Vidya Ramanan and Visalakshi Naranan Scholarship Fund
Throughout her life, Visalakshi Naranan (1934-2013) maintained a passion for providing educational opportunities to those in need. A devoted teacher, family member, and philanthropist born in Nagpur, India, Visalakshi worked at schools in Mumbai and Chennai dedicated to empowering children with learning disabilities to succeed. She offered families who could not afford to send their children to school the resources and access to public education. Her love for learning touched many lives and is one of many gifts she shared with her family and community during her lifetime.
Vidya Ramanan (1954-2017) dedicated her life to the service of others. After receiving a BS in child psychology and MS in social work, she became one of the leading social workers at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada for 23 years – the latter of which she held the position of Director of Social Work. Beyond social work, Vidya’s great passion was visual art. She began drawing and painting as a child and continued to pursue art as a hobby during her adulthood. Vidya additionally loved the performing arts and enjoyed visiting Double Edge Theatre during the summers of 2013 and 2015 to attend the Summer Spectacles.
In honor of Visalakshi and Vidya’s memories, her family, in partnership with Double Edge, created the Vidya Ramanan and Visalakshi Naranan Scholarship Fund to provide emerging female leaders from ethnically diverse and low-income backgrounds the opportunity to participate in Double Edge Theatre’s training programs. During their time at Double Edge, scholarship recipients engage in Double Edge’s unique, holistic methodology that employs an artist’s full potential – physical, vocal, emotional, and imaginative – to drive individual exploration, ensemble collaboration, and performance creation. In addition, select scholarship recipients participate in Double Edge’s training workshops at public schools and educational organizations throughout Western Massachusetts to gain an understanding and appreciation of how to develop accessible and alternative learning opportunities in underserved communities.