Ninasam (officially; the Nilakanteshwara Natyaseva Samgha) is the centre of attraction in Heggodu, as it is from here that the artistic energy of the village is disseminated. Ninasam is a cultural organisation that leans more towards a communitarian society that strives to bridge the gap between the rural populations of the region and the art of, both, the country as well as the world’s greats. That was the mission of the renowned dramatist K. V. Subbanna when he established the Ninasam in 1949. What started as the daily current-affair convenings of Subbanna and his friends, went to on the launch of a weekly newspaper alongside play productions, has now become the world-famous institution it is today.
Currently head by Subbanna’s son K. V. Akshara; Ninasam has its own theatre institute, a theatre troupe, and a film society, amongst its many other activities. The organisation continues to provide education and training through a 10-month performing arts diploma, as well as summer workshops. Ninasam also provides a 7-day culture course every October called ‘Samskriti Shibira’ where attendees, the likes of journalists, politicians, shop-owners, housewives, farmers, college students, and many others, participate in sessions and workshops on topics of cultural appreciation (in the forms of plays, music, dance, etc.) as well as socio-political issues. While majority of the discussions take place in Kannada, there are some in English too.
At the heart of it, Ninasam is a place for the community to congregate and partake in an experience of the arts and culture; whether it’s watching a play, a film, or engaging in discussions about contemporary issues. It attracts visitors from all over Karnataka; although everyone is welcome, whether you’re from a different state or a different country.