March 7, 2014
WB CM attends the inauguration ceremony of Arts Acre at Rajarhat
Amidst hymns and hopes, much of it pitched around the universality and unifying force of arts, Arts Acre was inaugurated at Rajarhat on March 6. Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee did the honours in the presence of a galaxy of stalwarts, a remote-controlled `curtain` of white flowers descending to reveal the plaque. She was also there in her capacity as a painter.
The arts were suitably represented by leading Carnatic music exponent M Balamurali Krishna, Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj and painter Anjolie Ela Menon, historian Sugata Bose, all sharing the stage with the Chief Minister and author-social activist Mahashweta Devi and Indian Council for Cultural Relations President Karan Singh.
The audience was littered with leading personalities from the local theatre, music and other artistic pursuits.
“The seeds of this International Arts Centre were sown in 1984, when Pandit Ravi Shankar laid the foundation stone, and then my friend (Nobel laureate) Gunter Grass came in 1987. Today, I`m happy that the dream of my youth is being realized,” Suvaprasanna said in his welcome address, while speaker after speaker highlighted the hard work that the artist has put in to bring the Rs 30-crore project on the verge of completion.
The six acres has a museum of modern art, galleries, studios, auditorium, cafeteria and living quarters for artists.
“It`s impossible to think of a Bengal without art and culture. In fact, nothing can be achieved without it, not even our freedom,” declared the Chief Minister. “Let this Arts Acre herald the era of renaissance in Bengal. Let artists in Bengal get their due respect,” she added.
The tenor has been set, the facilities are in place. It`s now time for that confluence of diverse artistic activities to breathe life into them.