KARACHI: The Arts Council of Pakistan held its first convocation for its graduating students on Friday evening.

In all, 114 diplomas were awarded to students belonging to the departments of fine art (24), textile design (eight), communication design (eight), theatre (36), music (32) and dance (six).

Gold and silver medals were given to eight students: Nazrul Islam (gold), Behzad Ahmed (gold), Jawad Jan (gold), Saima Khan (gold), Bushra Amin (silver), Ramsha Khan (silver), M Raza (silver) and Fahim Ahmed (silver).

Two special awards were also given to members of the music faculty Ustad Mahmood Ali Khan and Afaq Adnan.

Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, caretaker Sindh Chief Minister retired Justice Maqbool Baqar, who administered the oath from the students, said, “I stand before you today with immense joy and pride as we gather to celebrate the achievements of the talented graduates of the Arts Council of Pakistan’s (ACP) academies who have received their diplomas in music, theatre, dance, textile design, communication design and fine art. Today is a special day not just for the graduates but for the entire community that supports and values the arts.

“The disciplines we honour today are the heartbeat of our cultural identity, expression of the soul, reflection of our rich heritage and gateways to creativity. In a world often dominated by numbers and data, the arts remind us of the beauty, the emotions and the stories that make us human.

“To graduates, your journey has been more than acquiring a diploma. It has been a voyage of self-discovery, of pursuit of passion and a commitment to excellence. You have polished your craft pouring your heart and soul into your work. Today, we celebrate the fruits of your dedication. The significance of the arts cannot be overstated. They are bridges that connect us across generations, transcending language and boundaries,” he said.

Earlier, caretaker Information Minister and Arts Council President Ahmed Shah said when he came to the Arts Council, the institute didn’t have enough resources. At the time he requested Ustad Zafar Ali Khan to join him to impart music education to the youngsters.

“We promised him only to provide space for teaching and whatever money gathered through student fee would be given to him. Sometime later he died and his brother Ustad Mahmood Ali Khan joined us. So we started off with just one teacher,” he said.

Ahsan Bari briefed the audience about the council’s academies.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2024

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