Rawalpindi, In an effort to champion the rich cultural heritage of Punjab, the Punjab Arts Council Board of Management convened for its third meeting, led by President Sakib Rafik. The gathering underscored the board’s commitment to advancing art and culture within the region, with a comprehensive agenda that included the promotion of local talent and the organization of cultural events.
According to Punjab Arts Council, the meeting saw the participation of key board members, including Secretary Board Waqar Ahmed, Asma Butt, Muhammad Azim Iqbal, Babar Niazi, and Muhammad Aslam Mughal. The council’s president, Sakib Rafik, highlighted Punjab’s storied cultural and literary tradition, emphasizing the board’s active role in fostering artistic expression. The deliberations led to a unanimous decision to request the inclusion of former resident director Naheed Manzoor in the board, reflecting a strategic move to leverage her experience for the council’s initiatives.
The board outlined a variety of initiatives aimed at enriching the cultural landscape of Punjab. Among the plans was the organization of singing and painting competitions across several districts including Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, Jehlum, and Murree, with judges already appointed to oversee these talent showcases. These competitions are set to take place at district, division, and provincial levels, promising a platform for emerging artists to gain recognition.
A notable cultural event, the Jashan Baharan musical gala, is scheduled for February 24 at the Arts Council, featuring performances by renowned artists Nooran Lal, Sana Nemat, and a versatile dance group from Lahore. The board has emphasized the importance of extensive publicity to ensure the gala’s success and to celebrate Punjab’s vibrant cultural scene.
Additionally, the meeting addressed operational aspects of the council’s work, including staffing for an audio-video studio, funding allocations for cultural activities, and the creation of a craft bazaar. This bazaar is envisioned as a means to support the council’s financial sustainability while promoting traditional crafts.
The decision to postpone the food and culture festival until April, due to the scheduling of PSL matches, reflects the council’s adaptive approach to event planning, ensuring that cultural celebrations are accessible to a wide audience.
As the Punjab Arts Council moves forward with its ambitious agenda, its efforts to promote and preserve the cultural heritage of Punjab signal a vibrant future for the arts in the region.