Book Launch, Interview & Film

Today is the book launch for the first Sankalpa publication, a bilingual book which includes stories written by Edayanchavadi village children about hand-sewn affirmation dolls they created in art therapy sessions between December 2010 and May 2011. Please send inquiries for available copies to and continue to follow updates on Sankalpa on the website and Facebook page.

This summer, Persephone magazine interviewed me on my journey into Art Therapy and visions for the future. Special thanks to Coco Papy. Preview an excerpt below and read the whole interview here.

"Krupa Jhaveri is a woman who believes in the Anne Turner saying that all art takes courage. As the creator and founder of Sankalpa, an art therapy organization, Krupa’s work has brought the benefits and healing power of art therapy to those who often have the least access to it...Saying she is dedicated to her work would be an understatement and one often has to look hard for the exact words to describe all the ways in which she is reaching out to touch people with her work."

I am also honored that art therapy pioneer Judith Rubin included my work in her recent film on International Art Therapy: A Universal Language for Healing. Some photos from my 2009 survey of India and Nepal can be seen in the clip on Expressive Media.

Sankalpa in action!

After months of preparation and intention, I have returned to India. I am grateful for all of the support and following of Sankalpa: Art Journeys. The image below shows a sample of some art supplies bought with generous donations. While working in India, I am using technology to update those interested, hoping to encourage investment in the vision as it unfolds.

One of the 80+ stops in my previous travel survey was Auroville, an international township dedicated to the realization of human unity. Auroville is located near Pondicherry in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu. A utopian living experiment established in the 1960s, it is a fascinating and stimulating microcosm of our global reality. In everyday life here, I eat locally grown and organic food prepared in a communal solar-powered kitchen. I drive a converted electric moped, which I simply charge overnight in a standard electric socket. Available each week are a variety of activities including yoga, meditation, dance, music, cooking, movies, exhibitions, lectures and workshops. In many ways this enriching atmosphere contributes to my personal evolution, by providing access to people and information from around the world. And am currently living behind a local family home while working in the nearby villages.

In these first weeks, I have connected with a variety of individuals and groups receptive to art therapy. As planned, I am working at Thamarai community center, located in the nearby Edayanchavadi village. The children attend an after school program including arts and handicrafts (1st to 3rd standard), and I am starting a regular weekend group specifically centered on art therapy. I have also been referred for a Child Protection Services case to assist with a family conflict through art therapy (as part of a team). I will soon be introducing art therapy to adolescent girls receiving life skills and support at the Life Education Center, as well as the staff of Village Action, which has outreach to 80 surrounding villages (both women and men). Outside of village work, I am also joining forces with a compassionate living community within Auroville to offer art therapy as part of a nonviolent communication retreat. The variety and scope of experience being offered here is very exciting for an emerging international art therapist!


The capital of India, I can confidently say, is not a place I plan to live. Fortunately, I stayed with the extended family of a close friend (you know who you are, THANK YOU!), but I found the city bleak and uninviting. However, I did visit a local school, Balwant Rai in Greater Kailash II, and spoke briefly with a social worker there. There is a possibility I will return and introduce art therapy in some of the classes once the school resumes from their summer break.

While visiting a few temples, darshan (auspicious ceremony) took place just as I arrived at each one. Akshardham (supposedly the largest Hindu temple complex in the world), the ISKCON temple, and a smaller local Kali mandhir were amongst those I visited. Photos of both Rishikesh and Delhi are now uploaded on my Flickr page.


My journey began as I landed in Delhi and took direct transportation to a northern area of India called Rishikesh. This scenic and spiritual location was the backdrop for two weeks of intensive Kriya Yoga meditation practice.

Most visitors experience significant cultural shock in India, being overwhelmed by the bombardment of stimulation to the senses. Having visited a handful of times before with family, I found that in this first trip alone, I actually enjoy this stimulation (perhaps why I could handle living in NYC for 8 years). Regardless, the meditation retreat offered the perfect space to process and transition properly into life in the East.

Without getting into the details of the actual meditation practice, I will share that I experienced intense and clear visions of this center I hope to build. In between meditations, I would paint and draw these visions, including one below:


My parents were both born in the northwestern state in India called Gujarat. Once married, they moved to the US (about 30 years ago), bringing only two suitcases each with them. I was born in Colorado but moved over 20 times, mostly within the US. Interestingly, at about the same age that they moved to the US, I am now moving to India, with only two bags of my worldly possessions.

Gujarati and English were both spoken in our family home, so I am fortunate to understand at least this language. I am learning Hindi, which is more widely spoken throughout India. It is interesting that Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali (and even Russian,
I recently discovered) all have similar roots in Sanskrit, an ancient source I also hope to study at some point.

It is confusing and exhilarating to be here, and I especially enjoy selectively blending in with the local people instead of just being a tourist. I find myself having long conversations with foreigners as I transition into life here, and gradually making more local connections everywhere I go.

(The photo is of myself, dressed up as Krishna when I was younger. My brother threw a tantrum, and somehow I found myself in the unlikely position of being adorned as a male god figure).


I made it! So much to share about the first few weeks in Rishikesh and Delhi, but a quick update was best summarized by some signage I found:

(I love my India!)


Moving closer to realizing my vision, I am moving to India in one week. It has been a very challenging process to uproot myself from attachments to the people, places, and possessions in my life. I have been tempted and discouraged and offered dozens of reasons not to leave, but the path is undeniable, so here I go…!

The importance of these connections, however, has also informed a developing project idea. Some of my first favorite moments in art school at Parsons in NYC were spent perusing beautiful papers and materials from around the world at New York Central. I recently found a colorful miniature set of 10 handmade books there. In leaving, I am distributing these to people in my life, and asked them to return the blank books to me filled with their words, art, inspirations, dreams, etc. by 09/09/09.

And then I realized that this idea, on a larger scale, has the potential to bring people together in a profound way. Through an international penpal book exchange, people will form expanding and healing connections. My work in publishing, my experience in art therapy, and especially the thesis work with positive women in Uganda and New York documented here, all have led to this point. I can already envision at least one colorful library where these books will collect an expressive census of humanity.

Many have been asking how I arrived to such a state of clarity and determination in my life, and while a deepening spirituality has become more important, I can briefly offer the following. Spend time alone, away from distractions, and reflect on the simple essence of who you are regardless of all that surrounds you. Dream that impossible dream, and once you leap, a net will appear to help you make that dream materialize.

As always, I am open to questions/suggestions/contacts, here or by email. Thank you to everyone supporting me on this journey. ॐ


In addition to the thesis follow-up, I would also like to use this space to set intention for a relevant dream for my future.

While experiencing great clarity and focus on a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Thailand this summer (Suan Mokhh), a vision appeared strongly to me. The synthesis of years of work here in the US, I realized it is time for me to return to my Indian heritage. HIV/AIDS is an undeniable global crisis, and though Africa is being highlighted for its staggering statistics, India is also struggling to simply spread awareness.

I have been fortunate to gain very specialized knowledge of the experience of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, while being an art therapist to infected children, adolescents, and women in the New York area. I feel a strong duty and purpose in applying this knowledge in work with these populations, in India. My dream is to build a center offering art therapy, a safe space for children and women with HIV/AIDS in India.

I will continue to post elaboration on this goal in all forms here, and I hope to receive feedback and form connections to make this dream possible.