Art has the capacity to awaken social consciousness and lead a person towards spiritual self-realization. However, in the present age art has become a slave of both commercial and political interests. Renaissance Artists and Writers Association, (RAWA), was founded by Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar in India in 1958 in order to restore art to its true role as an instrument for social and spiritual awakening. He envisioned a New Artistic Renaissance where artists and writers would unite and inspire society to move forward in a progressive and spiritual direction. RAWA is works to achieve these aims through the following programs: 1. formation of artists cooperatives 2. sponsoring art exhibitions 3. publication and production of recordings, books and journals 4. organizing concerts, theatrical productions, and other events which provide a means for deserving artists to reach the public 5. holding meetings and conferences where artists can discuss their common problems and interests 6. encouraging artists and writers to participate in social service programmes RAWA's founder, P. R. Sarkar, composed 5018 songs and wrote several essays on the role of the artist in society. His essay, "The Practice of Art and Literature", has inspired artists around the world to begin to reverse the tide of materialism and to create an art "for service and blessedness".