This year marks the diamond jubilee of Kerala, and many programmes and initiatives have been flagged off since the beginning of the year as part of the celebrations.
The state, which has been synonymous with art and cultural heritage, is introducing a fellowship that will encourage artists – who are already well qualified in their stipulated disciplines – to take their passion to another level and impart their learning to young, aspiring artists.
Under the ‘Diamond Jubilee Fellowship for aspiring artists’, around 1,000 artists who have graduated from recognised institutions will receive a monthly stipend of ₹10,000 for an entire year.
The fellowship will also rope in tribal artists to teach various native art forms that have no formal training institutions.
Training in music, classical art forms, dance, acting, art, sculpture, folk and ritual art forms, magic and other art forms will be imparted by the artists conferred with the fellowship.
According to The New Indian Express, a budget of ₹13.50 crore has been allocated for the project. Bringing together local self-government bodies, government and aided schools as well as cultural organisations across the state under one umbrella, the initiative aims to tap into the potential that the culturally imbibed state possesses.
These institutions will not just host the artists but also lend pertaining infrastructural support that will be useful in training the students.
“So far the government and Planning Board have not been able to give proper attention to art and culture promotion and develop our cultural capital to strengthen our cultural economy. If we could strengthen our heritage and culture we can milk our cultural economy for all its worth in the future,” K N Harilal, who is one of the Planning Board members, told The New Indian Express.
He also mentioned that a comprehensive framework is underway post a meeting between experts from various cultural fields. An expert committee headed by the Cultural Affairs Minister will also be instated soon that will approve the panel of artists elected for the fellowship.
Aspiring students can learn native art forms like mohiniyattom, bharatanatyam, kuchipudi, kathakali, kathakali music, cholliyattom, koodiyattom, krishnanattom, thullal, thiruvathira, yaksha ganam, chakyar koothu, nangiar koothu, panchavadyam, thayampaka, Kerala natanam, drama, carnatic music and Hindustani vocal.
While the light music category offers vocations like instrumentation, chavittunatakam, sopana sangeetham, kathaprasangam, mappila pattu, kakkarisshi, velakali and training in western instruments like violin, flute and guitar, the fine arts category will offer training in painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics, wall painting, cartoon- caricature and handicrafts for students.
Under the folk and ritualistic art forms category, one can learn kummattikkali, kaikottikali, thumpi thullal, padayani, theyyam, tholppava koothu, kolam thullal, mudiyettu, kuthiyottam, kalarippayattu, magic, kaniyarlkali, margam kali, oppana, kolkali, duff muttu, arbana muttu, parichamuttu and ayyappanpaattu.
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Once the eligibility criteria is determined, the state government will be shortly issuing the notifications about the application and selection process for the artists.
According to Harilal, the project for which administrative sanction had already been granted will be put to effect this year.