School Arts Festival of Kerala is an annual event conducted by the State Government of Kerala, featuring several art competitions for high school and higher secondary school students of Kerala.
School Arts Festival of Kerala was started in the year 1956, and till 2008. It was called as “Kerala State School Youth Festival”. The participants are students from classes 8th to 12th. The winners of School Arts Festival of Kerala are from different revenue districts for a particular event that will be competing in state level competition. The event is usually conducted in December-January months of a year.
School Arts Festival of Kerala or Kerala School Kalolsavam is a festival unique in its structure and organisation. The organisational set up from school level to state level for the conduct of Kerala School Kalolsavam is monitored by Education Department as per the manual drafted by experts in the field. Looking back into the history of School Kalolsavam in the last 53 years it is seen that Kerala School Kalolsavam has refined much in letter and spirit. The students get opportunity to express their talent in school level, sub district level, district level and at last at state level. When performers reach state level, perfection reaches its zenith.
In the year 1956-1957 when the school Kalolsavam began, it had not reached any where near the variety, pomp and the vast canvas which the festival has now reached. Dr. C.S.Venkiteswaran was the DPI in 1956. He had the opportunity to participate in the Inter-University festival at Delhi during that time. This inspired the great visionary to organize a similar festival at school level and thus he sowed the seed of School Kalolsavam at Ernakulam SRV High School in 1956. The programme was scheduled for one day and there were 200 participants. Mid-day meal and tea was served. Participation was directly from school level. Year by year more and more items were included, and number of days of the Kalolsavam was increased. The number of participants has increased to ten thousand.
1956-1957 to 2008-2009
From 1956-1957 to 2008-2009, Kerala School Kalolsavam has crossed many mile stones. Now Govt. has active involvement with people representatives from Grama Panchayath level to Corporation Level, Member of Legislative Assembly to Members of Parliament, Ministers etc. giving all support for the success of the Kalolsavam. While in 1956-57 there were only 200 participants, in 2008-2009 there are nearly 10,000 participants. While in 1956-57, it was a business of one day, today it is a festival of 7 days. The decorative main stage accommodates thousands of people.
Preparation of Food
The delicious food is prepared for breakfast, mid day meals and supper for nearly ten thousand participants. The year 1975, when the festival was hosted at Calicut, was a turning point in the history of School Kalolsavam. Many art forms of Kerala tradition like Kathakali music, Mohiniyattom, Aksharaslokam etc. got entry to Kalolsavam for the first time. As a prelude to the Kalolsavam, proclamation rally was organised in 1975.
Year 2000 for School Arts Festival of Kerala
In the year 2000, Millennium trophy, a beautiful dancing Nataraja trophy was introduced. Today there are numerous trophies, cash prizes, grace marks etc. to the winners. The system of Kalathilakam and Kalaprathiba was dispensed with to eliminate unhealthy competition. The festival has a foolproof system to encourage thousands of students in various Art & Literary forms of each academic year.