Isha Ambani announces opening of India’s first multi-disciplinary cultural centre in Mumbai
Mumbai, October 7, 2022
Isha Ambani, who spearheads Reliance Retail, India’s largest retailer, on Thursday announced the opening of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) in the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
The first-of-its-kind space in the sphere of the arts, which will be India's first multi-disciplinary cultural centre and dedicated to her mother Nita Ambani, an educationist, businesswoman, philanthropist and long-time patron of the arts, will be a cultural landmark, she said.
NMACC is housed within the Jio World Centre, which is also home to the country’s largest convention centre, retail and hospitality outlets, and more, all in the heart of India’s financial and entertainment capital.
The three-storeyed building will open spaces for performing as well as visual arts. A trio of dedicated spaces for the performing arts include The Grand Theatre, The Studio Theatre and The Cube, all built with cutting-edge technology to cater to a wide range of experiences, from intimate screenings and stimulating conversations to multilingual programming and international productions. The centre will also launch the Art House, a four storeyed space spotlighting leading Indian and international artists.
Speaking on the occasion, Isha said, “The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre is so much more than a space – it is the culmination of my mother’s passion for arts, culture and her love for India. She has always dreamt of creating a platform that would be welcoming to audiences, artists, performers and creatives at large. Her vision for NMACC is to showcase the best of what India has to offer to the world and bring the world to India.”
The doors to the centre will launch on March 31, 2023 with a spectacular three-day launch.
On Friday, March 31, 2023, the 2,000-seater Grand Theatre at the centre will see the staging of Civilization to Nation: The Journey of Our Nation by acclaimed Indian playwright and director Feroz Abbas Khan, which will bring together a sensory narrative of Indian culture told through the tenets of the classical Natya Shastra, the ancient Sanskrit treatise on the performing arts. This dramatic showcase boasts over 700 performers and features art forms such as dance, music and puppetry.
On Saturday, April 1, the centre will host India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination, curated by prolific author and costume expert Hamish Bowles, editor-in-chief, The World of Interiors, international editor-at-large, Vogue US.
The exhibit traces the widespread impact and influence of India’s sartorial traditions in textiles, jewellery and surface ornamentation on global fashion spanning the 18th-21st century. Accompanying this exhibition is a coffee table book published by Rizzoli, documenting a comprehensive history of India and its impact on fashion worldwide for the very first time.
On Sunday, April 2, there will be a group art show, Sangam Confluence, curated by India’s leading cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote and Jeffrey Deitch, American curator, former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles and founder of his eponymous gallery.
Sangam Confluence will celebrate diverse cultural impulses and traditions at the 16,000 sq. ft. Art House at the centre. The exhibit, spread over four levels, will explore the multiplicity of India through the works of 11 esteemed and emerging Indian contemporary artists and western artists influenced by India.
Nita Ambani, wife of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman & Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, is also the founder-chairperson of Reliance Foundation, an initiative that has empowered over 63 million Indians, providing them with the resources and opportunities for a positive and sustainable livelihood.
She is the first Indian to be elected an Honorary Trustee on the Board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She is also the first Indian woman to be elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In February 2022, she successfully led the Indian delegation to win the right to host the IOC Session 2023 in Mumbai, bringing the Olympic movement back to the country after 40 years.
She is the co-owner of Mumbai Indians, the most successful cricket team in the Indian Premier League, and the Founder Chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited, which launched the Indian Super League. Through the Education and Sports for All programme, she has so far touched the lives of 21.5 million children in India. In 2021, she launched Her Circle—an inclusive, collaborative and socially-conscious digital movement for women that has become India’s fastest-growing social community connecting over 42 million women to date.
A teacher at heart, she provides leadership to 14 schools, including the Dhirubhai Ambani International School (DAIS), which is amongst the top 20 International Baccalaureate (IB) schools globally and the No. 1 international school in India. She is also the Founder Chairperson of the Jio Institute, a world-class centre for multi-disciplinary higher education with a strong focus on research, innovation and lifelong learning.
Nita is committed to making wellness a priority; and quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all Indians through various initiatives of Reliance Foundation. Under her leadership, Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre has become one of Mumbai's leading hospitals.
Isha Ambani is part of the executive leadership teams at Reliance Retail, Reliance Jio, Reliance Foundation, Reliance Foundation Institution of Education and Research, and Dhirubhai Ambani International School. She is on the Advisory Board of the Yale Schwarzman Center, and on the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, the Dia Art Foundation, and Jio MAMI, which organises the annual international film festival in Mumbai.
Isha played a pivotal role in conceptualising and launching Reliance’s digital services business, Jio, in India in 2016. A game-changer in the Indian telecom landscape, with over 425 million subscribers, Jio is currently India’s no. 1 digital service provider and amongst the largest in the world.
She spearheads Reliance Retail, which is India’s largest retailer by revenue, profit, reach, and scale with presence in grocery, consumer electronics, and fashion retail. Under her leadership, Reliance Retail is among the Top-10 Retailers in Asia and the only Indian retailer in the list of global top 100 retailers.
Isha is actively involved in overseeing the vision and impact of Reliance Foundation and is closely involved with the foundation’s work with children and women. She also heads the Diversity and Inclusion programme at Reliance Industries Limited, championing women’s rise in the workplace. An art enthusiast, she leads the art and culture initiatives & collaborations undertaken by Reliance Foundation in India and internationally. She is passionate about education and provides hands-on leadership and direction to all education initiatives of Reliance, especially Dhirubhai Ambani International School (DAIS), Reliance Foundation Schools, and Jio Institute. As Vice-Chairperson of DAIS, she is currently leading the planning and development of the upcoming Nita Mukesh Ambani Junior School, a new primary school of the future, designed to provide collaborative learning and world-class facilities for students’ holistic development.
Isha graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a double major in Psychology and South Asian Studies and completed her MBA from Stanford University in 2018.
Reliance is India’s largest private sector company, with a consolidated revenue of INR 792,756 crore ($104.6 billion), cash profit of INR 110,778 crore ($14.6 billion), and net profit of INR 67,845 crore ($9.0 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2022.
Reliance’s activities span hydrocarbon exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, advanced materials and composites, renewables (solar and hydrogen), retail and digital services.