Nagpur Cultural Centre serving to uplift artists

Nagpur: Central government`s initiative for upliftment of artists has not only made them available a platform to reach out to the world but also benefited the fraternity over a period of time.

The South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC) is one of the seven such centres set up by the Ministry of Culture to revive dying art forms, help artisans, musicians and dancers, other centres being at Patiala, Udaipur, Nagpur, Thanjavor, Kolkata, Allahabad and Dimapur.

A large number of performing artists, painters, folk dancers, sculptors and craftsmen have been benefited over a period of time with their bonding with the SCZCC here which is catering to four states-Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

"The city-based SCZCC came into existence on October 2, 1986 and has been organising folk dance festivals, workshops, theatre shows, classical music and dances programmes among other activities. The centre is engaged in preservation, promotion, dissemination, development of Lalit Kala in general and folk and tribal arts in particular," Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and SCZCC Director Ravinder Kumar Singhal said.

The SCZCC spread over about four acres houses an art gallery, a research and documentation cell, an amphitheatre and a sales emporium, Singh, who is a 1996 batch IPS officer, told PTI. He said the cultural boulevard has organised workshops and camps for traditional tribal and folk artists besides for the budding talents and contemporary artists. Stone, wood and metal are the major sources for artisans who make living by making sculptures and designing murals from waste materials.

Among major festivals held regularly by SCZCC are Kabir Mahotsava, Sindhu Darshan, Kargil Victory day, Lok Rang, Republic Day folk dance, Bundeli Mahotsav, Shilpgram Utsav and workshops on painting and terracotta. Maharashtra and Karnataka had contributed Rs one crore each towards setting up of the SCZCC, Chattisgarh Rs two lakh and Rs 50 lakh each by Madhya Pradesh and Andha Pradesh.

SCZCC had permanently set up a "shilp gram" at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh in 1997 which provides facilities to visiting craftsmen in the form of well-equipped work sheds, designed according to the ambiance needed for a particular craft production, Singhal said. The SCZCC is mulling over to organise a festival on the lines of Mumbai`s famous cultural extravaganza, Kalaghoda Festival` in near future, he added.