Common Ground Café offers a selection of locally handcrafted arts and fair trade products that directly benefit local artisans and organizations as well as help sustain our work at Common Grounds Project. Come by and check out what we have to offer!
Andretta Pottery & Craft Society
Since 1985, Andretta Pottery & Craft Society has been producing beautifully hand crafted earthen slipwares and teaching students how to make and appreciate the art of pottery. Situated on the foothills of the snow-capped Dhauladhar Mountains in the Kangra Valley, the small artist colony of Andretta provides an idyllic setting for creative pottery making. Alongside the pottery is also a terracotta museum that holds a collection of local Himacheli pottery.
Sonam Village Arts
In a humble studio overlooking a lush Himalayan valley, exile Tibetans and local Indian artists work together at Sonam Village Arts in Dharamsala to produce delicately handcrafted glass arts by using the finest Italian Murano glass. The sale of each bead supports the artisans at Sonam Village Art, a fair trade employer providing training and employment to the local community.
Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA)
TIPA was the very first institution established by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1959 to preserve and promote Tibet's unique tradition of performing arts. Today, TIPA is a vibrant and creative institute based in Dharamsala, northern India. The institute houses over 100 members, including artists, instructors, administrative staff and craftsmen, all of whom live on the institute's premise. The members work with a clear sense of direction towards the preservation of Tibetan's ancient cultural heritage.
TIPA works to preserve a wide repertoire of musical, dance and theatrical traditions from Tibet with its own modern Therter Troupe that puts on contemporary play. In addition, TIPA trains instructors who are sent out to teach music and performing arts at schools and settlements throughout India and Nepal. The institute also runs a school where a mix of modern and traditional Tibetan music, dancing and acting are taught. TIPA's handcraft section also maintains its own workshops for making musical instruments, authentic costumes, as well as traditional Lhamo opera masks, which are sold at Common Ground Café. For more information, visit: www.tibetanarts.org.