GUWAHATI: To mark the establishment of Shilpgram (Craft Village) at Panjabari here in 2006 by the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), a Shilpgram Mahotsav is organised every year at the national level involving dance and music, craft fair, traditional cuisines etc. However, the 17th Shilpgram Mahotsav (2022) will be virtually organized from January 17 to 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stated a press release. The NEZCC, established in 1986, comprises the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and has its Headquarters at Dimapur in Nagaland.
The Centre was established with the main objective of promoting and disseminating the folk arts and preserving the rich cultural heritage of the region. Craftpersons and artisans carry out their activities round the year at Shilpgram.
The Shilpgram houses 45 craft stalls, eight pavilions, eight food stalls, a dormitory for artistes/artisans, an air-conditioned auditorium and an open air stage for organising various cultural activities.
The latest Mahotsav will focus only on dance and music. Artistes from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Odisha will be participating in the Mahotsav.
Coinciding with the closing function of the Shilpgram Mahotsav, 16 young artistes will be awarded on January 20 under the Young Talented Artistes Award Scheme for 2019- 2020.