India/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.5 Basic out-of-school arts and cultural education

Historically, self-taught artists in all disciplines, or those who have learnt in ‘illegitimate’ ways from teachers, are part of India’s history. The tyrannical relationship of shishyas (disciples) and their gurus (teachers) or the question of who constitutes a ‘legitimate’ pupil and who does not, are a part of both North Indian classical and South Indian Carnatic music traditions. In the visual arts, self-taught artists (often from tribal or low-caste origins) being valorised for their freedom has been a part of India’s history (e.g. at Shantiniketan). The institutionalisation of out-of-school teaching has, however, developed only recently, and has been seen as a major revenue model for some institutions.

Most major art museums [e.g. the National Museum, Delhi, or the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai] run courses in conservation and museology for independent students, usually in the evenings or on weekends. Most well-known artists today have extensive structures of assistants (usually from art schools and who work for experience). The formal structure of out-of-school education has taken a new turn in Mumbai with several courses – such as the art courses at Jnanapravaha and at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum – targeted for professionals with an interest in all-round training.

Several established theatre institutions (e.g. Ninasam in Heggodu, Karnataka) offer short courses in theatre training. Summer courses are also becoming increasingly common in numerous institutions. There are even larger numbers of private academies and schools offering training in classical music, going back to the legendary music schools of the early 20th century (e.g. the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Delhi). Among these are the ITC-Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, Brhaddhvani in Chennai and the Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts, Chennai.

In the area of publishing, the National Book Trust offers certificate courses in publishing. The Seagull Foundation, Kolkata (through its publishing school, the Seagull School of Publishing) offers short courses in editing and in book design.

Chapter published: 22-04-2014