—The festival will feature a rangoli art competition and display, a dance party and performances, and delicious Indian cuisine—

On Saturday, November 5, Flushing Town Hall will host its eighth annual Diwali Festival—a celebration welcoming audiences of all ages and cultures and a very popular event each year at the Hall

Abha Roy, a master teaching artist and artistic director of the Srijan Dance Company, will share the stage with IMGE: Ishita Mili Global Exposé for a performance rooted in Indian classical, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. Attendees can also enjoy a dance party with instruction on traditional moves from Roy, a Kathak classical dancer, and Mili, a Bharatanatyam dancer. Festival goers can also explore traditional rangoli design with artist Anju Gupta, savor Indian foods with Queens Curry Kitchen, and discover ayurvedic treatments with Shweta Parmar

The Indian holiday of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a day of solidarity, where the soft light of diyas – or oil-wick candles – illuminate streets and homes, banishing the darkness of ignorance and suffering. It began as a part of an ancient harvest festival, which celebrated the fertility of the earth and prosperity of the new harvest. Though Diwali has taken on a significant meaning in Hinduism, in India it is celebrated by all groups regardless of religious affiliation as a time of renewal and growth.

At the event, Flushing Town Hall will present the artwork of the winners of its Rangoli Design Competition. Rangoli is an age-old art form from India. Derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “rows of colors,” rangoli is a celebratory Hindu art form usually drawn in homes or courtyards with the hope of inviting blessings from the gods.

Abha Roy has led the Flushing Town Hall Diwali Festival since its beginnings. A master of Kathak dance, she studied under the guidance of the late great Guru Kundan Lal Gangani and attained professional precision under the training of Pt. Durgalal when she completed her specialization in Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. She represented the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and has taught and performed in South America, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed throughout Europe and at venues such as Lincoln Center and the Queens Museum, among others. 

Roy lost her beloved husband and creative partner, Sandeep Roychowdhury, to COVID in June of 2021, when he contracted the illness while on a trip to India to help care for family, and she dedicated last year’s festival to his memory and their love.

“We are so fortunate to work with the talented Abha Roy, who has helped our community to heal and experience joy again—even as she’s navigated her own painful loss,” says Flushing Town Hall Executive & Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “We are a resilient community, and I look forward to the delicious smells, lively dancing, and vibrant colors soon to fill our Hall for Diwali.”

New to the festival this year is the Ishita Mili Global Exposé, founded by Ishita Mili, a dance company using Indian classical moves (like the mudras hand gestures), as well as hip-hop and contemporary dance vocabularies to tell new and powerful global stories. IMGE transcends regional and cultural boundaries by creating an encompassing dance language that can speak to anyone.

“We are excited to celebrate Diwali with our audiences, to welcome new performers, and to display the great Rangoli submissions we’ve received through our competition this year,” says  Director of Education and Public Programs at Flushing Town Hall Gabrielle M. Hamilton. “We will be selecting artwork in five categories (kids, teenagers, adults, seniors, and professional artists) and displaying their winning designs along our exterior fence along Northern Boulevard.”

The Rangoli competition is accepting submissions through October 21, 2022. A jury will select one winner in each group, who in addition to having their work displayed, will receive free, one-year memberships to Flushing Town Hall and pairs of tickets to any upcoming programs of their choice. For submission instructions, visit: https://www.flushingtownhall.org/rangoli-competition

The 2022 Diwali Festival will be held in person and also streamed live on YouTube to serve global audiences. 

Anyone can purchase in-person tickets to attend the Festival, taking place on Saturday, November 5, for either the 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM show or the 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM show at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, Queens. 

In-person tickets are $15 and $10 for members of Flushing Town Hall and children. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they will not be available at the door. Virtual tickets are $7 and $5 for members. Visit https://www.flushingtownhall.org/diwali-festival for more details and to purchase tickets.

This program is generously sponsored by the Guru Krupa Foundation.


SAT., NOV. 5, 2022, 11 AM & 2 PM

Diwali Festival

In-Person Tickets: $15/$12 Members; Virtual: $7/$5 Members

Celebrate Diwali with this all-ages festival and dance party featuring Kathak classical dancer Abha Roy and Bharatanatyam dancer Ishita Mili! Learn folk, Bollywood, and Kathak dance moves infused with hip hop and contemporary dance with Abha and Ishita, explore rangoli design with Anju Gupta, taste Indian foods with Queens Curry Kitchen, discover ayurvedic treatments with Shweta Parmar, and more. Abha Roy, master teaching artist and artistic director of the Srijan Dance Company, shares the stage with IMGE: Ishita Mili Global Exposé, a performance company rooted in Indian classical, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. 

At the event, Flushing Town Hall will present the artwork of the winners of its rangoli design competition. Rangoli is an age-old art form from India. Derived from the Sanskrit word “Rangavalli”, it means rows of colors and is used to celebrate Hindu festivals such as Diwali. Rangoli is usually drawn in homes or courtyards, in the hope of inviting blessings of the Gods.

COVID Policy: 

Although as of March 7, 2022, New York City has relaxed its COVID policies for indoor arts and entertainment events, Flushing Town Hall will maintain its prior policy for the safety of its audiences, artists, and staff. This policy will remain in effect until further notice: Flushing Town Hall requires all visitors, performers, and staff to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with matching identification. Additionally, masks will be required at all times. For more details on Flushing Town Hall’s Covid-safety measures and vaccine requirements, please visit: https://www.flushingtownhall.org/covid-safety.

Support Global Arts with a Gift Today!

All gifts of $50 or more give you exclusive Flushing Town Hall Circle of Friends membership benefits including a Smithsonian membership, ticket discounts, and more! Donations in any amount are appreciated to support the artists and the nonprofit cultural organization as they continue to provide programming and entertainment across New York and the world.


Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization and receives major support in 2022 from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; The City of New York, Mayor Eric Adams; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Laurie Cumbo; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; The New York City Council, Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and New York City Council Members Sandra Ung, Tiffany Caban, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Vickie Paladino, Lynn Schulman, and Jessica Won; Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

To view current donor lists, please visit www.flushingtownhall.org/donor-listings

About Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.

Flushing Town Hall is a proud member of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), a collective of 34 nonprofit museums, performing arts centers, historical societies, zoos, and botanical gardens across all five boroughs with a distinct private-public partnership with the City of New York and a commitment to serving all New Yorkers.

Land Acknowledgement:

Flushing Town Hall acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Matinecock People, one of the original tribes of New York, and the first people of Flushing, Queens. The Matinecock continue to live and work on this land to this day. Flushing Town Hall honors their elders who have stewarded this land throughout generations.