History of Sangeet Natak Academy
The first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, inaugurated it on 28th January 1953 in a special function held in the Parliament House. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was then the Union Minister for Education at the inauguration of the Academy said -- "…It will be the aim of this Akademi to preserve our traditions by offering them an institutional form...”.
The Akademi's license of functions was prolonged along with the original lines in 1961, when the Sangeet Natak Akademi was reconstituted by the Government as a society and registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 (as amended in 1957).
Aims and Objectives of Sangeet Natak Academy
It acts as the national level for the following reasons:
Functions of Sangeet Natak Academy
The academy functions as the head body of the performing arts in the country to protect and endorse the huge cultural inheritance of India expressed in music, dance and drama. It also works with governments and art academies in states and territories of the country. SNA recognized quite a few institutions over the years and these are as follows:
Felicitations of Sangeet Natak Academy
SNA also offers felicitations or scholarships to deserving organisations in the same field.
Scholarship to Cultural Institutions
This scheme is proposed to allow the Sangeet Natak Akademi to tender grants-in-aid to select cultural institutions occupied in the endorsement of performing arts, namely, music, dance and drama. The grants-in-aid scheme is to hand out chiefly two objectives, explicitly, to offer financial support to institutions engaged in training in the fields of music, dance and drama and to encourage production of new plays and ballets, etc.
Schooling and Preservation
The Sangeet Natak Akademi extends support to identify forms of Indian music, dance and theatre and also crafts associated with performing arts, mainly through specialized training program under renowned masters.
The Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India
The Ministry of Culture, Govt. Of India, has declared the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s head body on culture, as the Nodal centre for coordinating India’s nominations for diverse lists and other actions such as budding and maintaining the National Inventory of ICH through the Ministry of Culture's letter no.2-21/2011-UNESCO cell dated 21 February, 2011.
The Audio-Visual Documentation of SNA
The academy's audio-visual documentation has numerous audio/video tapes, photographs and films. It is the prime documentation of its kind in the country and is widely drawn upon for research.
The Library of SNA
The academy maintains an orientation library consisting of about 22,000 books. Books on numerous subjects as well as Dance, Drama, Music, Theatre, Sociology, Folklore, Tribal Studies, Indian History and Culture, Indian Art, Religion and Epics, Mythology, Anthropology and Reference works such as Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Yearbooks, Bibliographies, Indexes and Newspaper clippings about Academy Awards and renowned artistes in the field of performing arts, can be found here.
Museum of SNA
The academy has a museum-cum-gallery of musical instruments in Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi. There are more than 200 musical instruments on exhibition here.
Publication of SNA
The functions of the Publication segment of Sangeet Natak Akademi are to publish books as suggested by the Publication Committee; to fetch out the Akademi's periodical Sangeet Natak; to manage grants-in-aid enabling authors, editors, and non-commercial publishers to bring out books and periodicals on the performing arts and to practice grants supporting research projects foremost to published books. Appraisal of manuscripts, editing and production of printed material, and sales and management of stocks are subsuming within these functions.
Award and Fellowship of Sangeet Natak Academy
One of the central activities of the Sangeet Natak Akademi is to give acknowledgment and honors to artists as it would help in setting standards in these arts, and restore the art and artists to their equitable place.
Following are the awards and fellowships of Sangeet Natak Akademi
List of awards offered by Sangeet Natak Akademi:
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award: The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award is the highest national appreciation given to enthusiastic artists, gurus and scholars. It carries purse money of Rs. 1, 00,000/-, a shawl, and a tamrapatra (a brass plaque).
Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, Ratna Sadsya: Each year the Academy awards the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships, Ratna Sadsya, to eminent individuals for their contribution to the field of arts, music, dance and theatre. The first Fellow of the Akademi was elected in 1954.
Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar: Instituted in 2006, in the memory of Ustad Bismillah Khan, this award is given to young artists (below 35 years of age) for their talent in the fields of music, dance and drama.
Tagore Akademi Fellow Awards: The Sangeet Natak Academy also gives the Tagore Akademi Fellow Awards.
Events and Programs of Sangeet Natak Academy
The Sangeet Natak Academy also organizes many events and programs yearly and some of these are as follows:
For the greater interest of preserving tradition, the Sangeet Natak Academy has further offered Indian convention, heritage, culture and art an institutionalized form. Hence, the institutions like "National School of Drama", "Jawarharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy", and "Kathak Kendra" have made their presence felt in the arena of applied art in almost all over India.