Orissa Culture Center (OCC) is a registered non-profit US corporation with a tax exempt organization status of 501 (C)(3) with IRS. OCC derives its name from a small state on the east coast of India called Orissa (now renamed to pre-British period era, Odisha), famous for its cultural heritage. Many of its architectural sites are in the UN World Heritage catalogue. Although the state is a little unknown in the world arena, it still serves as beacon of peace, universal brotherhood and friendship through one of its annual flagship events called Ratha Yatra, better known as Chariot or Car festival at Puri. The event draws more than a million people every year from all over the world of all races, religions, castes and creeds. Similarly, one of the greatest classical dance forms that India has to offer to the world, Odishi, has its origin in this state. According to Natya Shastra of Bharat Muni, the earliest treatise on the ancient dance forms that emanated from India, Odishi holds the dignity of being the oldest and most ancient. It is strange that while the event and the cultural art forms that the state has to offer have crossed its natural geographical boundaries, very little is known about the state itself. That has led a few of the people from the state in the greater Houston area to form OCC to spread the message of peace and universal brotherhood through a medium that is considered an asset for the state – the art and culture.
Unity Through Cultural Diversity
The vision of the organization is enshrined in its mission statement: OCC will be a unique charitable, educational and cultural art organization in the US that will offer center of excellence to foster Oriya culture, heritage and tradition to all citizens in the Greater Houston metropolitan areas and beyond, while inculcating rich Oriya cultural values to the children and grand-children of the people of Oriya origin. It will seek to foster cultural bondage between the people of Orissa and all residents in general and of Oriya origin in particular in North America. In doing so it will promote diverse cultural ethos that the city of Houston is trying to foster through many of its programs like Houston Arts Alliance. OCC’s missions has therefore been to preserve, protect and promote Orissan Art and culture and the ethos of Universal brotherhood in the USA and around the world.
Goal of OCC
OCC’s goal is to build a permanent infrastructure to support community events, and a house for its main deity that links its entire cultural heritage on a vibrant fabric. The building will also host a library and museum with a rich collection of books on Oriya literature and artifacts that are unique to the state, the most prominent being are those related to Lord Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) and Buddhism. It is expected that OCC will become a center for greater Houston Oriya community supporting activities such as, spiritual upbringing, cultural events, community service, education, music, dance, and cultural art. It will also become a center to promote Oriya language, and preserve and protect culture and tradition among the 2nd generation kids born to parents of Oriya origin.
In order to achieve the above vision OCC has organized itself into a professionally run non-profit organization with a well-structured board, operating executive body and many well-defined functioning committees, following the tradition of some of the best run non-profits in the greater Houston area. Its operations are guided by a well-documented articles and by-laws, and by a quarterly board of directors meeting with meticulous recording of meeting minutes, which are attached.
Financial Details in our Journal Alata
Since 2002, Houston Odia community has been publishing a yearly literary magazine under the able editorship of Dr. Arati Nanda Pati. This magazine has provided our kids and adults to express thir creative writings in the forms of poetry, prose, story etc both in the mother tongue Odia and in English, our adapted language. OCC’s yearly financial details are published in Alata.
Section-501(c)(3)-Organizations Status from IRS
The organization started as a non-profit in November of 2007 and formally acquired tax deductible 501 (C)(3) exempt status from IRS in 2008.
Article of Incorporation
OCC's Article of Incorporation is available to download.
10th Houston Rath Yatra
Alata - Our Journal
Since 2001, Houston Odia community has been publishing a yearly literary magazine under the able editorship of Dr. Arati Nanda Pati. This magazine has provided our kids and adults to express thir creative writings in the forms of poetry, prose, story etc both in the mother tongue Odia and in English, our adapted language. OCC’s yearly financial details are published in Alata.Read More