-person in Austin, Montreal and Dehradun for building creative confidence, storytelling and creative thinking skills. Ideal for ages 6-14 years. When students successfully complete 6 in a series, they get certified!

Storytelling Workshops and Katha for kids

Creative competitions and awards for kids!

We organize creative competitions for children online and in-person. These include events like painting, folk dance, folk song, seminars, poster making, flash fiction writing, and short story events. Select stories from winners are published as audio stories.

Recently, 2000+ students from 129 schools participated in our inter-school and college events at our cultural and literary festival, Varta. We had 44 winners who were awarded prizes in each event. We organize events to help kids push their creative limits and be encouraged to try something new.

Volunteer Student Reporters

We are always looking for volunteers to write book reviews, participate in our author events, and build a portfolio of work while they are at it. Our 2023, pilot program is now open to applications. If you’re interested in applying, please fill details here.


For Educators and Librarians

APPLICABLE TO CURRENT TEACHERS AND SCHOOL STAFF

FOR TEACHERS

Blue Sky

Blue Sky is a LIVE online certification course that is intended to provide skill-based capacity building for teachers. It introduces storytelling concepts educators can use with children to teach any subject with more engagement. 10 teachers were certified in 2023 with 300 more who were trained in introductory courses. Teachers can also apply for Blue Sky Scholarships that makes the program more accessible.

Blue sky storytelling certification course

Storytelling sessions at schools or libraries

We are always doing read-alouds, oral storytelling sessions, and creative workshops in schools and libraries. Our next program is at two locations of the Austin Public Library. If you are interested in hosting us for a program, please drop an email here.

We often bring our toolkits and children’s books to sessions. Have a look at our bookstore to find our publications.

Capacity building programs for teachers

Our nonprofit partners, MIEF, organize Vedic Math and Origami workshops for teachers. lf you are interested, drop us an email here. These programs are either free or highly affordable and are run online.


For South-Asian Creatives

WE WORK DIRECTLY WITH ARTISTS. PUBLISHING HOUSES CAN WORK WITH US AS A SPONSORED OR GRANT-BASED PROGRAM.

Creative inspiration: why must kids write and finding the spark within us

Kitabi Qisse

Kitabi Qisse translates to bookish tales. To promote South-Asian creative work, we run a series of interviews spotlighting books from South-Asian writers and illustrators. This is free to attend and be a part of. We have worked with 100+ creatives as a part of this series in 2023.

Likhawat South Asian author and creative panels

Likhawat

Likhawat means writing. This online or in-person creative panel of South-Asian creatives explores various topics related to writing, creativity, and motivation to inspire young writers and storytellers. The panels are available free or at low cost to access online for everyone.

Zubaani

Cultural revival programs where we feature a folk art form or storytelling technique through in-person or online interviews & montages. We also host workshops with folk artists who teach our community art forms that are less visible, e.g., Himalayan Miniature art.


Community programs

We manage two in-person groups in Austin – the Desi book club, and Austin’s storytelling club. These are free events and we meet monthly. Anyone can join these groups!

Volunteering

We are typically looking for volunteers to manage events, help organize new ideas, facilitate workshops/events, and come with their best writing ideas too! If you’d like to help us in our mission to build more storytellers, send us an email. Our volunteers get access to some of our paid programming and fun swag too!

Programmatic Support

For leaders, creatives, and organizations

You can join Peerbagh’s storytelling programs as an organizational leader and/or donate to support some of our children’s and school programming. All the proceeds go toward building our programs.

FOR LEADERS & CREATIVES

Blue Sky DIVE

Blue Sky DIVE is a program designed for leaders, communicators, and aspiring creatives. Join the program to learn about inclusive and authentic communication and storytelling to build your leadership brand. We offer this program to grant-making organizations and sponsors as a part of the DEI or communications initiatives.

We also offer this directly to individuals to upskill. You may want to try your organization’s professional development stipend to make it more accessible.

Storytelling workshops for organizations and leaders