The Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Saturday celebrated its 48th founding anniversary with performances including dance and recitation, exhibitions, songs, unveiling books, and discussions.

The festivities started at 3:30pm with the hoisting of the national flag and the academy’s flag.

Portraits of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and prime minister Sheikh Hasina, each measuring 43 feet by 32 feet, were unveiled at the academy premises.

State minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid lifted the curtain on the exhibition which will continue till 7 March.

Later, he inaugurated a 10-day exhibition – featuring recent activities of all departments of the academy – at Gallery-2 and Gallery-3 of the National Art Gallery.

Also, 24 books published by Shilpakala recently were unveiled.

After that, the academy organised a discussion where KM Khalid was present as chief guest. Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky also joined it.

A cultural event – featuring enthralling dance performances, acrobatics, solo songs, recitation performances, and dance recitals – took place following the discussion.

Farida Parveen, Khairul Anam Shakil, Saidur Rahman Bayati and Surbala Roy performed solo songs while noted recitation artistes Ahkam Ullah and Dalia Ahmed recited poems.

Shilpakala Academy Baul Troupe performed “Shonar Manush Chai,” Bhawaiya Troupe “Shonar e Desh,” and Music Troupe paid tribute to five late legendary artists – Lata Mangeshkar, Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, Bappi Lahiri, Subir Nandi and Andrew Kishore.

Shilpakala Academy Children’s Dance Troupe also performed in the event.

The academy’s dance troupe performed with the songs “Suveccha Bhalobasha,” “Shahaj Manush,” and “Shararitu.”

Also, children from ethnic minority groups staged a dance recital.

Shilpakala Academy was set up for the study and practice of arts in all the districts and upazilas of Bangladesh.

To spread cultural activities, the district Shilpakala Academy has been set up in five districts of the country. In each district, there is a cultural officer who runs the activities of the district Art Academy.

With a state-of-the-art gallery building, a theatre building; dedicated music, dance and recitation building and a training building on its premises, Shilpakala frequently hosts discussions and programmes.

It also organises cultural events such as theatrical productions, musical recitations and dance performances, and painting or photography exhibitions.

Besides its regular activities and events at its Segun Bagicha headquarters in Dhaka, Shilpakala is now operating in 64 districts and 492 upazilas.