We at VAST believe that the way one lives can be a work of art. Through a variety of philanthropic activities, we foster a sense of community, and seeks to improve the world around us however we can. Rather than seeing art as primarily an individualistic pursuit, we believe in the importance of community, a value rooted in Bhutanese culture.
Art is a powerful tool for pursuing this objective. Through exhibitions on social themes such as the Rights of the Child and Young Zoom on Garbage VAST seeks to empower artists and also to raise awareness. Art also brings people together. Our exhibitions and workshops are social occasions often accompanied potlucks where, over a plate of ema datshi and rice, the community can build bonds and exchange ideas. Ultimately we believe both the process and product of making art are important tools for addressing social problems and teaching the values of empathy, creativity, open-mindedness, and responsibility.
Beyond art, VAST brings its members together to collectively improve our society through volunteer work. Current projects include The Art of Giving, Make a Wish, and Rice Bank. Each of the projects seeks to build bridges between rural and urban Bhutan and to tangibly improve lives. For example, for the Rice Bank project VAST members work with a community in Punakha to help them obtain rice during the lean season. VAST members work in the fields and then market the villages red rice, using the profits to help buy and transport rice to the village during the next year. As VAST moves forward, we will strengthen our existing programs and expand them to include new initiatives.