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The Show Must Go On – This is How the Govt is Helping Performing Artists

performing artists

Discussions these days consider how various sector and spheres of work have been affected by the pandemic situation. In fact, all major sectors and vulnerable section have got reprieve from the government at the initial stage of the Corona crisis.

But have you spared a thought about thousands of performing artists, be it from music, dance, folk etc., who are unable to showcase their craft in this pandemic situation and thereby can’t earn their income?

The Union government has spared more than a thought for them. Minister of State of Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Lok Sabha said that the Centre has released 5,462.69 Lakh to artist community under various central sector schemes.

Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) have provided financial assistance of ₹927.83 lakh to the artists.

Even in this phase of unlock, any large congregation is not desirable. Many cultural festivals in the annual calendar that used to draw audience and give opportunity to various artists to showcase their talent couldn’t be held this year. In such a situation, Ministry of Culture is organising more and more webinars, workshops, and online performances of artists.

  • The Sangeet Natak Akademi organizes a Webinar on weekly basis with its Fellows and Awardees in the field of music, dance, drama, folk & tribal arts and puppetry. Akademi has successfully organized 32 webinars benefitting the artists.
  • Deeksha is an online training series in various dance forms like Kathak, Kutiyattam, Manipuri, Sattriya, Chhau.  As on date, 15 Deeksha programmes have been organized and ₹11 lakh has been released to senior artists, gurus and their accompanists.
  • An amount of ₹16 lakh was released to the artists who participated in Yog Parv – a festival of music, dance, drama, folk & tribal arts and puppetry.

Since all these activities need to be widespread and reach the artists in various places while serving viewers of different localities and tastes, many measures have been taken to spread them at the zonal level.

  • Seven Zonal Cultural Centres under Ministry of Culture organized online programmes wherein folk and tribal artists showcased their talents through webinars, workshops, live performances on social media handles like Facebook etc. Financial assistance is extended to artists accordingly.
  • ZCCs have opened help lines to enable the artists to avail maximum benefits of the schemes of this Ministry.
  • An action plan has been evolved to help artists engaged for events on virtual mode enabling them to avail financial benefits out of the grants released by the Ministry.
  • Folk artists from member States are offered online platforms for their performance.
  • ZCCs have coordinated with member States and artists to get unregistered artists registered under various schemes of States for financial assistance to artists.
  • ZCCs have collaborated with NGOs to promote registered artists on virtual platforms.
  • SNA under the series ‘Abhivyakti’ is showcasing the programmes, festivals etc. from its archives on its social media platform.
  • From October onwards, SNA has been planning to virtual festivals of music, dance, drama, folk & tribal and puppetry besides the festivals in physical from January 2021.